Yay no roosters, no loud music, and yay being able to get dressed upright, and have a warm shower 🙂
I skyped with my daughter Shellbe last night who is currently in Vietnam, it was great to catch up with her and all her news.
I had to be downstairs at 9am to go and drop off the laundry. There was a laundry just up the road who will do it for you and charges by the kilogram. 24,000 pesos for 4 kilos, which is approximately $11 NZ.
I forgot to take my towel, so I will have to wash it by hand back at the hotel. Then off to the bike shop to get inner tubes, tyres and more brake pads (I suspect the two I bought with me will not be enough). I caught a taxi to the bike shop, which was about a 30 minutes taxi ride away. The traffic, even at this time of day, was gridlocked. The taxis though are surprisingly cheap – the trip cost 16,000 pesos which is less than $8 New Zealand dollars!
There was a group of four bike shops in a row. I managed to get everything I needed. I bought 6 inner tubes, 2 patch repair kits, as well as the tyres and brake pads. I paid by credit card and signed the receipt. When I left the shop they came running after me as they thought I had the signed copy. Who knows where it went, as I didn’t have it and they couldn’t find it. They wanted me to repay and sign another one, which I had no intention of doing, as it had already been approved electronically. Given the language barrier it was a bit like a scene from Faulty Towers! Eventually after I had turned out all the bags and pockets, and shaking my head each time I was offered a pen, they let it go. There were a number of other riders also trying to get parts for their bikes, and some having real difficulty. Phil was having no luck getting what he needed to fix his two bottom gears.
I got a taxi back to the hotel to have something to eat, and skyped with Kelly and Lucy, and Lizzy and Xavier. It was great to have a good wifi signal.
Then I went down to clean my bike and sort out the tyres etc. I discovered I had a heap of grass in the cluster and generally the bike was pretty caked with dirt. I got the new tyre on the back, so fingers crossed the issue with flats is sorted. I was not able to get the same type of tyre, so bought two different ones with a slightly smaller tread that I will use on the road. The ones currently on the bike are heavy and better for off-road, as slower on the paved road. I still have one brand new spare of these tyres.
Once the bike was sorted I went off to buy water and other supplies. I needed to get some more lip cream and went into what I thought was a pharmacy type shop and mimed lip stuff. Not surprisingly they had none as I was reassured after I came out that it was actually a pet store!
When I got back to the hotel I bumped into Phil who had just arrived back in a taxi. The bike shops were not able to help him, but would you believe the taxi had been a professional bike rider and managed to get his bike sorted.
I went for dinner at a meat barbecue type of place. On the way there I was looking at the tallest building which had a very colourful light display, including cyclists riding around the building and dolphins swimming. I was more concentrating on this than my surroundings, and got a hell of a fright when a small homeless man jumped up into my face and went boo! My reaction caused general merriment with the surrounding locals. Sue had an encounter of a different kind during the day, when she was in the Bolivar Plaza she was asked if she wanted some cocaine! Sue is very partial to coke but not that variety!
Off to bed now, at 9:30pm.