Seeing that yesterday evening, I discovered my foot was painfully injured — and that this morning it wasn't feeling much better — today I decided to just take it easy, and to relax on the beach in Abraão, with a book and a sandy towel. I didn't have much choice, really: I could barely walk! So it was a bit of gentle wandering today, and a bit of eating; but mostly, just sitting on the sand and reading. Nice weather today — those clouds have all but cleared up — so I had plenty of sun to keep me company. Well, it was nice to unwind and to take it easy anyhow — but hopefully the 'ol foot will heal up soon, so that I can be back in action for the end of my time here in Brazil.
When we returned from our Dos Rios hike this evening, the Italian guys invited us back to their guesthouse, for some drinks and a barbeque. Well, as with today's hike, the get-together turned out to be as late as it was chaotic: but in the end, it happened, and it was a great night out. All six of us from the hike showed up, as well as my mate Tom, and Larissa (who was feeling better by the evening), and a few other random friends of the group.
This morning I woke up in my bed, and looked around in utter confusion. How did I get here? I had no memory — none whatsoever — of retiring to bed last night. All that I remember about last night was: I'd gone up to the bar (without having had dinner — biiig mistake!); I'd had quite a few capirinhas with some friends up there; at some point, I'd changed into my swimmers and jumped into the jacuzzi; and after, I'd gotten out and kept talking to people. Then, my memory stops — completely blacks out. However, after talking to some of my roommates this morning, I think I've got a pretty good explanation of why that is.
Fate was against me as I boarded my bus out of Puno (to Copacabana) this morning. I'd just gotten on the bus and sat down, when I remembered that my passport was in my big backpack, which was stowed in the luggage compartment underneath. Since we were going to be crossing the border into Bolivia on this bus ride, I needed my passport. So I got off the bus, and ducked down to the luggage compartment to extract my passport from my bag. And that's how I left Peru with a bang.
It might look safe and easy and fun in the movies; but in the jungle, things break. On this morning's jungle hike and tour, we found a hanging vine, perfect for swinging on. We all had a go. I was fine, Ashley was fine, Stephan was fine, and Chris was fine. Then Wil went, and the vine snapped off. And down came Wil, from a height of about 1½m, and crashed onto his backside. Could have been any of us, but it just so happened that it was Wil. Anyway, be careful next time you're swinging in the jungle, OK?
A piece of advice for anyone who's planning on shoving 160 US dollars inside their shoes, and on then hiking through mud and through small streams: don't do it. Today, a small misstep in a river crossing on the Salkantay hike ended up costing me much more than a pair of wet feet. Keeping money in your shoes may sound like a good idea, as a precaution against theft; but there are other ways to be robbed of money, apart from having it pulled out of your pocket.
I hired a bicycle yesterday, and this morning — despite the weather still being rather sub-optimal — I decided to take it out for a spin. Turns out that this wasn't such a smart move. About 5 minutes into my first ride of San Francisco, I rode over a messy intersection of cable-car tracks in the road, and my bike simply toppled over. As a passer-by said to me, "when they get wet, those tracks are deadly, they turn into black ice". Fortunately, I wasn't going very fast at the time, and neither myself nor the bike were seriously injured. But I did get a bit of a flesh wound, on my left palm and my left knee (some of the usual suspects in bike prangs).