This is the last part gentle reader. I hear the sign of relief echoing across cyber space!
: There are quite a few pictures so it may take some time to load.
: These are the leftover bits that didn't fit into the other two reports.
: Christmas Eve morning found us saying goodbye to Garrafon De Castilla and heading back to Centro for our final night at Posada Del Mar.
: Here's a picture of the sun rising over Punta Sur taken from the Garrafon dock.
: Here's one of an ancient iguana Phil found in the gardens. I can't remember if it is the females or the males that have the fringe on their backs.
: And here's one of our last sunset at Garrafon. The picture is ruined by the back of me!
: We were having dinner at Pinguinos that night and wanted to see the Zocala on Christmas Eve and we had a ferry to catch at 12.30 Christmas Day so we decided a night back in town was in order. We weren't sure how much would be closed on Christmas Day but as it turned out pretty much everything was open but a lot of people were nursing hangovers.
: We packed our bags (again! I'm so looking forward to having our own house and not having to either carry so much stuff or move every few days), said goodbye to the wizened little caretaker and headed to town.
: We did stop for a while at the build site and do a little bit of hugging each other and then sadly saying goodbye to our infant house and instructing it to grow up quickly by the time we got back! Yes, I know it's pathetic and animistic and all that - but you'd do the same wouldn't you!
: During our time on Isla we had called with Ashley and Curtis at Villas Las Brisas, just to say hello and bring sweet toothed Ashley some jelly and fudge. In the short time since we had seen them last they had done yet more to the B&B by the sea. A palapa fringe had gone up on the main house and around the breakfast area, more shaded areas had been built in the garden and a gazebo overlooking the sea (ideal for weddings) had been erected. They were happily playing with their Christmas present, a jet washer, when we arrived and they were as friendly, energetic and lovely as ever. They are such nice people. Sorry I forgot to take a picture but we were too busy talking as usual!
: Back in town we called with Caribbean Realty for a chat and to confirm details of the next few weeks. We parked our golf cart outside and a little boy came to play on it.
: Maria and Cesar, two of the partners were laughing. Apparently every day the little boy comes to visit and insists on calling Jose Luis, the other partner, "Daddy"! Jose Luis is getting most upset at this and insists this is nothing to do with him! Cute kid though, I think he does it so someone will give him money to go away :-)
: Everybody seemed to be getting into the spirit of Christmas and there was a lot of goofing around going on and early drinking!
: We went and booked in early to Posada and spent an hour of so drinking coffee at the bar and relaxing before going to our room. There were a lot of people around the pool, chatting away to each other and being friendly. I was hoping someone would talk to me but they didn't cos I obviously don't look friendly. I went and sat by the edge of the pool and dangled my feet in it while trying to look approachable. To anyone who was at Posada's pool area around lunchtime on Christmas Eve and had a weird girl in a blue sarong repeatedly try to make eye contact and grinning like an idiot - it was me, and I've given up axe murdering!
: We confirmed our arrangements for the celebratory dinner at Pinguinos, checked into out big big room (number 117, ground floor, new section) and spent most of the afternoon wondering around Centro deciding if we needed to buy anything.
: At sunset we walked along Playa Norte and I did my chickeing out of going to Sergio's thing. (Note - The only time we visited Sergios was one afternoon and after one drink we left, the bar staff weren't friendly. I don't want to do Sergio bashing, he's a lovely guy and I have nothing but respect for him after his posting on the board recently. I will be visiting his bar, because Critter is going to make me!)
: If you were at Sergios at sunset on Christmas Eve, this is you. Take a bow.
: It was a lovely sunset that night and Phil and I paddled in the warm water of Playa Norte and just enjoyed it quietly. Which was lovely.
: We went back to Posada and got changed for dinner.
: Pinguinos was pretty busy that night, serving up their set festive menu. I think they underestimated interest as they ran out of everything. I had fancied the filet mignon but greedy people had scoffed them all so I had the seafood platter which was lovely but slightly intimidating as the octopus artfully draped across the plate looked like it might go for my throat! That was a big octopus! Another fit of the giggles from Phil and I.
: Everybody seemed in festive spirits and there were plenty of children around attempting to throw themselves in the carp pool to amuse their parents. All good fun.
: After dinner we headed for the Zocala. The streets were deserted and it was only 9.30.
: But the Zocala was busy, and everyone was hanging around the church area and admiring the nativity scene.
: We sat and people watched and peple listened, which is even more fun!
: Watched the children get over excited and demand baloons.
: And then we went to Midnight Mass, which was strange and very different from my own Catholic midnight mass where an ancient and gentle priest gets all emotional over the miracle of it all. Far as I could figure the sermon was about this is for kids and don't drink too much you materialistic people. I realised why the sermon was like this the next morning!
: By the time we got back to Posada it was late so we snuggled down to sleep.
: I woke early, as usual and grabbing my mobile headed outside to get a good signal and phone home. I perched on the wall outside Posada and shouted to the UK over the sound of very drunk Islenos racing golf carts along the main road. It was 6am. Boy can those guys party!
: There was still a party going on along the boulevard outside Posada and beautiful girls holding their high heels after a night of dancing allowed themselves to be flirted with.
: Note here - I believe, that on occassion, young men have been known to tell young ladies that they have a far more interesting career than they really do. The favourite choice for this alleged career used to be airline pilot - Guy leans casually against bar "Hi, my names John and I'm a pilot with BA, just flew in from Dubai, want a drink?" Girl swoons at thought of parents approval and falls into his arms.
: Apparently this is now passe and the latest ruse is the following - Guy leans on bar "Hi, I'm a dolphin trainer, and I've got the night off from Sea World." Girl swoons at thought of wildly romantic wet suit encounter! (clearly having never tried to get out of a wetsuit!)
: Phil suggests hedging your bets and saying you are an ex airline pilot that now trains dolphins.
: Sorry about that, but I thought it was funny. If a little sexist, which is okay cos I'm a girl and so can't be sexist.
: All this drivel brings us to the end. We packed our bags and left Posada and caught the 12.30 ferry back to Puerto Juarez. It was hot, it was busy and as we walked to the ferry three guys tried to get us to buy things so they could earn money to cure their hangovers. Nice approach but didn't work.
: We'll be back in just over a month. Fingers crossed. Julian promises the main house competed by two weeks from Monday. Leaving only the pool, gardens and palapa to do. When the house is complete we'll book our flights, until then, we just hope and dream.
: I'm going to fade off back into the dark of a February day in Wales now, with icy squalls hitting the windows and a westerly gale blowing.
: And I'll leave you with one last sunset.
: See you all soon.