The ocean is flat, projects are accumulating and we have enough on the shopping list to warrant a trip into town. The motor bike we rent has such a slippery seat that with every bump and gear change I risk squashing Tom against the fuel tank or flying clear off the back into the dust. We have to stop three times so I can get off and regain feeling in my soft bits.
The excitement peaks when I use the island's first ATM. Whoa, the mod cons we now have at our disposal. Getting money is now only an hour away, as opposed to day trip. Then it is into the depths of the magic shop to buy new pushbike pedals.
The remainder of the shopping list is :
4 cans corn, 2 bags of white cement, 1 bag of grey cement, 1 sheet of plywood, 2 taps with assorted fittings, 1 mirror, 3 bunches of carrots, 1 fan, 1 roll of wire mesh, 2 sink bowls, and a partridge in a pear tree.
You can buy nails by the kilo.
Pipe fittings by the bucket load.
And pastel coloured brooms or boxes of highly processed non-food.
Then, if the shopping takes longer than you think, you can stay overnight at the luxurious Grace Hotel.
And wander the main street admiring the weathered architecture. If you blur your eyes enough you can imagine you are in Havana : without the vintage cars, salsa music or Cuban cigars.
In reality, you get clapped out bemos playing tinny Indo pop, and a lung full of cheap clove cigarettes.