EL JARDIN,NOVEMBER 19TH,2009
Day 6 of my stay in Nicaragua and not a great deal to report so far.The folks who own this beautiful little hotel are most gracious and are treating me very well.
So far, I´ve learned a great deal about the area and met a few interesting people .Tony lives next door and has been here for about 4 months. Like me he has 4 kids in their 20´s and has been divorced or separated for quite some time.The other day we went to the beach with another friend of his Steve, who owns a beautiful house overlooking the bay at San Juan Del Sur,is married to Jasmine a Nicaraguan who has lived in the states for many years.Since my back is still quite an issue for me to deal with I was quite content to troll the immediate shoreline. I could still feel the tug of the tide pulling on my delicate spine. They, however spent at least 2 hours surfing back and forth on that perfect little beach and I was enjoying this first foray into warm water beach life. As I sat there alone watching the serrated V line of the sun dappling the bay under the canopy of a little thatched hut I thought to myself, how many times I´d seen this picture in other people´s vacation photo albums and now here I am! I´ve spent 42 of my 59 years on an island so I´m familiar with beach living but this was quite different from the UK or Vancouver Island.I´ve spent relatively little of that time in the water on any of the northern beaches I´ve lived by. Another thing I have to take care of is my skin like everyone else. So far,I´ve not burned myself and that is a difficult thing to avoid here as the sun shines all day every day.You cannot avoid it.I imagine by the time I leave here I´ll be suitably tanned but it won´t be from sunbathing ala sitting on the beach burning.
It will be from just walking around in and out of the sun with copious scoops of 30plus suntan lotion slathered all over my poor defenseless northern white torso.
Today is the first day I´ve not gone into town for coffee at El Gato Negro Book Store.Rob and Kelly are friends of April,Valerie and Brandon, owners of the hotel where I´m staying.....
......and they have been here for about 4 years now.The Gato Negro is a meeting place for locals and expats alike and likely as not I will meet someone in there from somewhere else just like me.It´s about 4 kms into town and Sergio has been my trusty driver to and fro.We have mini spanish english lessons as we go and neither one of us can understand the other but usually something positive comes out of the attempt at mutual comprehension.
It has been extremely windy for the last 2 days.Unlike Victoria,it blows from east leaving the air dry and the smell of the ocean unnoticeable unlike Victoria. Last night it rained leaving the cobbled streets of downtown San Juan del Sur looking quite irridescent in the pale streetlights.
Being as this blog is primarily about the relationship between living as a transplant recipient and travelling in poorly developed countries, I´d like to point out that so far I haven´t felt ill in any way ie. no temperature or serious stomach disruptions but....the water here is fairly safe to drink as we´re on a well .However,the water has a great deal of calcium so.... I´m sticking to bottled water for the most part.
Besides April,Valerie and Brandon,I´m the only one here so I´ve discovered that I´m learning a thing or 3 about myself with regards to looking for something to do and having nothing to do in the process.I´m used to The North American External Stimuli Syndrome so I´m attempting to let things go and allow the time to pass as it does here ....naturally...The rhythms of the day are totally synced to the rising and the setting of the sun.So that´s how folks here live...Up with the dawn and retiring with the early evening sunset.It is pitch black by 615pm and the sun doesn´t take long to disappear once it hovers above the horizon.
So, my plan is to stay here til next week´s end then perhaps jump on a bus and go to Granada which is about an hour or so away. After that,jump on the Tica Bus and go to Panama through Costa Rica.I have about 65 days down here and by the time I get home to Victoria where I have a couple of months work waiting for me I should be acclimatised to this strange and wonderful part of the world.
So far I haven´t seen any scorpions but when the wind blowes you have to watch out for them dropping from the trees so, every night I must shake out my bedding to make sure one hasn´t snuggled in to keep me company...They apparently pack quite the sting as I´ve been told but not necessarily deadly. Although, for me and my immune system I could have a fairly negative experience if I should come into contact with one. The Geckos are our friends however and they make a peculiar smooching sound like someone blowing a kiss! The other night I was typing away after dark in the office here and one just appeared on the wall out of nowhere right in front of me. They´re so fast!They scoop up all the bugs crawling about the place although, I haven´t seen any more bugs here than I would on any hot night in Canada...guess that´s the reason why...and no mosquitos at all so far!