Sunday, April 13, 2014

Trouble in Paradise

We had a lovely afternoon and evening yesterday. We started with a tramp to Fontainhas, which, during the uphill way out we remembered as being much closer, but it seemed quite close on the downhill way back. We ate a delicious dinner of local pork linguiƧa, fried eel (perhaps one that we saw caught while we ate our lunch earlier), and a filet of fish cooked with olives and a spicy sauce,  sitting outside in the cool evening air by the wall of a balcony looking west over the last strains of the sunset.

There was live music in the bar downstairs. Four men, playing guitar, singing, beating a handmade drum, and shaking intricate rhythms with a seed-pod rattle, performed familiar and new Cabo Verdean songs, and we sipped our dessert ponche and grogue at a table on the street, where we could admire the music along with a gaggle of dancing preschoolers from the neighborhood backing the restaurant.

At one point, two of the little kids whispered and tugged at the singer and he chuckled, stood up, replaced the stool he'd borrowed from a neighboring table, and followed them off. He returned a couple songs later, the kids, presumably, now safely in bed.

I was so happy, and then we came home.

The floor in the bathroom was wet, very wet, with a puddle spreading from under the very new acrylic shower pan. It was late; this is a small family-owned-and-operated residencial, they don't really speak English, and my Portuguese is not up to the vigors of home repair. Whatever was going to happen last night was on us.

We had been given only two towels (and no bath mat), and they appeared to be as bright and new as the shower pan, so as home owner myself, I was loath to drop them into the wet mess on the floor. A couple days earlier, Ian had found in his pack a sponge from the Lisbon hotel we stayed in during our last transit back to Seattle from here (a sponge? How strange!), and so, armed with the sponge, I proceeded to mop up the floor (finishing with most of a roll of toilet paper).

As the floor got drier, I was able to pinpoint where the water was escaping, and the ominous /squish/ I had heard and felt earlier when standing in the shower to wash my feet, was explained.

I made us pack our bags this morning before we went up the street for breakfast (I want a room ASAP where the dirty water drains to the outside), and Ian used his translation app to find some key words: shower drain; flood.

At breakfast we made clear that there was a problem, but the little old lady in charge, who cooked a delicious tuna omelette, could not understand what we were trying to say about the drain, and let us know that her husband, who spoke a little English, would be back from the next town over around noon. We left our cell phone numbers so that he could call us when he arrived.

In the event, just now at 10:30, a man too young to be the husband arrived, assessed the problem, noted that it was, in fact, a big one, and left to see if there was another room where we could move (we will move, but to another room or to another lodging remains to be seen).

Ian, for his part, said that he was relieved to have an excuse to not immediately go trekking around steep, treacherous hillsides in the blazing sun of morning, and I suppose I agree, but I'd prefer to have had the option, at least. That said, it's best for me to be close to a loo in the early part each day, and the loo part of the bathroom is perfectly functional.

It is lovely to lounge on our comfortable bed in the shade of our open-windowed, breezy room, with the sounds of the surf crashing on the lava shore a block away, and birds twittering, and nowhere we have to go, and nothing we have to do. The shower won't be our problem for very much longer, and we still have until next Saturday to hike our feet to nubs and our legs to stiff pegs.

Ah, travel.

**NB: We have just been installed in the corner room next door, which still has the same view of the port, PLUS another window on the kitty-corner wall. And, a teeny-tiny tub. And plenty of time still to walk ourselves lame.

one-fingered on my phone

No comments: