"We stay at a nice hotel tonight", Bhupen assured me. When the quality of bedroom and bathroom inevitably varies, the prospect of some pampering always appeals.
We had stopped at yet another stunning viewpoint. Bhupen turned away to call the new hotel to confirm its exact location - this was the first time he had used it. He frowned. It seemed we had already passed the entrance?
Back up the hill, we spotted a side road. It was steep, narrow, uneven in surface and unmarked.
After negotiating a 9-point turn (under my expert direction) that brought Snowy within a metre of a precipitous drop, I jumped into the cab and Ben gunned the truck up the dirt track. Dense forest surrounded us as we bumped our way up the unlikely hotel driveway.
The first sign of civilisation we saw was of construction. Loads of it. A hole in the ground where some future swimming pool might be found. Numerous wooden bungalows half built. In the main reception, an empty ornamental pool and a thick film of plaster/cement on every surface.
Okay. . .
No sign of Basil Fawlty so far but surely it could only be a matter of time?
My room was enormous with intricately carved and painted wooden features. Clearly someone had a grand design in mind. Realisation was, no doubt, well intended - but it was poorly executed. I thought of Basil and his ill-fated construction at the hotel.
Imagine the fun I could have with a Snag List:
- beds with no legs, the base resting instead directly on the floor
- curtains not drawing without catching in the runner screws
- a mirror stand without the mirror
- a space for a mini fridge - but no fridge
It went on and on. But the best was the electrics - clearly the interior decorator had been deprived as a child of all electrical devices. I counted no fewer than 18 switches! As you can probably guess, the exact function of each switch was not immediately apparent. Mind you, the two red wires hanging provocatively over the bathroom mirror added a frisson of expectation.
In fairness, I had a great night's sleep, the shower was refreshing and our meal delightful. Manuel was nowhere to be seen. I was almost sorry.
Ben had earlier said that to enjoy overland trips you needed three things:
- a hunger for adventure
- patience, and,
- a sense of humour.
How right he was.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad