We forced ourselves to leave their lovely, warm home and enter the light rain that had started, but it was with excitement and happiness about the friendly encounter. As it was still warm, the rain was quite refreshing and I couldn't help but sing along to my Ipod as we cycled in the rain. As we cycled through more farmland, with rolling hills the weather remained overcast, and grey, but the drizzle ceased. It was hot and humid though and made for sweaty cycling, with little shade offered along the way.
We stopped a couple of times for drinks and to get a sandwich at a petrol station, but other than that we just tried to cover the mileage for the day and the scenery gave us very little inspiration to stop for photos. It seems like the local people know that the scenery here isn't as interesting as in other parts of South America, but instead give us lovely encounters, so that I have at least one interesting thing to write each day on my blog. Otherwise it would be very dull reading at the moment; more farmland, more rolling hills, more winds in our faces.
As we approached our destination for the day we saw a sign for a camp-ground on the side of the road
. We could see from the road that lots of cars were there, and other people had tents set up, so we went in to enquire about staying there for the night. We had presumed that most proper camp-grounds would be closed up for the autumn/winter season, but this one was definitely still going. We found a nice spot by the river, which had a BBQ area and a picnic table, and were really impressed to learn that it was free to camp there. (Well there was a sign with the cost for the night, but they just waved it off when we asked who we needed to pay. I'm not sure if this was just because it is the end of the season or what.) They only wanted 4 pesos (80 cents or 50 pence) for a boiling hot shower and as I walked in the cleaner lady was scrubbing the shower block for me to use. Who has ever heard of cleaning the shower BEFORE a smelly, sweaty cyclist goes in?! It was a lovely little camping spot, which was quiet and secluded by the river. It was the perfect end to the day, and I was excited to be putting the tent up again. We are savouring our camping times now, as we don't know when it will be our last night and when we will no longer be able to camp easily.
After getting everything packed up and covering ourselves with suncream, we headed to the friendly local guy's house for breakfast. He had very kindly put together a spread of breads, cakes, jams and coffee. His daughter was also there, and we happily chatted to them both for about an hour. They seemed interested in our trip and happily answered our questions about their family and jobs etc. It was a really kind gesture and Kory and I both really enjoyed the easy conversation and laid back atmosphere. I am sure they both spoke more English than they let on, but it did us both good to have to use our Spanish for the whole conversation and our new friends were extremely patient and corrected us when our pronunciation failed us. Although we were pleased that we were able to communicate in Spanish, and realise that we have come a long way over the last 5 months, we still have a long way to go. The experience was great though and gave us another boost to listen to our Spanish lessons that we have been neglecting over the last month or so