With yesterday's game consigned to the dim and distant past; the journey home a magnificent homage to song and jazz hands; the tree outside the hotel bursting at its seams and blocking half the road; the early morning wake up call of Man + Chainsaw + Machete + Can of Petrol + Lit Cigarette at 8am - the daty began VERY early.
Imagine if you will, 14 players exerting themselves physically in a hot foreign land, in the heat. Imagine also the extraordinary intake of food and liquid that is required to keep that group of extraordinary physical specimens in tip top performance condition.
Now, take that image and superimpose it over the team photo from The Belgrano; the weird grey colour underneath that you just can't quite ignore, exuding a light tinge of night sweats and funk, the feak of fun that is tour, and you have Day 6 of travel and cricket. WE NEEDED A WASH! Well, clothes at least - there had been talk of people having washed themselves, but there is also scepticism!
Step up the masters of the service wash, Messrs Behly, Barborassa, Lumpy and Dawse who arranged for the cleaning of the tour kit - amid other things. And suddenly we were clean again.
So it rained! More of that to come.
This was the first time that we had a day without something special on the cards for everyone to be involved in, at least until later, so Skip and Mars took the opportunity to leave everyone else to do their own thing and went and did their own thing!
With some heading into to town for spectacular lunches (Paulo and Dawse haven't stopped talking about La Cabrera and Dawse becoming a Sommelier!); others took in the sights, sites and sounds of the centre of BA. In fact it all centred on the cemetary which is an incredible place by all accounts, and is now to be forever known as "The Model Village of Death'', 'The Port Merion of the After Life''. Thank you Panda, for the most apt descrption EVER!
Skip and Mars hopped in a cab to suss out the opposition and the ground at the Hurlingham. We're playing there tomorrow and we need some intel. Having had a couple of poor showings on the field, we were desperate to up our game and show just what we're made of.
The North Versus South game is a 3 day match played annually between the best players in the country, drawn from the top 4 clubs in the North and South. It's also one of the longest running cricket competitions in the world and this was the 115th meeting of the two sides. The North were desperate to turn the tide of over a decade without a win. They nearly did it, then they nearly drew, then they were praying for rain, but the rain came far too late!
Rain (told you there was more!)
Not for the 'Dors though, happily ensconced in the Conventillo De Lujo a couple of us discovered that if you're on the roof of a building in BA and a storm starts up, you're going to get wet. Really wet! Really quickly! and the rain is horizontal! Still, it relieved the excessive mugginess temporarily.
However, this could cause problems tomorrow. The pitch at the Hurlingham looked to have been a batting belter. Bit of rain? Dóh!
Monday night is Tango night for the 'Dors! So bring on the wine tasting and the dancing Pandas! Oh hang on, no, we'll wait a moment. Cab drivers with a definite booking don't like rain, apparently. The company Gary / Conventillo had booked for us cancelled saying it was too dangerous to drive in the wet. YEAH! RIGHT! So why were there so many cabs on the main streets? Well, I say there were lots of them. It took a while to get us all in, but then we were off to VOZ TANGO. Say that with a very deep 'Spanish Promo' voice every time you say it - even when it falls in the middle of the English translation of the show in a completely different voice. Genius!
Wine tasting - interesting. This humble writers opinion was that the wines were a bit rubbish. But they just weren't to my taste. They weren't to Lumpy's either. ''I didn't know they made wine from Bananas. Can they do that?'' First any of us had heard of it, but now we all want some!
More fabulous food - steak. More wine - better and free!. Dancing! A full on tango show which satisfied my urge for jazz hands and stamping feet beautifully.
With everyone off for an early night, those who hadn't tied one on the night before hit a bar called Million! All sweeping staircase and wood panelled walls. Populated by some VERY attractive people and a jolly little German who attached himself to us far too readily. We were much more interested in the blonde Americans with their high heels and long hair and lady bits. Not so, Holge! Ah well, that's BA! Late nights mean early mornings. Tomorrow is another day.
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