Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The fish aren't biting

No ridiculously early start today, so we could enjoy our final breakfast at the lodge before heading off to some of the smaller side-streams to try fishing for piranhas. Once again, this sounded more impressive in theory than it was in practice, as what fish there were were bloody tiny and seemed content to nibble at the edges of our bait without actually taking it properly. Still, wasn't too unpleasant sitting in the sun occasionally stringing the line out. Until the sun did a sudden vanishing act and we looked up to see a mass of dark clouds gathered across half the sky. Even Roberto looked faintly perturbed by this, so we packed up in short order and headed back at full speed for the lodge. And not a minute too soon - the rain started just before we got back, and was pelting down quite impressively by the time we had finished getting our bags ready for our departure that afternoon.

We had a bit of time to just chill out in the hammocks before a relatively early last lunch and the order to saddle up - Roberto was determined to take advantage of a break in the weather and get us back to the embarcation point at Santa Rosa as soon as possible. Once there we had a certain amount of "hurry up and wait" to go through until another Indígena vehicle (a Toyota Land Cruiser troop carrier this time) turned up to collect us. We pitched in to get the bags stowed under the tarp on the roof ASAP and then piled into the vehicle, where Jen and I found ourselves amongst those on the bench seats at the back of the troopie - this was ok to start with, but the effort to not slide off the bloody seats as we bounced back into town and the general uncomfortableness meant I was either sore or numb in several important places by the time we eventually got back to Rurre. On the bright side, there was way less mud than before, but the dried track meant more and harder bumps.

Once back in town, we paid a quick first stop at Amaszonas' offices - despite my fears from the day's rain, they were still expecting flights to be running the next day, so I paid a small admin fee and got my flight brought forward to the Wednesday afternoon, and started to dare to hope that I would be spared the bus back. After that, we dumped our bags back at El Curichal, cleaned up a little and then headed out to the bus station, to get the ticket back for Jen, who was, for reasons of budget and , in my opinion, masochism, going back at ground level. With this done, we found an internet cafe with a CD burner so I could make Jen a copy of the photos from the trip (and some from the salt flats) to replace those she had lost with her various departed cameras. Finally it was time for dinner and some drinks, the former courtesy of a little place called La Perla de Rurre, which Roberto had recommended, and the latter at the Moskkito bar, which proudly proclaims itself the "original travellers' bar in Rurre", and turned out to produce some quite pleasant cocktails. And then it was time for bed.