Sunday, May 11, 2008

Panic in El Bolson

Wednesday 7th

Inevitably we are caught again as the grey soup makes it´s inexorable way north. Hitting a town means hitting the media and the the news casts have a hysterical edge which spreads panic through the town. Last night the drinking water became undrinkable at midnight. Why midnight, I do not know, but the news announcer confidently predicted that potable water of just a few minutes ago was now poison as the clock chimed it´s twelfth.

Water soon disappeared from supermarket shelves as people began to hoard and the hostel decided the only reasonable measure was to turn off the whole water supply for fear of poisoning paying guests. Bad for business they cried. I pleaded I had been safely drinking 6 litres a day from lake and river after parting the ash by hand, but to no avail. The water borne peril was just too great they cried. The toilet born stink was worse I cried as cisterns ran dry and they flushed no more.

People with bookings were turned away and the hostel would close tomorrow the owners cried; they must run to the hills to avoid this deadly menace. I decided to stay an extra day partly to rest after 3 hard days, partly to stock up on food but mainly to observe the growing mania.

Acid rain they now cried. I turned my eyes to the cloudless skies that seemed to be clearing it´s ash grey back to blue. Hmmmm. I do love a good panic...

However, I began to panic when dreams of washing my riding clothes faded (water was now too scarce to waste) and I resigned myself to riding out of here suited up in hard set concrete covered gear. The smell was definitely taking on a life of it´s own....

Still El Bolson is a pretty enough place to kill a day...

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