The Party Begins

June 1, 2006
Day 246
Remanso to Versalles Canoe Trip Day 13

Picture of festival boat.

The festival's ceremonial boat moves up and down the river.

Last night most of the town got sloppy drunk. People walked around the tent and shook the floorboards all night. On top of that, a very loud generator kicked in right next to Ricardo's house, making sleep impossible. The music stopped when the sun came up, and Ricardo, the mayor, and some of their friends were drunkily chatting away on the patio. It was time to find a new place to camp.

We moved to the other side of town, about 100 meters away, to a guy's backyard. We set the tent up under a shady tree, put up a hammock for relaxation, and used the planks from the canoe as benches. Our neighbors are a family of friendly Brazilians who will probably keep an eye on our stuff when we are out and about. It should be a nice place to camp.

At lunch we met three French people. Seeing other gringos kind of took away from the experience of being so far in the middle of nowhere, but we decided to talk to them anyway. They were a couple volunteering in the area and their friend who was visiting for a few months. They told us that the big boat to Guayara might be full, but they knew the captain, so maybe they could hook us up.

The festivities officially started this afternoon. A boat paddled by twelve people went up and down the river past the town three times. A band sang a song to the patron saint of Versalles, which was represented as a pigeon. When the boat stopped, the participants got off and people could bow to the saint to be healed. The entire time, loud fireworks were launched all around us.

Church continued all night long. The people involved in the procession constantly walked around town singing the same song. There was no fun or dancing, but apparently there will be more tomorrow. Nobody told us that this would be a religious festival, but I guess we should have expected that.

The photo album for this entry is here.

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