Travel Journal

5 weeks into our stay in Ilha Solteira

(Sunday 15 March 2009) by Brennan-adventures
We have left U.K. 5 weeks now, for us it does not seem that long.

This week has been strange in so much as the temperature is higher now than in the summer…. We are starting autumn. This week we have suffered, and were praying for a thunderstorm to lower the temperatures. I don’t see too much hope of that as the skies are blue without a cloud. All the locals are complaining about the heat….Hitting the high 30c’s during the day and still 29c at 9pm. I have been using the library when I can.

Outside Air-con it is like sitting in front of a hot open oven door with the fan blowing this heat at you constantly. Any fan just moves this hot air around, your eyes feel gritty and I feel like I am a brown bear in the Sahara…. I must get some of this hair cut off... I am so growly at the moment; I just cannot get comfy and am constantly weary. Poor Mike is sick of me moaning. Maybe this is the opposite weather to your bad snow??? I will try to blow some of the warm weather your way.

However I did learn some interesting things last week, two in particular.
I was buying an avocado, they are the size of rugby balls here. One would feed a family for a week!! I also saw different types of fruit, …. I have no idea what they are; special Brazilian ones!! One was called Caju it was an orange coloured fruit about the size of a plum tomato, with a hooked thick stalk on the top. I suddenly realised this was a cashew nut on top of the fruit. I asked one of our friend later and I had been correct, the stalk part is the nut…. One nut per fruit!! I now realise why cashew nuts are so expensive. People here use the fruit for a drink or flavouring…. For me it is too strong and bitter. :-|

Back to the avocado I was telling them how small they were in the u.k. When it was explained to me the avocado trees here are the same size as the mango trees…. About the size of Oak trees in the U.K. I was stunned, as a kid I had grown an avocado seed and after spouting had reached the dizzy height of 3 feet and died….. well I never had green fingers! My quest is to see an avocado tree here.

This weekend we have an artisan fair in town. People from other towns are invited along to sell their wares.
There are small rides for the kids and food stalls run by the Rotary and Churches to make money for local charities.
A favourite thing at these events is Pastel…. A Thin piece of pastry with either a meat or cheese filling that is deep fried….. so good for you!! Mike had some pizza last week and chose bacon and cheese topping. It was so greasy and had so much cheese on; he found it difficult to eat the next day as his stomach was still so heavy…. I was glad I had given it a miss.
We will head out there around 8pm and see what is going on.

We have been invited to a birthday party on 21st March… a first birthday party. Start time 8pm… I tell you they start educating the children young to stay up late here.

Marilene has applied to the local council for us to get the tree trimmed…. Hopefully next week. She said the guy that comes will do the gardening!!! …………Apart from trimming the tree and a climbing plant; and pulling some weeds there is nothing much else to do.

We finaly saw the architect last week; we showed her our revised plans, she seemed quite excited by them. All credit to my Dad who redrew my crude sketches into something recognisable. She did say all the power points, lights and ceiling fans have to be specified on the drawings. Also the water points….. more thinking needed if the detail is that bad. Seemingly here, you cannot change your mind about positions of things unless it goes through planning again. Goodness knows if we ever build this house but playing and dreaming can be just as much fun.:-?

Last night the sunset over the river was stunning, the sky looked as if you has thrown red hot embers into it, I’ve never seen such a deep red. Another interesting thing we noticed, the river looks much closer at dusk, I think it’s because the light bounces off the water and makes it more visible whereas during the day the foliage masks the river.

Was at our pool around dusk last night and we had to beware of low flying bats!!. They whiz along the covered alleyway at the side of the house, a quick sharp turn; down to the pool for a drink and away. The wing span on some must be around 1ft. They are amazingly fast and it is great to watch their agility.
Another daily visitor to the pool is a yellow bird that makes a heck of a noise especially when it sees us. It’s like it is telling us off for being there. It is around the same size as our woodpeckers and looks like it has a similar beck. I asked and was told it doesn’t peck the trees like our woodpeckers. It too uses the pool to drink from. In the tree at the front (the damned tree) we have doves and pigeons nesting; also a cluster of sparrows. You can imagine the mess each morning!!

Well wondering what to do for dinner, better have something before 8pm or Mike will be biting his arm off!! We will probably go to the Bakery and see our waitresses… No just been told we are off to Marilene’s for dinner they have some visitors from Italy and want us there. Bet Mike will have a shivery bite before we go !! 7-)

Hope all well with you all, you have my e-mail address, let me know what is happening in your part of the world.

Laur x

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