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So what to do when the forecast is rain? We decided first to go to the bank, to enable Alain to do a bit of milking (of ATM machines) for himself. Wow, not only was it wet, but the wind was so strong that it nearly blew the doors off the car. A bit like Patagonia! Alain’s legs still look like a localised infestation of measels, but he is putting a brave face on things.

Alain suggested a drive to the west of town, to Las Barrillas, that at the peak of the tourist season must be heaving with visitors, but today, in the strong winds, we were the only visitors. I posed under a palm tree, hand covering my head, in case a coconut should come down. An optimistic skipper asked if we wanted to come out for a boat ride on the lagoon. We said no thanks, wondering when the men in white coats would come and take him away. Still, you have to admire his optimism!

I put my finger on the SatNav, on the hilly bit more to the west, across the lagoon. The name Pajapan lit up, so we decided to go and have a look. It seems that the people dig up the roads, leaving huge potholes to get the materials to build topez at much too frequent intervals. Fingers crossed that this does not catch on in England! I’m all in favour of Health & Safety, but imagine doctor’s surgeries full of people who have put their backs out. At Pajapan we followed the signs to the Playas (beaches) where we took a few pictures before being asked over to an empty restaurant for a cup of coffee (me) and a beer, surrounded by five of the owner’s turkeys and their chicks. Henceforth this place is known as Turkey Beach.

Alain had spotted a new building bearing the name Be Irish and suggested we’d have a beer, only a few hundred metres from the hotel. Two Margaritas please, we asked over the noise of the local sound system. Sorry, we don’t do cocktails. OK, two pints of Guinness please, and what ever Alain is having! Sorry, we don’t have Guinness – even though it was at the top of their beer menu. We ended up with two glasses of Blauwe Chimay, one of the best Belgian Trapisten beers! It’s what I called ‘Diesel’ at one of my first ELKs, years ago. Very nice.

A bit worrying – we only saw three cacti today, quite damaged Opuntia, too ugly to point a camera at. We leave tomorrow morning for the State of Tabasco.

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