My wristwatch fell off some time yesterday. I bought the watch in Panama at a street stall for $9. The one window in my room at the Chepes hostal has Venetian blinds that don’t open. I need a morning call. I have parked in the garage behind the hostal owner’s car. She has to leave early.
What is early?
“By nine – half past at latest.”
Is late rising religious?
Was Evita Peron a late riser?
She did much of her early work in bed.
The road crosses 160 Ks of desert. I count three curves, each less than ten degrees. I stop at the first town. Town? A mini-Lourdes built round a hilltop shrine dedicated to the saint of travellers. Believers arrive by bus. I am served the most disgusting cup of coffee of this entire trip, the most revolting enpanadas and the toilet facilities are filthy. The saint is a fraud. Were she genuine, she would strike these exploiters dead.
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