Following the day of rain, we awoke to brilliant blue skies and already intense heat. The jungle was actually steaming! Everything looked fresh and alive, even me! This was Tuesday, and we had a boat trip arranged for the day, visiting remote beaches for laziness, swimming and snorkelling. The boat was a huge old fashioned schooner, and we were able to get sun loungers on the upper deck, yet still covered by the shade. Luxury! And then to discover that the crew would bring all your drinks to you! Double luxury! After a few hours, I managed to persuade Charlotte to have her first Caiparinha. This is the Brazilian national drink, and is made from distilled sugar cane juice. They then add sugar, a bit more sugar, some sugar, a bucketful of sugar, and top it off with a whole load of sugar. It makes full fat coke look like a diet drink! However, after literally two sips Charlotte was giggling away, so I thought I’d better try some too. It tasted horrible to me, but it was like rocket fuel! No wonder everyone in Brazil is so laid back, and alcoholic! (Yesterday morning, at 9am we saw a man in the supermarket go to the beer fridge, take a tin out, open it, drink it, and then take it to the till to pay for it!! I now realise I am a mere amateur!!).
Anyway, the Caiparinha almost certainly played a part in the following incident, which Charlotte is still laughing about hysterically two days later. I’m just not sure I can do it justice with my writing – having finished the drinks, we then anchored off a beautiful beach, and we decided to go for a swim. To get off the boat we had to climb down a ladder over the side. Armed with mask and snorkel and carrying a big long spongey floaty tube thing I clambered over, and as I began to climb down I somehow lost grip with my left hand, swung around to the right and crashed my back into the side of the boat. Any normal person would have let go and just dropped the few feet into the water. But no. Not me. I was left there flailing about like a moronic Frank Spencer, while Charlotte and fifty other people collapsed onto their knees first in horror, then in bewildered amusement at this pathetic excuse of a human attempting to do…… Something? I’ve no idea what I was trying to do! But after half a minute of slapstick comedy I let myself drop, swallowed 6 gallons of sea water, and pretended it was what I had meant to do. Not one hint of dignity left! Charlotte subsequently pretended not to be with me in order to maintain her own credibility. Oh well.
In retaliation, I can tell you that Charlotte yesterday, while walking, did 6, beating her previous record of 5. I’m not allowed to tell you what she did 6 of, but I was very impressed.
Breakfast at the hostel was very entertaining this morning. There are now about 10 English here, and we are of course the oldest by about 30 years! The conversation went along the subject of what it must have been like to live in the 70s and 80s!!!!!! We stayed quiet! I didn’t dare say that I was actually born in the end of the 60s! There’s the usual posh little rich girls doing their “Gap Yaaaaar” travelling around the world. But last night we spent a long time chatting with a really nice couple called Jack and Jill (I don’t actually know her name, but he was called Jack, so she must have been called Jill???). In their mid to late 20s, they’d met at Brighton University where they both studied geography, then worked for a year in offices before realising that there was far more to life than work. They’d been travelling on and off ever since, and were currently on their last week of a 5 month tour around South America, on a really strict budget, but just absolutely loving it. They’ve got 6 weeks back in England before they go to St Tropez for the summer where they’re managing a camp site for Canvas Holidays, and after that they’re thinking of working a ski season somewhere in Europe. What a fantastic outlook on life, I take my hat off to them. Such nice, well spoken, polite and interesting people. Bruce, they’d be perfect for your sort of staff, having travelled extensively in Asia. They’d certainly be at the top of my list for employment. Hang on, what am I saying? Bruce, I’D be the perfect person to employ!!!
Well, today we’re heading up further into the jungle to some waterfalls for swimming in fresh water! I may write again later this evening!