Day 83: Sunday is Rest Day

Sun. 4th November 2012

Main Square BonitoAfter a poor nights sleep in hammocks and having been pretty full on for quite a few days we decided it is time to chill out and do as little as possible.

The optional excursions today include a snorkelling trip down a river being swept by the current, which sounds tempting but the 6:30am start does not. Typically, those who did go said it was amazing and they were also lucky enough to see a family of monkeys swing across the river and a baby anaconda wrapped around a tree. However, we are still savouring our snorkelling with turtles in Mexico so do not feel too cheated by opting out. The remainder of our group went on the second option which was a trip to a local river park, but we are saving that excitement until tomorrow.

View from our hotel roomJust before noon we stir ourselves from reading and computing to visit the supermarket, possibly to pick up something for lunch and also some water. We arrive there at 5 minutes to midday to discover it is just about to shut for the day, so it was a quick rush round for the essentials!

The majority of the shops in town are shut all day today so it is very quiet. Yesterday we discovered that our laundry will not be ready until Monday due to them not working in Sunday, which will be interesting as Dave’s swimming shorts are being laundered and he will need them tomorrow!

Having failed in the supermarket to buy lunch we opt for a place called Pantanal Carne Exotica where Dave has the Piranha soup, which is very flavoursome and I have deep fried Caiman (yes it does taste like chicken but with the texture more like calamari).

We had hoped the internet would be better in Brazil but so far this is not the case and it was quite frustrating this afternoon, as the service failed in the middle of Skype calls back to the family. There have, however, been some definite changes for the better in Brazil after Bolivia and Peru. The roads are generally in much better condition and also the time it has taken to serve fourteen of us in the restaurants is much quicker. Somehow, Brazil also feels more affluent – and not just because the cost of beer has doubled!

Comunal area in our hotelAs everyone else has been on trips today they are not keen on eating out tonight, so it is agreed we will order in pizzas. The hotel entrance area doubles as a communal space and has tables and chairs (and hammocks if preferred!), which is used for breakfast and general waiting around so the setting is quite agreeable. Armed with wine and beer (or vodka and coke) to go with our pizza, we settled down to a pleasant evening together.

We took time to discuss with Zaida what to do in Patagonia when we get there, as she covers most of South America on her trips and has done the Patagonia trail. She says we must take the boat trip to see Glacier Perito Moreno, and the decision is whether to come back across to Argentina from Chile to visit Bariloche,in the Lake District there, which is said to be beautiful. Too many places to see and not enough time, but at least we have the outline of a route from El Calafate down through Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas and then flying up to Puerto Montt for the Lake District. Details like booking hotels and buses can follow (a little) later!

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