Archive for October 25th, 2008


October 25

October 25, 2008

What began as a miserable day turned out quite salvageable by the end. We woke about eight to the pouring rain and wind, and instead of our usual warm oats for breakfast were forced to huddle inside the tent with a packet of biscuits. And so it was all the way through until two o’clock. There were a few breaks in the weather, enough to nip out and check the flysheet, grab food supplies from our hanging bag and whatnot, but most of the morning was spent cowering inside fairly anxiously, hoping our tent would make it. Which it did, incidentally, with flying colours.

At about two the rain had eased, and our minds’ eyes fixed firmly on the makeshift restaurant we’d spied in town the day before. It didn’t take much encouragement to get us on our way, and we had soon crossed the bridge, a random grizzly old canine companion in tow. The dog stayed outside while we knocked on the door and walked in to a warm, fiery living room filled with local people. We found a seat in front of the television and watched the end of Cast Away while we ate, thoroughly enjoying the warmth and liveliness after a cold, solitary morning. The menu for the day was cazuela de vacuno y empanada de marisco. I passed on the seafood empanada, but the lamb stew was the perfect meal for the day- a big lump of lamb, potatoes, semola and what I would hazard a guess at being seaweed in a thick stewy sauce. I washed it down with una copa de vino tinto and Tom with cafe negro. Our doggie accompaniment had disappeared by the time we’d finished, but we got a big break of sunshine as we left. Unfortunately, by the time we’d arrived back at the campsite it had once again turned to a depressing drizzle, and an hour more of tent hiding was necessary.

At four, the sky cleared miraculously and sent beams of sunlight crashing down upon us. We took it as a sign that we could hold the weather in good faith and Tom built “the best fire in history”, as building fires seems to discourage the rain in these parts. Our earlier plans to spend the morning walking and get an early night had been so thoroughly shot through by now that we decided to reverse them, and Tom went off to gather a box of wine to see us through the night while I was charged with the task of tending to the fire. Shortly after Tom returned, a hyperactive becollared young dog turned up and tried to convince us to play fetch with rocks, spiky plants and other inappropriate things. He had so obviously been cared for recently that we wondered if he had gotten lost, and as the night wore on and he still didn’t go home we could only think that he must have.

Just as the sun was setting, we decided to go on our walk after all, so packed the camera and torch into our pockets and set off in search of Sendero Tepual, an easy 1km walk on boardwalks throught the forest, bringing along a cup of wine each for the company. We had our wine on the grandly named Mirador del Sur, which was actually just a wooden platform with a reasonable view across the trees, before finding the beginning of the trail. It was lots of fun strolling down the curving, bright white boardwalks and reading the informative signs in Spanish and oddly translated English, taking comfort in the knowledge that the problems with tense we have in Spanish are reciprocated by Spanish-speakers in English. We stopped to take a few too many “artistic” photos, so by the time we’d finished it was pitch black and we had to pick our way back by torchlight.

Our dog was still around when we got back, so we made him up a spot by the fire and sat about, having a good chat and finishing the wine. The stars came out in hordes in only the second clear night sky we’d had on the island, and it ended up being quite late by the time we climbed into our sleeping bags and called it a day.