2018-01-01 Day 242 Mon

 A new Year and decisions to make. We are still struggling with the “What next?” question. These last 3 weeks we have been traveling slowly. Sometimes even staying in the one area for 3 days. That was easy in Uruguay as Internet was great everywhere. Our short term plan is to try and drive only 2-3 hrs per day to give John time with his project. The lack of Internet is making this difficult.

We drove out and along the dirt road. In patches it was very slushy and slippery on top but with traction below. From white to a sealed yellow to a gravel yellow and back to seal. We filled with fuel in Embalse and stopped for lunch on a dirt track just above the road with a wonderful outlook of this man made lake. It is very touristy here around the lake but traffic soon thinned out. Drove on the west side of the Los Molines Dam. Just past San Clemente at the San Jose river a new bridge was being built and the ford was flooded from the recent rains. About turn. We came back to the Los Molines Dam where a few people were sitting on the beach or fishing. The Dam is down some what so the fore shore is a couple of hundred meters away. We camped within 7m of the water. We marked the waters edge with a stick as we were concerned it may still be rising. Sure enough it was but only 300mm (horizontally) in 4 hours.
There are people water skiing, wind surfing, jet skiing and mucking around in boats. A small speed boat was launched be side us. We watched at 9 people went aboard 5 put life jackets on. Then they puttered out and maybe over to the other side. They came back just before dark.
A elderly couple stopped to chat. John took Mario outside and explained things to him and I took Alicia inside to show her our small home. Neither have English so really tested my Spanish. Alicia asked how John and I got on together and coped being together in such a small place. I tried to explain that in Australia we also would spend a lot of time together. Alicia is very vivacious and quite ready to correct my Spanish. She also speaks slowly and when I do not understand she will demonstrate, or grab a calendar, she seems to know how to get her message across. One of the first we have found that knows how to “speak” without a common language.

They are a lovely couple and have a holiday house here just on the first corner of the road on the way out. They live in Cordoba the closest city. They asked us to drop by tomorrow on our way out.

Some guys had been fishing for a few hours so went and chatted to them. They have tiny hooks (I think the smallest I have seen) thread a worm onto it then catch a fish about 3-4 inches long. The fish are then kept in a 4lt bottle. They had caught about 40 and will fry them up.

The full moon rose large and bright behind the fishermen.