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Published: March 12th 2012
The local wildlife
A shiny and very large brown beetle!
Ate breakfast which only provided one cup of coffee. As we had found a really nice coffee shop previously which handed out a glass of soda water and a sample piece of cake, we decided to rush there before getting on the bus for 9.30 am.
It was our turn to cook lunch, dinner and breakfast the following day together with two other group members. The plan had been to shop with the equivalent of £70 from the kitty at a couple of local shops two hours' drive away to ensure that we could get to the shops before everything closed for siesta between 1.00 and 5.00 pm. However, it appeared that whoever was supposed to put the padlock keys in their rightful place didn't do so and we, therefore, had to stop at a local locksmith on the outskirts of town while the existing padlocks were sawn off and new ones with keys obtained. We - and two others - (Josef and Eva) walked off down the road to a vegetable shop two blocks away and to a local grocery store to buy food. We could not find everything we wanted nor could the other group who were due to cook the following day. When the locks were sorted, we drove a little further and stopped at a huge supermarket like a giant Tesco/Asda superstore. We tried to pay for melons and chillis but hadn't realised it all needed weighing in advance of the tills. It was a bit of a performance but we bought what we needed in the end! We finally brought it all back to the bus and then drove on around a lake in the mountains to Salta Rafting situated at a camp site by the river. On arrival about 3.00 pm, the four of us prepared lunch while Ivan and Dave kindly put our tent up for us. It would almost be worth cooking at every camp stop for them to put up our tent as they made a far better job of it than we would have done! Lunch was tuna mayonnaise and onion, cheese, fresh bred rolls, guacamole ( made by Ed) and salad stuff plus a huge pack of loose biscuits. Everyone was extremely appreciative. We sat around while some people went across the valley on zip wires after lunch - not our thing! We had showers which are solar-heated and as it hadn't been particularly sunny that day, they just had the chill tken off the water. We prepared dinner - vegetable curry and rice followed by bananas in brown sugar, lemon, butter, cream and flamed in whisky (the original recipe has brandy and is done in the microwave - neither of which were available!) Again, all were suitably appreciative. Ivan and Dave made Sangria and most of the younger ones proceeded to get drunk. It was Josef's birthday so the fancy dress was pulled out yet again. We thought we could ignore ths but two clown costumes were forced upon us from the dressing up box left ovr from Carnivale time and regrettbly, we looked as silly as everyone else! After dinner, we sat around chatting until midnight and crawled into our tent to sleep. Tenting is a real pain when you need the toilet in the night!
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