Travel Journal

Ilha Solteira

(Friday 10 July 2009) by Brennan-adventures
Hello Folks me again….
Well things here have been back to sleepy hollow. Things here as exciting as ever... me looking for shoes and tops... not managing to find anything I like and Mike working!!
Babs when she was here wanted me to join Face book… I must admit it seems so difficult and time consuming I am not sure it will be a favourite of mine. Still it will be good to see all the photos from everyone else.*_*

The daily battle with the pigeons still rages here… Andy did a fine job when he was here and now when I appear with the broom they fly off….. Mike says he would fly off too if he was going to get a broom up the bum!!

I hope you’ve all noticed I have not been talking about the hairdressers lately… that’s because I’ve not been. So when Mike says I was there all the time you know its rubbish. We have started our dentist regime though, whitening and replacement fillings. So far I’ve been 3 times and got another 4 times booked.
He is whitening at the moment. It’s a strange regime, a silicone oval ring is forced with great hilarity onto your lips to keep them away from your teeth; it also helps keep your mouth open. Then a syringe of gunk is put between your gum and top of the teeth, this is hardened with a machine that looks like a hairdryer that gives out a blue light. Then the bleaching agent is spread over the teeth, again the blue light machine is used a couple of times, you have to sit for a further 5 mins before the bleaching agent is wiped off. The masking gel is pulled off and goodbye till next time.
We then spend every moment we can baring our fangs at the mirror and one another to see if we see a difference…. Looking like those apes that flash their teeth at each other!! I tell you it is the most stress we have at the moment. In the daylight I see a difference but indoors nothing!! :o)

In the centre of the town there has been decorations, flags and lights appearing over the last 3 weeks. Now there are life size statues and stuffed straw people; a church and lots of stalls to sell food from. There is also a huge stage for the band and another for the dancers…. A huge amount of work has gone into this festa.
It celebrates Three Saints… Sao Jao, Sao Antonio and sorry cannot remember the other
One of the saints is for marriage, and during July a girl can ask a man to marry her. The festival theme is a Fazenda.(Farm), and all the dancers wear denim and checked shirts/ dresses. The boys do make themselves look dopey by not buttoning the shirts correctly and painting on false moustaches. The girls have their hair in bunches and freckles painted on their faces.---- It is funny how they imagine farming people to be!! The music I think is dire, for me it is too samey with one beat…. Others love it; luckily Mike is not a lover so after a while we can leave.
This Festa was on for 3 nights the first weekend then again for three nights the following weekend. On the first night (Friday) we went along around 9pm. I have never seen so many people… It was difficult to walk around. The food stalls were doing a roaring trade, they were manned by volunteers and the Rotary, Lions, Nipon and Church groups all had large stalls.
The most popular was the Pastel stall followed by the Nipon (Japanese) then the BBQ one. There were other stalls selling drinks; Sweets; Ice-cream; Strawberries dipped in Chocolate. There was also something called Suisse Crepe. This was batter poured into moulds with either sweet or savoury fillings, a stick was inserted into the batter before cooking so you could hold it. When it was cooked it looked like a sausage dipped in batter. We chose chocolate…. I didn’t like the middle as it was a little mushy for me… Mike loved it.
I ordered what I thought was a strawberry shake made with condensed milk, ice and real strawberries, I was thrown when asked if I wanted Vodka or Champagne put in; I chose Vodka….. I only managed a couple of swings it was so strong… I was pretty wobbly on my feet. I am sure there was 200cl of vodka in it!! I am afraid it was wasted as I did not want to start performing my version of the Fazenda dance!! :-\
The band was 5 men strong, complete with an accordion (squeezebox) player. The crowd were not dancing in the square so I can only assume the music was not as popular as carnival music.

Passing the Nipon club on Saturday we saw the ladies getting the food organised for that evening… Mike had some Sukiyaki at the stall that evening and said it was delicious. I am so impressed with all the organisation, this is a real labour of love and endurance; I am sure everyone will be exhausted by Sunday evening.
The BBQ stall served both skewered meat and plates served with strips of beef/onions, rice, majoca (cassava root) and Fafofa… Cassava root ground to a powder with garlic, onion and finely chopped vegetables… very like dust.
We did also see Arabic food… good old “elephant leg” kebab, this however seemed to be made of pure meat or chicken with none of the fattiness of the usual kebab in the U.K.
Ohh such choice… me??? Well -I had mash potatoes and spinach before I left the house… exciting stuff!! I did buy some very salty popcorn at the festa; and woke during the night thinking I had been attacked by the superglue devil sticking my tongue to the roof of my mouth!! 7-)7-)

On Sunday night we were back there to eat, Mike chose the elephant leg… the chicken one. This was served with lettuce, chopped vegetables, chips wrapped in a pancake thing. It was busy and somehow we slipped through the cracks… 1 ½ hours later he got the food!!! By that time he could have gnawed his arm off!! Then he tells me it was not that nice… to commiserate we went off to the ice-cream parlour at 10-30pm for pudding!! :-^

I have been having stress in Ilha …. Not an easy thing to achieve but I have it!! The University server for internet is broken 8-O ....I have had to camp out in the local café.. this has w-fi. I not only use his w-fi, but also nick his electricity for 3-4 hours a day. I can only stay as long as I can manage to drink things… A milk shake lasts 2 hours!! He seems quite ok about the situation and I am now greeted like family.

Mike has been going for a body MOT, heart first.
The most trouble we had was when he found out he needed shaved to get the electrodes on his chest… The nurse was laughing at him so much I warned him to keep still or he may loose a nipple!! You have no idea about the fuss over a little bit of chest hair… I suggested waxing but the look on his face said it all. The doc has told him all is ok qwith his heart.
This weekend we are off to a hot springs in another state. It takes about 3 hours to get there and seemingly there are tiny fish there that nibble your skin…. That will be a first.
Mike does not know whether to wear a tee-shirt or not to cover his chest… Believe me the patches that have been shaved off are so small nobody would notice!!
Well will check in again next week with you all.
Take care until then.
Laur x

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