Monterrico, La Playa muy differente. (Montirrico, Google Images) For one thing, the sand is black because it is volcanic, but the main difference is there are no people on it. I splurged and spent $10.00 US for a direct ride to Monterrico on a tourist bus. It was worth it, I got there stress free in 2 1/2 hours, lots of time to explore lodging options and check out the "scene". As far as lodging goes, once again God has provided me with the Perfect Situation. (There´s another title for a piece on The Deeper Side
"God´s Perfect Situations- (GPS) - How to recognize them, and flow with them" Pretty deep stuff)
I checked in with the Spanish School here. They did not have a family for me to stay with but they had a 2 bedroom cabana right there with a shared bathroom and a kitchen! I shared it with Suzette a young lady from Holland, (The dangerous young lady pictured above with the machete) she is on a four month South and Central America adventure! She´s already been to South America, love it there and she´s going to Cuba before she heads home, (I´m jealous).
Having a kitchen was great. Fruit smoothies in the morning and avocados on fresh hot tortillas for lunch. I guess I didn´t actually cook anything did I?? I would have been a fool to prepare all my meals here. With a stones throw there were six great restaurants. Fresh seafood, at a cost, once again, too low to mention on this blog without waves of guilt.
I Love the Pacific Ocean! I got to thinking about it, and in my life it has been one of the major sources of joy and wonder. In my childhood time at the Pacific was always awesome, I think that is because when you are on the coast looking out and seeing nothing but water, it´s like experience infinity in your mind. The only thing that rivaled it for me was lying on my back on a dark night staring up into the vastness of the sky. Considering that most of my life I have lived withing a days drive of the Pacific, and part of my life I lived on the Pacific (The Bearing Sea). she has to be playing a major role in my life.
Monterrico, is it heaven on Earth? To some maybe, to me it was a very peaceful piece of the Pacific coast with great food and friendly open people. No barbed wire, no armed guards, I wonder if it is just too poor to have crime and corruption? Maybe the Pacific here just has a calming tranquil effect on everything. (En Espanol pacificar :pacify, calm)
I spent 4 days here, hire a teacher for one hour a day, studied for maybe another 2 hours and pretty much just kicked back and worked on my tan. Lots of younger travellers, the party crowd. I´m not into partying much myself, but I think as a "elder, I should have some sort of special status. Possibly "senoir beach bum in residence" I may not have the stamina to party all night, but the up side is that I have the beach to myself every morning.
One interesting adventure. (It´s always interesting when you get your adrenalin flowing) The school offered for free a field trip into the mangroves one afternoon. I decided to tag along. I thought we would be riding on one of the bigger launches with other tourists. I was wrong. My teacher, (our guide and fearless captain too) led us through several back yards to a spot where there were several boats beached and proceeded to stuff all 7 of us (8 total) into a boat that was probably designed for four. We shove off and it seemed ok, we had three inches of free board (for you landlubbers, that is how much lower the boat can go before it fills with water)(oh yeh, then it sinks)
The trip itself was really beautiful, I didn´t get enough good pictures to do it justice, but there was one gal who freaked when the boat tilted a bit, and this caused everyone else to freak and try and correct it, generally screaming while they were at it. The fact that the boat was leaking didn´t actually bolster my confidence)
Here's a personal paradox.
This trip and other trips down here I have felt somewhat "guilty" at how little I was paying for everything . The other side of the paradox is I do feel good about saving my money in the states and then coming down here and spreading it around. I can say with a clear conscious that I have not given a nickle to the Marriott's or the Hilton's. One year after hurricane Stan I choose to stay home and just send the money. I helped out a few friends with (I think) some worthwhile causes. I felt good to me and my only real loss was I didn´t get much of a tan that Winter.
One more note on Monterrico. It was a ghost town while I was there, empty restaurants everywhere. Every weekend that changes, -- it is a primo weekend destination for Guatamatecas. A la fin de semana---este TIEMPO por la FIESTA!!! (On the weekend, it´s time to party!!)
It's Friday the 13, of February as I write this (in my notebook) It is mi hija mayor's birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHAY!! I'm back in Antigua, It only took 3 1/2 hours to get here by public transportation. I was pleasantly surprised. It was a pleasant way to spend the morning. First a 30 minute boat ride through the mangroves to a speck of a pueblo which is the"end of the road" Then three separate "chicken bus" rides, all of which I got to sit down, and there were no chickens or goats aboard. I chose to get up early so I could have time in Antigua to catch up on the blogging thing, and get some pictures uploaded. Brigitte has invited me to join them on a trip to Santiago (On Lago Atitlan) for the weekend, I´m looking forward to that, and I plan on staying at the lake for the following week. I´m going to sign off here and begin the next installment.
(Because actually it is Wednesday of the following week, I´m in San Pedro, bored at the moment and thinking about leaving tomorrow).
Hasta al Vista Amigos