John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Friday 5 April 2013

[Thursday 4 April 2013]

Janet was up ca.7.30am, wanting to go down for breakfast on what she was counting as her “Saturday” or “‘pig-out’ day”. She thought there was no hot water again, so used cold water to wash, before dressing and going up to Reception to report it. Just after she got back, there was a knock on the door and it was the serviceman. He opened the tap fully and let it run and run, and eventually the water did become hot. Janet stayed behind to help me with showering, etc., even though she wanted to go for breakfast, because my feet were exceptionally sore. I despaired of being to do anything, or go anywhere, today, and it made her cry. Ca.8.30am, I hobbled down to breakfast — well, took the elevator, actually — had a glass of sparkling wine, some grapefruit pieces, corn flakes and milk (I took some extra milk in a jug for the coffee), and bacon and baked beans. We accepted coffee as it was offered shortly after we sat down, lest we not be given a second chance. I use the term “coffee” loosely. Actually, the name we used in the 1970’s for poor-quality instant coffee would apply to it: “Slimo”! I left Janet to it when I’d finished, ca.9.00am, and did some diary update. She came back, ca.9.30am. I carried on what I was doing, and she sorted stuff out and did this and that. Ca.10.30am I felt able to ask if we were going out. The plan, on Monday, after we’d been to the main part of Playa Blanca, had been to return, and perhaps even go back to the same restaurant. So I took tablets and we left just after 11am. I thought it might be no further to the bus stop if we went down to the promenade and took the next turning along there back to the main road. We got to that next turning, and I sat on my tripod stool, and Janet went to investigate. She took the first photo, below, as she was coming back. But we didn’t go that way; I decided that Puerto de Playa Blanca didn’t look all that far away and might be walkable.

11:16:26 Janet took this photo of me after she’d been down an alley to check our position relative to the bus stop.

11:16:26 Detail of 11:16:26

11:23:48 Looking back

11:23:48 Detail of 11:23:48. I thought the blue of the umbrellas went well with the blues of ocean and sky.



11:45:50 Puerto de Playa Blanca

11:49:04 Puerto de Playa Blanca

When we got to Puerto de Playa Blanca, I decided that the rest of the way didn’t seem all that far, and we continued. The promenade ended in a boatyard, but another one started nearby up some steps, so we went that way. The fact that the horizon appears halfway up the lighthouse in the photo, below, shows that it was taken from that upper promenade. I was able to sit on my tripod stool from time to time when my feet hurt. But they weren’t impossibly painful on the walk, as they had been at first today.

12:01:30 Puerto de Playa Blanca

12:03:44 Playa Blanca

12:13:12 Playa Blanca


We passed the Restaurante Varadero, where we’d been previously, crossed over the wooden bridge, the boardwalk and handrail of which are shown below, to investigate another restaurant, but returned to the Restaurante Varadero. I had two bottles of San Miguel and Janet had a Sprite and a Fanta. I had spaghetti Bolognese, with cheese served in a little side dish, and Janet had cannelloni followed by “House Cream Caramel”.


13:17:34 Lunch at Restaurant Varadero

14:17 Bill for €28.36

We went on from there, over the wooden bridge again, and Janet saw an Italian ice cream parlour, so we went in and she had a dish with three scoops of different flavours.









We went up the steps shown above, and carried on till we got to a small white church, “Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen” — which we’d like to have visited but it was locked up. I saw on the notice board that it also hosted Anglican services and German evangelical ones.

14:42:50 Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel


Turning left from there, we walked the 100–200 yards or so to the taxi rank, where as before I sat on a bench, while Janet went to the nearby Spar shop, before we got a taxi to the hotel. When I took my shoes off I discovered that the blood blister behind the left heel, which had been growing for a few weeks, and which I’d kept covered with a dressing, had now ruptured, so I swabbed and re-dressed that with two Mepore dressings. Copied today’s photos to the “little feller”, those taken with my camera (15:24) and with Janet’s (15:25) — 20-odd of them, with a couple of additional cropped and “enlarged” ones (15:29–16:33). Made a PowerPoint presentation of them (16:36–17:40). Meanwhile, Janet went out, taking the tripod seat with her. Started editing yesterday’s photos: 19 of them before it was time to go down for dinner — Italian themed! I took my second bottle of Vega de Yuco with me: not as nice as the first. There were glasses of Limoncello at the door. I had minestrone soup, with mostly white beans and the odd piece of lamb as well as the liquor; what was termed “meat pie”, but turned out to be meatloaf, which I didn’t like much and left some, and chips; strawberries with ice cream; and bread and cheese. Edited the remaining 30 or so photos (19:46–21:00). Janet helped me decide what colour adjustments to make to the first few of the underwater photos (ca.20:10), which originally had a strong cyan cast, went to bed shortly afterwards, and quickly started snoring. Made a PowerPoint presentation of yesterday’s photos (21:04–22:22).

[Saturday 6 April 2013]

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