Day 16 – Normality

Today was a day of not a lot compared to the 15 days previous.

A few days back in BA we did a bit of planning – but only in the “doing your homework on the back of the bus” style i.e. having somewhere to stay tomorrow.

So today was a day of sorting stuff out. A bit of life administration. A bit of “downtime”. And time spent having good conversations with fellow guests and the owner of our accommodation.

Firstly we decided to do some work on this ‘ere  blog – hopefully you like the new location and style (though you will have seen it a few days ago which gives you an idea of how up to date we are).

Blogspot is a frustrating piece of software that unless you are prolific in HTML code is hard to get it to do what you want.  After a period of time trying unsuccessfully to add a map we decided to move to a WordPress blog – a simple process and much improved tool!

Well I say we – I mean Niki as I am not good with software. I go for a run round PN based on advice from our lovely Hostal owner Jacqueline – felt hard work after relative inactivity but great views.

The town of Peurto Natales is small and overrun (in a nice pleasant way and not in a give you rabies way) by dogs.

They are everywhere. They are sat down; they are sleeping; that are sat in the road; they are chasing cars; they are chasing runners (me); they are barking; they are very occasionally kept behind fences.  We like them.  After questioning our hostess we find that they are mainly wild but looked after by the locals with scraps etc.

With the blog moved we spend a couple of hours of switching between Trip Advisor, Hotels.com, the Lonely Planet book and the Kindle (loaded with other travel books) we have some more plans and head out for lunch and some shopping.

As part of lunch I try ‘Maté’.  A South American drink served in a particular style cup, with a metal straw linked to a sieved end, that sits inside what I initially thought smelt like used gerbil bedding material.

You add hot water. It is soaked up and disappears. You add more water. It is soaked up and disappears. This process repeats a lot. Until eventually there is enough liquid to be able to take a drink.

Initially my reaction is not good (I am reminded of a vegan pastry we bought in Chapel Allerton that tasted like damp cardboard and soil).

Perseverance sometimes is a good thing. And over time the flavour improves and becomes enjoyable.  The stuff is still VERY absorbent and takes almost an entire 1.25 litre flask of water. But by the end I like it and will order it again.  I feel even better when the lady in the cafe asks about sugar (which I didn’t use) and I am told it is “manly” to take it without!

We decide that in a bid to save cash to cook at home so visit the supermarket – something that I like to do abroad and makes me feel like you get to see a bit of normality in a place.

An evening of cooking spag bol in the hostal and chatting to fellow guests (Swiss) and the owner  is great fun. We share travel experiences as we are going to similar places but in a different order so can learn from each other. Niki works on her Spanish with Jacqueline whilst I do the washing up and finish off the red wine 🙂

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