Angry birds - and new bicycles

Mystic of Holyhead (successor to Lynn Rival)
Rachel and Paul Chandler
Sun 17 Nov 2013 21:04

After a spot of R and R in nearby Colonia . . .                  it's back to work on the boom -fixing the kicker attachment . . .

 . . . and modifying the Boomlock fitting to suit a 30 x 3mm slot rather than 25 x 6mm

 . . . and finally mating it to the mast

We noticed some birds perching on the replacement boom while it was resting on the pulpit (the liferaft and the pulpit made good substitute Workmates).  They were dropping bits of hay on the deck from time to time.  Little did we realise they were building a nest inside the clew end while Paul was busy fitting the gooseneck end, installing the attachments for the kicker and Boomlock, etc.  By the time we found it there was quite a mass of hay to be removed.  The birds are now flying around looking rather annoyed and perplexed.

"Where's our birdbox gone?"

People have remarked that we were lucky to find what we wanted in Uruguay but looking around at all the old, sometimes vintage, cars on the streets it seems that Uruguayans still have the space and inclination to keep things.  Who knows what you might find here - if you have the time and patience to search?

Time to buy some wheels?  Not sure about the colour . . .

 . . . and this one would be better when it rains, but . . .

We're getting to know Juan Lacaze a bit better now and have decided to base Lynn Rival here while we do some exploring in Argentina.  The town is well spread out and as the Uruguayan countryside is ideal for biking it was time to buy ourselves some wheels.  We've resisted until now because we've never liked the idea of having - all too soon in saltwater - rusty bikes cluttering Lynn Rival's decks, and we don't have room to store them below.  We scoured the town for bike shops and soon found what we wanted.  In the process of making our purchase we met not only Sophia (the bike shop owner) but her husband, niece and other members of the family who chipped in to help - usually by offering an observation in rapid Uruguayan Spanish. 

Everyone knows everyone in Juan Lacaze and there are few foreigners around so our presence has been noted we are increasingly greeted with knowing rather than puzzled looks.  Shopping is a relaxed affair where shop-owners and customers chat.  Unfortunately, we are still struggling with the language.  Our daily audio lessons in Latin American Spanish have been a great help but the problem is that the dialect here - Rio Platense - has some crucial differences which our lessons have yet to address.  One of the trickiest is the pronunciation of "ll", which we have learned to pronounce as a "ye" sound but here is a "sh" sound.  We struggled to understand or be understood using basic words like calle (street) and pollo (chicken) until we realised!

During our week here we've got used to the paper factory, which hums and sings away, periodically getting louder and hissing for a while.  When the wind is light there can be a nasty pong, but usually not for long.  And the sunsets here are gorgeous.

Lynn Rival is back in fighting form, but she'll have a well deserved rest and a spot of maintenance before we move on

For the next few months we are planning to indulge in some "wrinkly backpacking" around Argentina - though not roughing it too much and only leaving the boat for a few weeks at a time.  Our first trip will be to the Iguazu falls and the northeast...