Sunday, 13 January 2013

Weird. Just weird.

In my life, I have been known to do some odd things. I don't mean odd by my standards, or even odd by village standards. Just odd. I tend to shy away from such behaviour when at home, but occasionally, unleashed onto the world in general, my natural reserve/common sense gives way and I can be caught surprising myself and the world. Thus I have in my time bivouaced halfway up Mount Etna, learned to drink tequila shots in the back of a moving jeep in Mexico and hiked around a volcanic crater in a cloud forest (at least, they said there was a volcanic crater there. There was certainly lots of cloud and quite a bit of forest.) in Nicaragua.

But this time I think I have excelled myself. I have been mud-bathing in a volcano, El Tortumo in Colombia. There are links on Youtube where brave souls had themselves filmed as they experienced this though I have not done anything quite that rash. Suffice to say, lying back in mud the consistency of custard with gritty bits in was weird enough. It's blood temperature and it doesn't smell (at least, it didn't the day we were there), and for anyone worried about the massage you get from the local guys who work there, that is as nothing compared to the rinse off you get from the local women in the nearby freshwater lake where we all went to get clean(ish). Anyone concerned about propriety should wear a one-piece as the women demonstrated the easiest way to remove the mud from one's cleavage is to rip the bikini top off. Would I do it again? You bet.

For those less interested in mud, we also visited a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. Here is a picture of a baby sloth and its mum, as posted by the sanctuary's own website - Facebook kittens eat your hearts out!

For those wondering why I haven't yet followed up on the Next Big Thing, I really really want to, but until I can do it properly and tag at least one other person to carry the meme forward, I shall be holding off. Rest assured, though, the next novel is progressing even as the sales of 'Moses in Chains' shoot solidly into double figures!

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