First things first. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and congratulations on the new knee Raymond. Pretty amazing, my 88 old father is getting an upgrade on his wheels so he can terrorize the aisles at the local Costco without having to take a break. Looking forward to taking a walk with you along the parkway behind your house. We send you our love and sincere get well soon.
This morning was overcast and a breeze coming in off of the ocean was ruffling the surface of the water. After wandering around the back streets with the dogs, I decided to take a hike up to the hill on the northern end of the beach and see if I could find a place that might provide me with a view of the city.
I walked back through the dirt side streets past small ranchos and big gringo houses. I emerged in town next to the plaza and passed by Estetica Janett and made an appointment to get a haircut tomorrow. I followed the road past the ball field that leads to the new bridge across the river and worked my way into the back country on the far side of the low water that remains in the estuary. Everything in Lo de Marcos is looking really dry. Rains are due soon and needed to fill things up. The estuary near El Caracol is now completely dry cracked mud flats.
I hiked out past the pineapple and banana plantations to a point where a smaller road turned up towards the hill. The Parota trees were sprouting leaves and the big majestic canopies were filling out. I took this turn and started climbing along the rapidly deteriorating dirt road. The morning cool had worn off and I was beginning to break a sweat. A variety of colorful butterflies flitted around the jungle, refusing to cooperate with my attempts to get them on film.
I walked the steep path where every possible clearing where a view might be found was locked up and barbed wired by rich gringos who had bought up the hill side. I trudged my way to the very top and at the trail’s end, I was greeted by yet another iron gate. I backtracked to the next gate below where someone had broken down a stretch of fencing next to the gate and trespassed my way in. About 50 meters down the path was a large clearing that had been burned free of jungle and from there, I had an unobstructed view of Lo de Marcos and beyond.
I caught my breathe and drank some water before taking a handful of pictures of the panoramic vista. There were no houses or people in the area, so I leisurely rested and had a look around.
The downhill return was a breeze compared to climbing up. I walked slowly not wanting to miss spotting a lizard or bird I might not yet have seen. I stepped to the side as a group of tourists on horseback passed by as I was nearing the point where the jungle meets up with the beach next to the lagoon. When the trail turned to sand, I found a fallen log and sat for a few minutes removing my shoes and finishing off my second bottle of water. My feet were happy to be feeling the wind in their toes.
I came out of the trees and walked along the muddy bank of the lagoon to avoid frying my feet on the hot sand. Lots of birds in the trees and a strong growth of green algae on the water that was sitting at the lowest level of the season. A pair of fishermen were trying their luck with no success. I walked down the beach talking with one of them, Jesus, a retired garlic farmer from up in Gilroy, CA. His brother had a house here and he’s hanging out until July. We exchanged fishing tips and I left him when I arrived at Olivia’s restaurant at the north end of town.
I sat on the sand and ordered up Milanesa de pollo and sat in the shade drinking some cold beverages. After hiking two and a half hours, it felt good to take a chair and watch the pelicans dive bomb the bait fish out in front of the restaurant. Took my time, enjoyed the beach, then paid up the tab and hoofed down the shoreline back to the tower.
Checked out Bernardo’s trailer and tried to help him find a leak in the water system to no avail. He’s going to have to do some serious groveling around in tight spaces to see if he can spot the break. It started after turning the water on from the hose bib. The water pressure at the camp sites is pretty high and that might have overtaxed some of the plumbing. I ordered a new pressure regulator for myself and will pass along the old one to him when it arrives.
Talked to Nancy on the way up. She and Miguel are taking off for Cancun on Wednesday leaving me here to fend for myself. Bruno got a botched haircut for the trip. When I saw him this morning, I thought he had the mange and pulled Cali and Koda away from him. Turns out Miguel decided to do some home grooming and got a little out of hand. Hey, it’ll grow back. I have experience with this after my last haircut back in Bucerias.
Relaxed for a while then took the hounds out for another excursion. Up the hill this time past the gray house where a worker was installing a stained glass window. Finally got Cali to stop cowering and do her business then parked them on the deck and headed for the beach. Used my new rake to groom the sand then set up my chair and sat down to start reading The Girl on the Train.
The clouds moved back in and I decided to swim out to the point. The water was choppy from the wind making the visibility poor. A lone surfer was trying his luck on some minuscule waves and a few kids were working on their stand up paddle skills in the channel. Water is super warm, but the air is a bit cool. I grabbed my kick board and caught a few small shore breaks hesitant to go in because of the cool air. Wrapped a towel around myself and sat in the chair drying off. Quiet night in the compound.