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Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4


Chapter 2


Gringo Bill’s want $20 (£12.50) but the hospedaje next door has hot water for 40S (£7.40).  We unload our rucksack and walk up to the baths.  It costs 5S (£0.93) each to get in.  There are new wooden railings and a new bridge but the baths are still the same and run by the same chap.  It is very hot and getting hotter.


We discover there are no trains to Quillabamba because there has been a rockfall.  The only way to get there is by bus from Cusco.  This is a disappointment as to go to Quillabamba was the main reason for coming to Aguas Calientes.  There is a train back to Cusco tomorrow, at 15S (£2.70) for the first class local train.  Tickets are available from 1100.  The train leaves at 1630 or possibly 1300.  The posh train from the posh station costs 97.50S (£18.00).  The helicopter costs $90 (£56.00) but takes less than an hour.  We are very tempted.  There is supposed to be a party in the square that night but it is rained off by the superb storm and lightning display.


Tue 2nd November

I start queuing for train tickets at 1000 and buy them at 1130.  Jen has already gone up to the baths and I follow.  Marla and her brother join us and Jenny an Australian travelling alone.  By the time we get back to the station the train is full, with people hanging off the end of each carriage.  We don’t have any idea where our seats are and board at the wrong end of the carriage.  Muttering “permiso” I manage to worm my way through and turf out the people who are sitting in our seats.  I shout to Jen at the other end of the carriage and by putting the rucksack on her head she manages to get through.  It was her day for carrying the rucksack.


At Ollantaytambo all the local people get off and race for the buses which zoom past us later.  The train arrives at Cusco at 2130.  It is pouring with rain.  We walk to Hostal Amari but they have no room.  We are already soaked and cannot face scouring the city for accommodation.  We end up at San Blas paying 50S (£9.25).


Wed 3rd November

Yesterday’s newspaper has the headline “Sismo destruyo decenas de casas”.  We learn that 600 families were affected and 150 homes destroyed in an earthquake at Chuschi, 200km south of Ayacucho on the 31st October.


Our EcoAmazon trip tomorrow costs $135 (£84.00) and $80 (£50.00) for flights.  We also book a ticket on a bus to La Paz for Saturday night at 25S (£4.60) each.


In the evening we decide to dress up and go to the most expensive hotels in Cusco for cocktails.  We visit the Hotel Monasterio, Inka Palace and Golden Tulip (good spelling) and feel the first was the best.  At least staying at San Blas means we can leave some of our belongings there without any worry.  They never did find my wheels though.


Thu 4th November

A nice early start – the airport at 0600.  Puerto Maldonado is not as hot as last year.  We are met by Edwin and taken for a juice in the market.  I read for 1½ hours on the boat trip which makes it pass quickly.  EcoAmazon is very quiet.  They have bigger, better rooms and are building more.  We meet a Belgian couple, Pascal and Solange.  Our first excursion is to Monkey Island with Elias, our guide.  We have a stock of bananas and feed them to the four varieties of monkey and the coatis.  Jen and I play Rummikub later with Pascal and Solange who pick it up very quickly.  In the evening there is the caiman expedition, on which we are joined by other guests.


Fri 5th November

Another early start at 0600.  We do the same walk as last year to the hidden lake but see more.  The jungle is full of owl butterflies and Monarch butterflies.  We see vultures, herons and bats.  Elias speaks a little English and tells us of the medicinal uses of the trees and plants although at times we know he is making it up.  Jen falls in the swamp.  On the way home we play a trick on Elias because he is walking so far ahead of us.  The four of us hide behind a bush and then Jen screams.  Elias comes running back and we all fall about laughing.


Sat 6th November

0345 start.  Did we actually go to bed?  It is a beautiful morning.  Back at Puerto Maldonado we tell Edwin of our complaints (I can’t remember what they were now) but also that it was wonderful.  We discover the reason for the ridiculously early start.  Some of the others are catching a plane before ours.  We have several hours wait at the airport.

At San Blas we reorganise our rucksacks and Jen deals with her laundry – swamp stuff.  I go riding to Chin Chan with Alan (my guide) and Luna (my horse).  My horse is rather thin but willing.  Alan chatters away in Spanish all the time.  Jen goes to the sauna.  We take over the San Blas lounge until 1900 when we leave for the bus station.  It is a huge place with every bus company represented.  We have to pay a tax of 1.20S each.  Our modern coach leaves on time.  I must stop making rude comments about Peruvian buses.


Sun 7th November

We arrive in Puno at 0430 or was it 0530.  We have to change buses.  The ticket collector ripped off the part of ours that says La Paz.  The people on the new bus want us to pay extra for Puno – La Paz.  The old bus people can’t find the original chit.  They go through all their tickets and find the other halves.  They keep wanting to know when and where we bought the tickets.  I have an envelope with the name of the tourist agency.  We are shown to another coach.


Dawn breaks over Puno.  The sky is very beautiful in mauve and pink and blue.  We expected to have to wait until 0800 and we spend the time watching the dogs and the bicycle carriers, for cargo and people, in the street outside.  We are moved to yet another coach.  Our tickets have long since disappeared and we are travelling on an envelope now.  We meet up with Jenny and a Scot, Paul, who came to Puno to visit Lake Titicaca.  We arrive in La Paz at 1700 ish.  We want to go to the youth hostal but can’t find it.  Hotel Turino is suggested by the taxi driver.  They are checking in eight Argentineans so there is a bit of a delay.  A room with a bath costs 70B (£7.45).


Mon 8th November

We head for Sagarnaga to look for tourist agencies.  At Saranani Tours we meet Gonzales and his friend who speak English.  They offer us trips to Rurrenabaque $210 (£130.00) for six days and Uyuni $100 (£62.00) for four days. We check on other tours with other agencies but they do not speak such good English and are more vague.  We return to Saranani and hassle Gonzales, in the nicest possible way, for $10 discount.  Gonzales disappears to buy us tickets on the plane to Reyes (not Rurrenabaque for some reason) and his friend talks politics.  At the Internet café I look up the Chilean boat trip Jen wants to take with Navimag.  All the available cabins are very expensive.


We eat out that night at restaurant Huari where there is a cover charge of 25B each for the floor show.  They have two bands for one hour each and the dancers.  The dancers are very talented but we didn’t think to bring a camera.  One of the dances simulates fighting.  Then they are dressed as scarecrows.  The girls have beautiful tops in black velvet with beading.  Later the men wear huge ornate suits which must be heavy.  I am asked to dance by a fellow diner who suggests I swing my hips more.  This does not have the same effect  with leggings as with the dancers’ short skirts.  We eat llama steak and llama kebabs, which are excellent.  The waiter brings us llama jerky (tiny fried strips of llama) to taste.  When we leave the restaurant La Paz is deserted apart from a few young drunks.


The Burger King building in La Paz is worth a mention.  We thought it was a bank when we first saw it.  A huge modern structure, it has big windows and a giant sculpture in the entrance.

Tue 9th November

As we walk through the city we pass a demonstration with firecrackers and riot police.  Saranani have not managed to get our train tickets from Oruro, to start the Uyuni trip so we stop for a while and chat with Gonzales about the cocaine business in Bolivia.  He is happy that cocaine brings money into Bolivia and does not like the US interference.  He promises to bring the tickets to our hotel tomorrow.  The bus to Coroico leaves from Villa Fatima and there is one just leaving.  This is the trip described in the guide book as the most dangerous in South America.  It is safer now that the road is one way up in the day and one way back in the evening.


We drive through the mountains and encounter snow and sleet.  I am still wearing shorts.  The vegetation changes to jungle type.  The road is a single track cut into the mountains.  There are spectacular drops.  It is very reminiscent of the road to Kathmandu except then we were in a double decker bus.  The trip is supposed to take 3 hours from 1200 to 1500.  At 1430 we stop.  There is lots of walking around up and down the hill.  Perhaps 15 vehicles have stopped. Someone explains in Spanish but all we can understand is that it is something to do with a lorry.  Jen and I go to investigate.  There are lots of people under and around the lorry which has broken down in the middle of the road.  When we start moving again we begin to meet traffic coming up.  Our bus has to manoeuvre as close to the edge as possible so the other vehicle can pass by on the inside.  The journey takes 6 hours in all.


We arrive in Coroico in the mist and rain.  Coroico is perched on a hill at 1760m amid orange and banana groves and coffee plantations.  Hostal Kory, off the main square, has a cold swimming pool.  We want to eat in the restaurant attached to the hostal but the atmosphere is gloomy as there is no electricity.  Then the electricity is restored and life comes back to the restaurant.  The cook is an Argentine and the waiter is French.  The food is excellent but one has to be careful because the room is full of moths.  Big ones, little ones, medium sized ones and in your dinner ones.


Wed 10th November

Jen and I go out for a walk.  We attempt to take a short cut home and end up scrambling down the hillside.  Tired and dirty we come across El Viejo Molino, a beautiful modern hotel with a swimming pool.  I wonder where the money came from?


We stop for coffee and ask if we can use the pool.  We can.  We stop for lunch.  96B later we feel we ought to leave.  Coroico is an interesting town in a beautiful setting.  It is a pity we didn’t manage to see the coca plantations.  Our collectivo trip back to La Paz is uneventful.  Gonzalez and his friend are waiting at our hotel with the Uyuni tickets.  This time we have a different room in the old part.  The beds are uncomfortable and the area is very noisy.


Thu 11th November

Our taxi driver wants 45B to go to the military airport but has no change so we have to give him 50B.  The plane is a Fokker F-27.  We fly over flat plains with tilled fields, mountains covered in snow and then lots of bare rock followed by jungle as far as you can see.  The orange colour of the large winding river contrasts with the green of the trees.  The other passengers give a round of applause when the plane lands on the grass airfield at Reyes.  We have to wait whilst our luggage is unloaded and collect it from the plane side.


A ute takes us into Rurre (8B - £0.85 each), belting down the unmade road in the middle, moving to the side when someone else comes or wants to overtake.  We pick up the driver of a broken down ute and take him to nearest village.  We see herons and butterflies but the trip is too fast and dusty to see much.  Our companions are four German girls.


Rurrenabaque is 200 km north-east of La Paz.  Situated on the banks of the Río Beni it is an important trading centre and transportation link for Beni Department.  The Oriental hotel in Rurrenabaque has a reservation for Jennifer and Kathryn.  The garden is full of mango trees and parakeets.  When the mangoes are ripe they drop off the tree with a tremendous crash.  At Bala Tours they confirm our trips.


Lunch consists of beef cazuela (stew), spicy meat, rice and bean salad and boiled plantain (6B - £0.64 each) in a small restaurant by the river.  It is very hot and we return to the hotel to rest in the hammocks.  Jen is feeling sick and is sick.  The only thing she wants is water melon.  I scour the town looking for water melon but when I return with it Jen has decided she doesn’t want that either.  In the evening I do not want to go to one of the gringo restaurants so choose one full of locals.  There is no menu just kebab, runny rice and salad for another 6B.  There are no drinks except gaseosa and refresca and then only in litres.


Fri 12th November

A very civilised start at 0900.  Jen is feeling better this morning.  We travel up the river Beni going south.  The river has a very fast current.  There is jungle on the banks and mountains behind.


After one and a half hours we stop at the Parque Nacional Madidi checkpoint for the guard to take our names.  Erick, our guide, turns off the outboard to refuel and the boat heads back to Rurrenabaque at a vast rate of knots.


We are now travelling on the river Tuichi and after three hours we dock at some mud steps. 100 yards later we see our camp of bamboo and blue plastic, with wooden staging off the ground.  Erick has mosquito nets and blankets and suggests we rest whilst he makes lunch.  It is very hot.


After lunch we go back to the boat and are off upstream? downstream? to go catfishing.  I have a lump of meat on a huge hook on a plastic line.  I get a bite and see something jump out of the water but it is too strong.  Even Erick finds it difficult to pull in the plastic line in time.


We have to leave to climb the mountain.  Another boat trip – there are so many islands and tributaries Jen and I are totally lost in an instant.  We cross a beach, with lovely pebbles, following in other footsteps.  There are green parrots at the top of tall trees and a sheer red cliff face full of holes where the birds are nesting.  It is time for them to lay their eggs.  I start walking up a water channel full of round slippery pebbles.  It gets more steep.  There is a liana to hold on to but it is so thin.  At the top of that face I have to swap to another, even thinner liana for the second bit which is worse.  My heart is pounding and my lungs are heaving.


Erick walks up carrying the juice.  We are now above the holes and can lean precariously over the edge holding onto trees to watch the parrots.  Macaws in red and blue fly past in pairs, formation flying.  They like to roost in the tops of the trees on top of the mountain.  Erick hears a monkey.  Jen and I are wondering if there is another way down but there isn’t.  It’s not so bad going down as the lianas didn’t break on the way up so it is OK to trust them.  When we express our fear Erick just laughs.  I can only see below me, where to put my feet.  I still try to hold on with my elbows.  It is a relief to be at the bottom, even the slippery stones don’t seem so bad.


Home for dinner, singani (Bolivian eau de vie) and orange and teaching Erick Rummikub by candlelight.  At 2100 our night walk begins.  We try the river banks at various places.  Although there are no animals drinking, there are lots of fireflies and the mosquitoes are having a field day.  We have to give up when the biting gets too bad.  Autan, Mosquito Milk, Jungle Juice, none has any effect unless it is to stop the other million biting.


Bed is a blanket on a bed roll on the wooden platform surrounded by a net.  It is very hard and itchy.  I try using the spare blanket as a pillow but it is too uncomfortable.  At 0145 I get my travel pillow and despite the heat wrap the other blanket around me.  At last I can sleep.


Sat 13th November

Jen is up with lark after a night of shouting and hiccuping.  I wasn’t sure if she was being sick or not.


Our jungle walk starts at 0900.  We cross streams and hack a virgin path into the forest, sometimes listening for animals, sometimes finding animal tracks, sometimes crossing animal runs but no animals, only a green snake which Erick implies is very poisonous.  We see a couple of woodpeckers attacking a tree.  Erick demonstrates the liana which supplies water.  It is surprisingly fresh but there is a hint of jungle.  I ask Erick how he knows where he is going.  He doesn’t.  I ask how he knows where the camp is.  He looks at the sun and the trees, which have thicker bark on one side than the other.


After three hours we are exhausted.  Walking is churning me up and I am not sure whether I shall faint from the heat, throw up or need to stop behind a tree.  I ask how far to the camp.  Another hour.  I’m going to die in the Bolivian jungle.  We seem to spend time going this way and that.  Are we lost or are we still looking for animals?  Jen and I couldn’t give a monkey’s at this point and just want to get home.  Erick takes pity on us and we begin to recognise the path.  How pleased we are to see that blue plastic sheeting.


Jen makes us a salad for lunch, she is gradually taking over the kitchen, as we can’t cope with anything hot.  In the afternoon we have another boat trip a short way downstream to go aground on the pebbles.  The river is shallow but still very fast.  We can swim in the deeper part to the far bank, walk up the bank and swim back across to the shallows.  Erick demonstrates.  Jen and I are convinced we will end up at Rurrenabaque so stick to the shallows.  If I hold on to the pebbles and I can just about stay where I am.  It is lovely to be in the cool, albeit brown water.  After a long and wrinkly soak I find ticks on my legs which have to be picked off one by one.  We go back to the beach.  The pebbles are hard to walk on and very hot.  It has clouded over a little but is still very hot.  The breeze whilst the boat is moving is refreshing.


We go back to camp for tea and biccies.  The heat soon comes in and the cool, refreshed body becomes hot and clammy once again.  I have been stung by a wasp but what’s another mark.  Swimming in the water has shown up all the bites we didn’t know we had although they don’t seem to be itching … yet.  The backs of my thighs have a lovely crop.  Where did they come from?  Ants on the bench last night?  We are astounded at the number of different bugs we can see in the light of the candles.


Sun 14th November

Pancake and jam for breakfast, a boat trip and then a walk to not see the monkeys.  Although there is no climbing we still have to clamber up a dry river bed.  It is very hot.  Jen wants to give up but won’t.  After two hours we are weakening but Erick is still hacking his way through the jungle.  I fall over.  Vines 1 Kath 0.  They try and wrap around my feet.  Also stepping on things on the ground brings other bits down from above to slap me around the ear.  Erick finds us water in the banana like plants and various fruits and berries to eat.  He is just demonstrating that he could stay alive in the jungle for ages.  We are only too pleased to get back to the cliff edge but then have to hack our way along it to find the path down.


After the difficult bit scrambling down Erick suggests I lead the way.  “Katrin guia”.  It is surprisingly hard as the path is only slightly different to the rest of the jungle.  Looking ahead is hopeless, everything blends in.  This walk has started at the other campamiento, past the lavatory in fact.


Erick says when we get back there will be another group but he doesn’t know which camp they will choose.  As we have to walk through one and go back to other we will find out.  We pass a clearing containing the beginnings of yet a third camp – another company says Erick.


At our mooring there is a second boat.  In our camp are the four German girls from our flight deep in conflab with a guide and two more chaps in the kitchen.  Jen is telling the new chaps how wonderful Erick is and how he is her third son when one of them says “he is my first son”.  It is Erick’s dad!  They have been walking in the jungle together since Erick was little.  The other group have a cook and a guide and a second guide for some reason.  Jen points out that Dad should have been with us and Erick with the young girls.  Erick agrees.  Their cook brings around water to wash their hands before lunch.  Erick you never did that.  Erick’s dad says they are the first class group.  We retreat to play Rummikub, because Erick has the taste for it, amid much banter.  They might be first class but we have the young man.


We leave them to it and go swimming again.  Jen and I have no clothes on and Erick is mending the engine.  He later joins us but is very discreet.  Back at the mooring, Dad and friend are washing up and Erick joins them with our dirty dishes whilst Jen and I load the boat.  It rains on the way back, and I have a mad scrabble for our macs. 


Erick picks up a woman and her four children to give them a lift back to Rurre.  This is normal river etiquette.  She doesn’t want to go to the jetty in Rurre but prefers the mud half a mile outside town.  She has to lift the children over the soft ground one by one.  They stand, up the their knees in mud, waiting patiently for their turn.


The first person we see at the floating restaurant is Jenny so we arrange to have dinner together later.  The local football team won the cup and the town is full of celebrating football fans.


Mon 15th November

At Bala Tours at 0830 the next morning there is still some confusion as to whether we have a flight back to La Paz.  We cannot worry about it and will see when we return to Rurrenabaque.


Our new group consists of Tom, Michael, Rachel, Robert and us (all English), a guide, Wil, a driver and a cook, Leo.  We have to travel in a 4WD in the heat and dust for 4 hours.  Towards the end of the journey we stop for some watermelon and drinks.  The café can supply these but has no running water.


We reach another blue plastic camp.  It contains a group, waiting to go back to Rurrenabaque with our driver.  They are having lunch.  One of the girls wants more juice from the plastic esky but there is no-one to serve her.  I suggest she dips her cup into the esky but, no, she would rather wait for the cook to use another cup to collect juice from the esky and then pour it into her cup.  She says “we must keep up the hygiene standards”.  Jen and I have difficulty controlling our hysterical laughter.  Doesn’t she know the cups are washed in the river?


We take a boat down the Yacuma river.  The river banks are full of herons, egrets, capybaras and crocodiles.


The trees are full of many other birds and howler monkeys.  When we reach our camp, our guide and cook jump in the river to cool off.  Jen and I feel it must be safe and join them.  We know there are piranhas around and suddenly I can feel something nibbling at my leg.  Wil and Leo fall about at my reaction and explain that they are only sardines.  If they were piranhas they would actually bite.


Tue 16th November

We all pile into the boat and go down river.  We walk in the searing heat across the pampas to a lagoon, anaconda hunting.  The first one Wil finds is venomous and only small, 5-6 ft.  The second one is a constrictor and 3.5m long.


I was all ready to give up before finding the second one because of the heat but Wil insisted on staying a little longer.  I have no hat.  My head is beginning to explode despite covering it with my shirt.  By the time we get back to the boat the clouds have arrived (pity they didn’t turn up earlier) and on the way home it tips down.  We are all soaking wet and our only dry clothes are shorts and t-shirts (not good for covering up against the mosquitoes).


Later we have another boat trip.  We are told the commotion in the water is caused by dolphins and we can see something but not enough to determine its species.  It is possible to swim with the dolphins because the crocodiles do not attack them and apparently will not attack us but we don’t try it.  We climb up a mud cliff with Wil going ahead cutting steps to another part of the river.  We try fishing with small lines and hooks for sardines and piranhas.  The crocodiles watch Tom catching sardines and Wil catches a yellow piranha.  Leo joins us. He was preparing food in the boat to avoid mosquitoes and catches one (sardine) immediately.  Wil tries to catch a crocodile with the piranha.  The rest of us are hopeless and feed the fish.


At the camp the mosquitoes are gathering and bothering Wil and Leo as much as us which makes us feel better.  I pass on the boat ride to see crocodile eyes at night and am just falling asleep when they all invade my camp.


Wed 17th November

It rained most of the night.  If it rains a lot the 4WD can’t get through or isn’t allowed through and we are stranded at the camp by the bridge.  Also the planes cannot take off from the airport at Reyes or Rurrenabaque.  The rainy season is on the way.  The mosquitoes start as soon as I emerge from my net.  After breakfast, I only get small meals now because Leo has noticed I don’t eat much, it is too hot, the camp is packed away into the boat.  It is still interesting going down river spotting the crocodiles, turtles, capybara, monkeys, herons, hoatxin and kingfishers.  Some of our clothes are still wet and all smell.


At the bridge camp Wil takes the other four off for a walk.  Jen and I want to try Wil’s anti mosquito bite cure of alcohol, milk of magnesia and then acne cream.  Leo is preparing lunch and chatting to the bridge keeper.  I raid the bundles for a net and erect it at the far end of the camp.  Jen removes her clothes so I can operate on her and then we swap.  There is lots of giggling.  Goodness knows what Leo thought but he doesn’t say anything.  The miracle cure has a wonderful cooling effect and the bites are relieved for a while.


Afterwards we offer to help with lunch but we are not allowed.  We play Rummikub instead.  I seem to win more often these days.


The 4WD arrives.  I get to sit in the front on my own because I’m a girl with long legs.  We have one tape in English, the Eagles.  A toucan flies over the road just in front of us, looking just like a cartoon bird.  At one point we have to stop because there is a crocodile in the road.  Eventually Wil joins me in the front because it is too uncomfortable with four on the seat behind.  It is a nice warm temperature at Rurrenabaque.  We give Wil and Leo a 25B tip each.


There is no electricity at our hotel but who cares about cold showers.  We reward ourselves with an ice-cream and are accosted by a Bolivian student with a questionnaire in unusual English about tourism in Bolivia.  Our dirty clothes have to be left outside our room because they smell too awful.


Thu 18th November

We go back to Bala Tours to leave Erick a tip.  He’s in the jungle and should be back at 1700 so we decide to return then.  Fortunately one of the laundries is open.  Someone has recommended the swimming pool and at that time we are the only customers.  The water is green and cool.  We meet Terence from Adelaide and Adrienne with parents in Carnon Downs.  Terence is constantly on the scrounge (for cigarettes, food, drinks, sun tan cream, books, anything) which gets a little wearing after a while.  Adrienne met her Bolivian husband in Sussex and has lived in La Paz for 11 years.  Shortly her parents are coming out to visit and want to move to La Paz.


We nip out for lunch and then go back to pool.  We have to leave to go down to the river and wait for Erick.  He doesn’t arrive.  At Bala we discovered that Erick returned early.  We leave a note and the money.  On the way to our hotel after dinner Erick turns up.  Today is a fiesta for the somethingth anniversary of Beni (the department in which Rurrenabaque is situated)  – come to the disco.  Erick’s Dad is there.  Lots of people are sitting, drinking, outside.  Inside they stand in a line to dance.  I can have Coca-Cola or beer.  Jen and I try some wilder dancing but they aren’t impressed.


Fri 19th November

We breakfast at Café Montacu where we can buy T shirts, post cards and stickers.  The truck takes us out to Rurrenabaque airport at 1130.  We wait for the plane.  The only refreshment is an unknown spiky yellow fruit with lemony seeds which leaves stains on your hands.  Jen and I are the last on the plane so there are only 2 seats left.  I sit facing backwards, without a window.  The only surprise is when we land as I don’t know it is about to happen.


La Paz feels cold to someone dressed in a T-shirt, covered with dried sweat.  At the Hotel Turino we have a good room in the new part.  We want more information so go back to Sagarnaga.  We know Gonzales has gone to Holland to see his family but his friend is not around either so we ask someone else.  He gives me an address where I might find some horses.  We ask about the San Pedro prison and Mongo’s, a restaurant that Rachel recommended to us.  Gonzales’ mate has arrived by then so we move to his office and tell him of our adventures.


Sat 20th November

We enquire at Hotel Gloria about a trip to thermal baths but are told Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays not Sundays (contradicting our guide book).  Today’s trip has already left..  The vegetarian restaurant attached to Hotel Gloria is the same as last year.  For lunch we are offered salad, soup, bread, refresca de alfalfa (a lovely green coloured still drink that tastes of grass), soya curry and rice, stuffed potato and cold veggies.  We take a collectivo to the horse address but it is too vague and we cannot find anything.


We come back via the San Pedro prison.  We can go in for a tour for 35B (£3.70) each and a couple of B for the section leaders.  The Police check the inmates at 0630 and 2100.  The State provides nothing except basic food.  The age range is supposed to be

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