Should you decide to go to Uruguay, a word of warning. You can use credit cards (and the tax is refunded or knocked off your bill) or you can take US Dollars or Uruguayan Pesos. Well, I’m not sure you can actually take pesos, I only took dollars as the exchange places I tried looked incredulous when I asked for Uruguyan pesos. You can also take money out of an ATM with not too much of a problem. My card worked most of the time but sometimes I had to try it three or four times and I was unable to get any cash. At the ATM you will be dispensed $100 bills only. On spending this, probably to try and get smaller notes, you will be given change in the local currency. Hence the handful of change you see above (if you can’t see it, go onto the website by clicking the email title, blue underlined) which I donated to Unicef on my last day.
In Portimao we bought souvenir mugs and a tea towel (see Post 47). Realising that this could result in 15 tea towels and 30 mugs by the end of the Race, we controlled ourselves this time and bought a beach towel from YCPDE.
Having mentioned the live footage last time, there are good shots of MBB on the Clipper website gallery of photos about the beach clean, numbers 13-15/36 (far right of the pictures). https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/news/view-gallery/punta-del-este–beach-clean
In https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/news/view-gallery/the-fleet-departs-punta-del-este picture 10/57 shows the Unicef crew, with a good one of John number 18, and 14 the whole of the Qingdao crew. I think that’s it until Cape Town, meanwhile it’s Race Viewer, Skippers Reports (I get mentioned in Imagine Your Korea dated 24th October) and Crew Diaries every day.
Two things that were important in Punta, the UNICEF banner and The Commodore’s Cup. I think you may have had glimpses of them in certain photos and on the Clipper website, but here they are again.
And I think that’s all from Punta. Back in London, I’ve not stopped. On Saturday, my first day back, I met two pals at the Tate Modern. We started with lunch (and I can see why the people in the flats opposite complained about us tourists looking into their rooms) then went around the Takis exhibition before it finished. Even though it’s obvious, it looks like magic. Sadly, he died whilst the exhibition was being created.
The remaining nine days I had in London were taken with pals visiting me, lots of food and wine, buying yet more stuff for MBB (back to Arthur Beale), knitting beanies for Karla from the Clipper Race Office, getting Rands for the next trip and general household tasks. I thought George was asking for a citation book, what on earth is that? See the next picture for what he actually wanted. His diction, NOT my hearing. Honest. I had my first online food delivery which was very exciting for me. What will they send instead of what I ordered? A bit like Christmas. (It’s different in the sticks, I just drive to the nearest shop as it’s quicker). I also had my first experience of Vagabond, a bar in Victoria that dispenses wine by the glass from a lot of cabinets that have different types: robust, smooth, elegant etc. Well, I’m assuming that was meant to describe the wine, not the customers. Hmm, maybe I need to go back and do more research. You put credit onto a card then use that to buy your wine, in volumes of 25 ml (taster) upwards.
And did I mention Race Viewer? Yes, our addiction is back! It’s very exciting as Unicef and Qingdao are both doing well (so far, please no more wind holes). More about the actual race next time but the results of the Scoring Gate are known: Imagine Your Korea three points, Visit Sanya two points and Punta del Este one point. This puts them on nine, 25 and 24 points respectively. The results for the Ocean Sprint won’t be known before I get to Cape Town, when we’ll find out if anyone has collected penalty points for sail repairs etc. A last reminder of Uruguay before I sign off for today.