Spring in Puerto Sauce
After 3 nights at Lake Titicaca we flew back to Lima. It was a relief to be back at sea level and we'd saved up a treat for our last day together: the Museo Rafael Larco. It has the most amazing collection of ceramics and textiles, some thousands of years old, all beautifully presented in an 18th century mansion. There is even a whole section filled with erotic (seriously erotic) pottery! You can also visit the storerooms with shelves up to the ceiling, crammed with an incredible amount of pottery collected from all over Peru. If we had to choose just one museum to visit in Lima, this would be it.
Helen and Lynda flew home leaving us with a couple of more days to fill until our flight back to Buenos Aires. We went back to the Centro Historico and wandered around, finding an interesting house to visit - next to the city walls - where archaeologists are excavating, showing interesting new insights into life in the early days of Spanish rule (before all the grand buildings went up). And, since we were passing, we dropped into the Museum of the Inquisition to see where people were mercilessly interrogated and tortured. Another passing drop-in was the Central Bank museum, with 19th and 20th century paintings on show as well as old coinage - a light relief.
Back in Buenos Aires we spent an extra day visiting the police to obtain a report for the valuables stolen when passing through on our way to Peru. Having found the correct police station it was a straight-forward process. No doubt it is a regular and routine matter for them. (Sailing readers will be pleased to hear that our insurance, arranged by Topsail, again proved satisfactory.) Despite the unfortunate circumstances we enjoyed the chance of another steak and wine supper in our favourite restaurant.
On 1st October we were back in Uruguay and aboard Lynn Rival sitting on her mooring at Puerto Sauce. After travelling for almost a month it was good to be back in our own home but having not lived aboard since February there was plenty to sort out. The bicycles were a high priority as they make getting around town so much easier. They were given a good oiling and taken ashore where we keep them locked to a fence. Inevitably some bits of equipment need attention. A bugbear is that some of the underwater inlets and outlets (on Lynn Rival, not the bikes) are running very slowly, including the cockpit drains. There's a slimy weed on the coppercoated hull but the problem seems to be small freshwater mussels growing in the holes. When the water warms up we'll have to go diving - in the muddy water of the River Plate!
Spring is beginning to appear. We've had some lovely sunny and warm days as well as blustery wet and cool ones. Juan Lacaze is blooming with all manner of flowering trees and shrubs: bouganvillia, hibiscus, pelargoniums, etc. The jacaranda and silk floss trees are two of our favourities. The paper factory continues to hum away day and night - and hisses a lot. But, it no longer smells so we are happy.
The harbour is quite busy too. Some of the French yachts that arrived earlier in the year are now preparing to leave, mostly to go south. One weekend we had a rally of at least 15 Argentine yachts come for a couple of nights. On another we had a large gin palace arrive and manage to destroy one of the Hidrographia's mooring buoys with it's propellor. After an embarassing few hours freeing the chain from one propellor it took off again, presumably back to base to have the propshaft checked for damage (Just deserts, one hopes).
When the weather has been fine we've been getting on with our on-going list of maintenance projects: installing a new echo sounder and re-wiring the sailing instruments; re-modelling the cockpit table so it folds away more easily; re-varnishing the galley floor; polishing the gelcoat, etc. However much we do the list never seems to get any shorter. It's very easy to get distracted and end up doing something that wasn't on the list but suddenly becomes a priority (not to mention blocked toilets or hung computers) or seems like a good thing to do.
Just a week ago we were having a heatwave. The temperature crept up to over 30 degrees and the nights were warm too. We had to dig deep to find our summer clothes and get into the habit of putting the flyscreens up to keep the midges at bay. Just as we were getting used to it all changed: a long night of storm after storm, with lightning, thunder and heavy rain. The cockpit filled up with water and it came in through the aft hatch which we'd left ajar for ventilation! The temperature dropped to 20 degrees. We didn't go ashore for a couple of days but learned that they had a lot of flooding, including part of the main road to Colonia being washed away.
Since then we've had strong winds and more rain. Fleeces and sox are back in use and extra blankets at night. Such is Spring.
A reminder that the sunsets are gorgeous over the River Plate