I started the day feeling slightly out of sorts and didn’t quite know what I felt like doing. It was pouring with rain once again, so I lingered over breakfast, chatting to Angela, a Belgian lady, who lent me a hairdryer to dry out my camera in the hope that that would solve the problem. Eventually, I decided to go swimming after I had dropped my washing at the laundry.
By this time, it was nearly midday, which meant that it was too late to be able to get my clean clothes back that day and I then discovered that the swimming pool didn’t open until 2pm. What to do until then? I wasn’t hungry enough for lunch so walked up to the Bellavista view point and had a look at the town from a different hill.
Needless to say, the walk was vertical. It had also become quite warm, I had forgotten to bring water (actually, the bottle wouldn’t fit in my backpack with the washing and swimming togs) and I was wearing my warmest clothes (skinny jeans, which are definitely going to be jettisoned and merino t shirt). I was accompanied all the way to the top by the sound of a brass band, practising on one of the soccer fields below.
Back in town, I bought a much needed drink and then headed for the pools, where I waited for the cashier to arrive. I was the only person swimming in the lane pool, not surprisingly, as it was freezing. I forced myself to do 20 lengths, which was a struggle not only because of the cold but also because of my fitness, and then rewarded myself with a dip in the warmer pool, followed by a steam bath and jacuzzi. Afterwards, I squeezed myself back into my skinny jeans (who invented them?!) and went off to the money machine to extract the final instalment for the Galapagos. Here, I discovered that not all ATM’s restrict you to $300. This one permitted $600 per day, so it is a pity I didn’t find it earlier.
After finalising the trip with the travel agency, it was too late to stop for lunch as I had an appointment for a facial with Angie, the massage lady, at the Casa, so I bought a fruit juice and avocado in the market and some rolls and cake at the bakery and headed back. The sun had miraculously made an appearance, the sky was a deep blue and it was hot. What a difference it made to the landscape!
The facial was a whole new experience for me. Firstly, I had to lie on my stomach with my head, under a towel, hanging over the edge of the bed and a bowl of fragranced hot water. Whilst I was doing this, Angie massaged my back, gently this time, so it was very relaxing. Next, she wiped off the prolific sweat and scrubbed the top layer of skin off my face with something very gritty. She also found a few spots to pierce with something sharp. (I hope the pain I undergo in order to make this blog interesting to readers is appreciated!) Then came the clay mask and I was left on the table, in the dark, listening to gentle music. Lastly, my face, shoulders and neck were gently massaged with cream. Wonderful! I can thoroughly recommend this treatment.
Afterwards, I was practically asleep, so another evening was spent in my room, doing very little.