Saw some more howler monkeys yesterday. Fairly close this time, almost directly beneath them. The alpha male was doing his gruff howling. Up close, you can hear all the little noises that get lost in the echoes of the jungle from a bigger distance. He sounded hoarse, like he’d been shouting and smoking all night; like he was your nicotine-soaked, yellow-moustached uncle wheezily shouting his way through a phone call from a creaky old ship radio somewhere in the Pacific, but – at your end – played very loudly though a Tannoy; like he quite needed a spoonful of honey or a couple of Lockets. Or something.
Aside from that, my Friday was another regular day. The sea was rough, and there was a nice breeze; I visited a gift shop called Fajina, which, I was disappointed to find out isn’t pronounced “vagina”; and I helped Ian lug a mahogany desk from town back to the cottages, and was pleasantly rewarded with some of Kate’s yummy egg sandwiches.
I saw what I think was an icebow, too. I’m not particularly up on what’s going on in the sky; I can just about find Orion and the Plough, but that’s about it. But, what I saw looked a bit like what is described in the Wikipedia entry for icebows: a halo around the moon. It looked pretty nice. Although, rather pathetically, I’d have swapped seeing it for seeing just one episode of Seinfeld. Oh, how I miss my Seinfeld DVDs.
And that was pretty much it. Actually, nothing worth blogging about. I’m getting quite excited about going to São Paulo now, though. I leave Belize tomorrow afternoon, fly the same old route via San Salvador and San Jose to Panama City, then on Monday morning, I’ll be flying over the Equator for the first time, and hoping for an upgrade, ’cause the thought of a seven-hour flight in economy is always quite a grim prospect, no?
I still don’t know what I’ll do with my time in Panama, though. I’ve got twelve hours between landing and taking off again. Take away two hours for check-in time, and more-or-less an hour to get through immigration and customs, and I’m down to nine hours of thumbs-twiddling. Do I splash out the US$25 each way for a cab to take me the half hour journey into town to stay in a hotel for what, in the end, will be about five or six hours sleep; or do I rough it in the airport where I will, undoubtedly, wish I’d spent the money on a hotel bed? There, really, is my answer.
In some ways, this – flying to Brazil – is the point where the trip begins. I only expected to be in Mexico City before heading to Brazil. My time in Belize and Panama were unplanned diversions, really, only visited because when I looked at flights from Mexico to Brazil, the cheapest one included changing flights in Panama City, which tempted me into spending some time elsewhere between Mexico and Brazil. And I’ve not had a guide book for any of my trip so far. I only bought one for South America, so I’ve had very little knowledge about the places I’ve been in. I did, of course, refer to what I’d written in Atlas, Schmatlas (still in all good book shops); and found that all I’d written about Belize was a paragraph of sarcasm about tourists trampling all over Mayan ruins, and that Panama is, apparently, an entirely man-made nation filling the gap between the Americas.
Sorry, this entry is really dull, huh?
Oh, I did get bitten by a doctor fly. That’s a tiny bit interesting. Right on the elbow. It swelled up a bit yesterday and was quite irritating for a while, but it seems okay-ish now. Little stupidly-named bastard. Still, who’s got an iPod, eh? Me or the doctor fly? That’s right, wing-boy, I can listen to any of Bruce Springsteen’s albums whenever I want!
And I’ve fallen in love: with talcum powder. It’s such a nice way, in this heat, to extend that post-shower period of feeling clean and un-clammy. They should make edible talcum powder. Strawberry flavour. Or maybe even coconut. So you can shake it all over and gulp down clouds of it, like when Sonic the Hedgehog gulps down the air bubbles when he’s underwater. And if I had a girlfriend, well we could… I think I’d better stop blogging now.
But before I do, here’s some photos of John and Papi the kinkajou. This morning was the first time I’ve seen him since he attacked me. Cute little bugger, you’ll likely agree, but this is as close as I ever want to get to one again.