Trek Diary: Day Twelve (8th July)
I have no memory of going to sleep that night but i woke up in the correct sleeping bag, which was a start. I was also fully dressed and found all my valuables stashed at my feet along with a collection of snacks. After a breakfast of lucky charms (the only one of the trip, thank god!) we set off in search of a Toilet Seat Museum. The man who owns this unique attraction is a 90 year old man named Barney. Barney has over 600 toilet seats in a garage next door to his house, which is both his makeshift studio and gallery. You can tell he is a man that is passionate about his hobby and has been creating these for almost 40 years now. (Hence the extensive collection) He has toilet seats devoted to family gatherings, holidays, memories, countries and events. He even has a toilet seat with part of a commode on it which came from Saddam Hussein’s underground bunker in Baghdad. If you ever find yourself in San Antonio, i would definitely suggest a visit to see Barney and his famous toilet seats. Just remember to ring beforehand as he likes to have a bit of warning from his visitors! If your lucky, he will also let you sign the toilet seat of your country/state of origin!
Today was also the day that i was finally able to get my money from a Western Union! (Thankyooou Steeeeve!) It took absolutely forever and i was standing around panicking that it wasn’t going to work. Eventually it all came through and i was no longer poor! I did feel a little bit iffy carrying around hundreds of dollars after being robbed though. A few miles down the road we finally arrived at Schlitterbarn water park and set up a base camp at a picnic area. Lisa and I decided to ride the biggest water slide in the park first, as the line didn’t look too bad from where we were stood. As we gradually made our way up the stairway, we could see the top level and presumed the start of the ride would be just there. (HA…hahahaha!)
Over the next hour or so we passed various markers saying, “2 hours from here”, “1 1/2 hours”…”one hour”…”45 minutes” until finally we were heading up to the final level. My stomach dropped as i peeked over the railing; there was still a massive queue to go! We had been deceived. I was in 40c+ heat, i hadn’t had a drink in hours and we were all beginning to fantasize about the water fountain that we could see near the end of the line. I very nearly turned back. For the first time on the trip, i had a genuine strop. Things got better as we edged nearer to the ride and one of the workers even brought out a water hose and sprayed us with it. All very well, but we could have used that an hour ago! People were even begging to be hosed down, it was all a bit weird actually. After a good hour and a half in the queue, we eventually made it to the slide…which was alright, we were just happy to be off that damn tower.
The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the park with Lisa, Anthony, Steve and Rob. The park is actually divided into three separate areas which are connected by a shuttle bus. Tip – if you ever do go to this place, do wear flip flops when walking between these places. I think the soles of my feet were burnt by the end of the day. I couldn’t even run across the hot places because…well, things were jiggling and it was embarrassing!
The original park was mostly tube rides and small racing flumes, which had shorter queues and were a lot more fun. We couldn’t find any rubber rings for ages and stole some off a family when they weren’t looking. As we went round the corner we came across a massive pile of them, which Steve then threw himself into. The waiting around was spent playing really mature “Would you rather?” games, some of which were getting pretty graphic as the time passed. The first ride was the tube river, which had a variety of violent drops and turns. They actually had staff in the river helping us float downstream. This was definitely my favourite as I managed to both expose myself and nearly drown at the same time. I had been fully prepared for my bikini top to come undone at some point, yet somehow just one breasticle managed to escape whilst my bikini was still secure. This all happened right in front of a member of staff too. Luckily i had gone first and none of our boys witnessed this atrocity. I floated away, cursing at my terrible choice in swimwear. Other fun things at Schlitterbahn include the lazy rivers, one of which had a wave machine. They also have big dinosaur floats that i failed to steal off some kid.
Whilst we were wandering around the water park, i noticed Lisa’s eyelid had started to look a bit swollen. Being the nice friend that i am, i didn’t mention anything to her till later on. As we were driving back to the campsite, all the girls noticed that bumps had started to appear all over our arms and faces. At first we thought it was some sort of disease we had picked up from the park, until we realised that this may have had something to do with sleeping outside. Then the itching began. At the showers we realised the extent of the mosquitoes midnight feast. I counted 50 or so bites and had a whole selection on one side of my face. Very attractive. For some reason Ingrid did not have the same amount of bites as us, despite the fact that she also camped outside. I think the chlorine in the water may have brought out the bites and made them worse. We all looked like lepers that evening! During the same bathroom trip, we had Charlotte shrieking from one of the cubicles at one point. Inside the base of the shower was a massive fluffy grey wolf spider, which was eventually annihilated by a shampoo bottle and a flip flop. What is it with bathrooms and spiders!?
That evening we all went out to dinner in San Antonio, the group were kind enough to let us lumpy lot go too. We went to a really nice Mexican restaurant where we had a massive table for all 26 of us. Plenty of nachos were eaten and the food was amazing! Feeling pretty rotund, and regretting the strawberry colada, we headed back into San Antonio. We had a look round the River Walk and headed to an ice cream place after failing to get the young’uns into the bars. Again, still feeling rotund, i opted out of this. On the way back to the van, Natalie decided she had had enough of her icecream cone and gave it to a complete (possibly drunk) stranger – it appeared to be well received.