Flip Flop Flying

Mopping up the weekend

with 5 comments

It was a fairly ordinary Sunday. It rained most of the day, and the restaurant (my wifi office) was full of Argentinians playing some sort of dominoes-ish game with coloured numbers on the pieces. It felt slightly odd to be sat in the restaurant with my headphones on, muttering under my breath, listening to live commentary of the game on the Liverpool FC website while folks all around were drinking their mate oblivious to the horrors that were being described into my ears.

Saturday night there was a big big thunderstorm which was one of the most beautiful that I’ve ever seen. I don’t remember seeing one from a beach before, so that may be why. When lightning came down behind the hills, the whole sky turned a glorious lilac colour, giving a split second’s worth of light to the whole bay. And with the benefit of a massive sky, a big expanse of ocean, and some hills to frame it, the forks of lightning looked magnificent. Hmmm, actually, that gets me thinking. Does lightning ever hit water? If so, I wonder how much of the surrounding water is electrified by it.

It’s still a bit overcast today, but my sunburn is on the mend, and should it get sunny between now and dusk, I’m out there a-bronzin’. (One of the effects of the sunburn seems to have been making my boy-nipples browner, which is not entirely unpleasant.) The hotel is thinning out now, folks going home after Easter. Lots of people left yesterday and even more today. But not the nice elderly German couple who spoke to me in Spanish in the elevator yesterday. When I looked at them blankly, the guy said something in poor English, and I recognised his Germanic tones, so I replied in German. He and his missus smiled, and we had a decent natter. I told a lie, though. I told them that I once lived in Berlin for six months, not seven years. Thus, they thought of me as a cultured Brit who’d done rather well with learning German, rather than a lazy embarrassment.

Earlier in the day, I was sharing the elevator with four teenage girls (steady on there with those thoughts, you paedos). They looked at me with that half-grin that youngsters look at oldies with. One of them, the eldest, about 15 or 16, asked me something.
“No hablo Español.”
“Are you English”
“I thought so. You look English.”
I like to think it was my air of intelligent sophistication that gave it away; but I imagine it was just my pasty-turned-pink head.

So anyway, it’s my last full day here, so I had a nice three hour walk this morning, along to the end of the beach, over the dunes, and to another beach called Santinho. There were some rocks there, so I did my best to feel manly and walked up some of them. It was quite a pathetic sight, really: slipping around in my flip flops, then ouch-ing my way over the limpet-encrusted rocks in bare feet.

Some pictures of my epic hike:

Anyway, I’m starting to get a bit stir-crazy in this hotel. I’ve not felt much motivation to do anything other than bum around this little town and use the beach, so I’m looking forward to packing my backpack and moving on tomorrow. I’ll be heading south to Porto Alegre (or the slightly-closer town of Gramado, if I can find a bus that will take me there without having to go to Porto Alegre first). I tried to do some planning last night, because I’m already about three weeks behind where I’d hoped to be by this point. The big question is, do I work my way down through Argentina, after visiting Uruguay and Buenos Aires, or do I just hop on a flight right down to Ushuaia and see Tierra del Fuego while the weather is still a tad autumny. That question kind of answers itself considering I don’t have a coat with me. I’ll have to buy one in Argentina, of course. But after ten weeks of sunshine, a bit of rosy-cheeked autumn will be a nice break. Still, that’s a couple of weeks off yet.

Time for a swim.

Written by Craig

March 24th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses to 'Mopping up the weekend'

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  1. > Does lightning ever hit water?

    Hmm. Must do, surely: 70% of the earth is water.

    Then again, maybe that’s not how lightning works. Maybe the ground gets charged or something, and water just doesn’t charge like that. Er.

    Hold on, here we go. Wikipedia:

    > Lightning rarely strikes the open ocean, although some sea regions are lightning “hot spots.” Winter storms passing off the east coast of the United States often erupt with electrical activity when they cross the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream, for example, has roughly as many lightning strikes as the southern plains of the USA.



    25 Mar 08 at 01:00

  2. Thank you, Waitepedia.
    Or Wikipaulia.


    25 Mar 08 at 01:17

  3. autumn – how i long for some autumn action. that beach looks fantastic. the big empty expanse looks great for cartwheeling along.


    25 Mar 08 at 04:41

  4. Hey!

    That dominoes-ish game is called Burako and it is often played in the beach or weekend houses…not sure why. Very argentinean thing.

    Can’t believe you haven´t made up your mind yet about going straight to the south or stopping in Baires first…Come here, get a proper coat (about 300-400 pesos in Zara!) then leave to Calafate!

    Besos x


    25 Mar 08 at 19:12

  5. Thanks, Laura, for the info.

    I will be going to Calafate, definitely. It was one of the reasons for coming to South America. I just fancy going south to north by buses. And experiencing some autumn in Tierra del Fuego. It’ll be a nice break after 10 weeks of sunshine. Yeh, I know: tough life…


    26 Mar 08 at 02:56

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