January 17th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0

Tremendous rain during the night.  And of course our room would have a leak.  And of course it would drip all over our blanket.  At which point we would discover – of course – that the colours run.  Ho hum.  The rain, coming down continuously, more or less, kept us a prisoner in our room for a while, but Val heard rumours from some Swiss people staying there of a shop nearby where one could change travellers’ cheques, so, our financial straits being somewhat dire, we set out to find it.  It was on the other side of a modern bridge spanning the river.  The lady in the shop was very nice, the more so since she spoke English – + she changed a $100 cheque for us, charging only Q2, nearly sold us a portable stove, but unfortunately it wasn’t working, + told us that San Felipe was not a village but a castle, reached only by boat.  She would have arranged a boatman too, but the weather being so unsettled, we thought the trip wouldn’t be much fun.

The next few hours were unsettled, both with the weather, which was alternately stiflingly close or massive downpour, + with our plans.  Eventually, we decided we would not be able to visit the castle today, + not wishing to stay in Rio Dulce for another night, decided to leave.  First we ate lunch, then looked at what there was of the town.  A remarkable place, obviously some sort of service town, since the bars + restaurants greatly outnumbered anything else, but apparently all thrown together in a hurry, like the beginning of a gold rush.  The errant pigs, drunks and dogs, together with the road as a sea of mud, all contributed to the notion.

We tried to catch the Flores bus out to Morales, but that was full, so had to cross the bridge once more – getting caught in a thundershower on the way – + take a local bus.  That turned out to be a small pick-up truck, full of people, but the journey wasn’t too bad, + remarkably was in perfect time to connect with a luxury bus to Puerto Barrios.  There we found a cheap (+ rather seedy) hotel, then went out to a bar, where we spent most of the time chatting with a drunken, incoherent, but rather pretty hooker called Winifred.

Another photo to fill the gap, though it does give a better chance to see Shane, our erstwhile companion.  Other than that, some of the usual decisions of travelling: do we go here?  can we afford it? – eventually being decided by the weather, and a decision to push on to Puerto Barrios, a port city, and not particularly attractive.

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