Masters of the Dance

IX. The Fire Dancers

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27 January Merida Map
Easy day. I checked email, ate, and didn't walk anywhere! I looked for Kathy at Posada Allemenia, but she wasn't in so I left a note for her to meet me at supper.

At 7:30, I met her at La Mamma, had some good pizza, and then arranged to meet at Briosca later (she had to make a call). Back to the Posada to veg with the Swedish guys, hear their tales of local conquest, and have a few beers.

At 11:00, I met Kathy at Briosca. We proceeded to drink, of course, but it was a quiet night. Supposedly, it was some sort of draft night, where people could be taken into the military. Or so I was told. There ended up being mostly foreign students and tourists. Kathy and I found a good vantage point up on a table and people watched. We arranged to meet the next day for a hike (weather permitting).

28 January Merida Map
Kathy :: Merida, Venezuela
Merida, Venezuela
I met Kathy at her Posada at 11:00, but it was a cold, rainy day. No one knew what to make of this weather. It was no weather for a serious hike, anyway. It turns out, a couple German guys at her Posada wanted to go out to the hot springs. "Hot springs?" my aching back and knees and ankle inquire. Sounds good to me! The four of us piled into their 1970's Dodge Charger, popped open some cervazas and to the tune of German techno blasting on the boombox, we blazed through town and plunged into the crazy roads outside of town. In Tamay, they usually parked their car and walked, but this time, they wanted to try the road they had seen. Slowly, our antique wreck inched up the road. At first, it was just steep. But it was soon obvious only 4wd trucks came this way, as the road soon decayed. We parked the car and walked (limped) the rest of the way. The springs themselves were just a pool, but it was clean, and almost empty. Not as hot as I would have liked, but a good temp to sit and soak for a long time. After a couple hours, we dragged our wrinkled, lethargic bodies out of the pool and trudged back to the car.

Back in Merida, I had to pick up my laundry and send flowers to Amy, so I took my leave and did my chores. But after supper, I felt poor, like a cold coming on, so I took a short nap to rest up for dancing later. A nap that ended up lasting 11 hours...

29 January Merida Map
Sunshine! For the first time in a week, it was a sunny day in Merida. I celebrated with a nice easy walk into the valley opposite town, but my ankle and knee forced me back to town. Still, I worked up a nice sweat and deserved those drinks later. Then, I sat in the (nice and sunny) park, and finally brought this journal up to date. For the first time since arriving in Venezuela. I still have to catch up on almost a month of Ecuador. [Never happened] Ugh. Time now for a shower and supper, then meet Kathy later. Ow, my hand aches from so much writing! :-)

I ended up going to Kathy's place before supper, and the two of us went (where else?) to La Mamma for pasta and a couple hours of chatting. Poor girl, she had a massive hangover from last night and was barely functioning. She went back to her Posada for coffee, and I started the night. A few drinks at ___, then down the street to the library to watch Titanic. Wow, it sent me back almost exactly one year to watching it with Noi in Bangkok. I get around, I guess...

Then, to Briosca. It was Friday night, and the place was hopping. Kathy never showed up, though. She must have gone to bed instead. I ended up chatting with some local girls I met last week, Jenni, and ?. When the place closed, I joined them going around the corner to another club, where the drinking continued. And got completely out of hand. At some point, I met Milheny. I know this only because I have her phone number in my pocket now... Twice. I think we took a taxi to Cucaracha. I think we went dancing there. I think we took a taxi back... In between, no se... Must have gotten home after 6:00. I think...

Cuba Libra: 800-1200
Email: 2400/2200/hour 18th between 6&7
2000/hour 21th between 4&5

30 January Merida Map
A door opens, and I awake with a start. It's 11:00, and I feel fine. Well, hazy, but fine.

I checked email at a new place: Calle 21, between Ave. 4&5. 2000/hour. Good emails. Amy was happy with the flowers, Stace was coming to visit in April, Charlie wanted me to take care of her after an operation in March, people, people, people...

At night, I went out for a few with a German guy from the posada. But he just got off a 20-hour ride from Puerto La Cruz, so wanted to turn in early. It was still too early for Birosca, so I went home as well. Good timing. It was one of the girls who ran the posada's birthday, and they were having a party. All were invited. Cake, coke, beer, whiskey, rum, the works. Everyone took turns singing his or her own country's version of Happy Birthday. Fun time.

31 January Merida Map
Up late again. It's Sunday, so nothing's happening. Slow day spent just sitting around. My cold knocked me out for a few hour's sleep in the afternoon. Other than that, not much went on...

Email me at nomad3 @ GoneWalkabout.com

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