Rowing Everywhere Isn't So Bad....Really
11 December 2007 | Bahia del Sol
Amy/ upper 80's, sunny and wonderful
The impellar that came wasn't the right size...this is getting beyond frustrating. Jim's getting a lot of exercise and building his biceps and trapezius muscles- I guess that's a benefit! Not sure it outweighs the inconvenience. Anyway-okay, on to the next plan- sound familiar? Plan E: called my dad yesterday a.m., having him make some calls around TC to see about getting one ordered, shipped to TC, they'll pick it up, and ship to us, aka $$$. We already had 3 boxes shipped to us and are expecting them in a week or so, if we're lucky. Mucho Dola` to have things shipped here.
Our trip to SanSal on Friday was L-O-N-G. We left our boat at 7 a.m. and didn't arrive back to it until about 12:30 a.m.-17 ½ hrs.- Yawn!!! We rode the bus to SanSal where we met Edwin at the place just outside of the city limits called the Arco, (Arch). I keep referring to Amazing Race, and for those of you who have seen some episodes, you'll know what I mean. When we got on the bus, and got seated and got going down the road, you'd of thought the driver was in an Indy car race! Fast take offs, quick stops, people get on and before they're even up the steps, he's off, the door never closes, go, stop, go stop. There were only about 5 other people on the bus when we got on, but it quickly filled up, 1 here, 2-3 next. It got to a point after about 30 min. into the ride that the bus was full and there were 12, maybe 15 people standing. Then, some of those in the middle had to get off! We got to the Arco a little after 8 a.m.- a 30-40 min. ride. We got in Edwin's truck, and the guys had there "Man"errands to do, metal fabrication "store", body work shop. And when I say store, it's not what you would picture, but backs of a building with just a metal door for an entrance, or kind of an alley feel. Not a store with a store front or store sign above an awning. Much like a hole in the wall kind of place.
After there, we went to an open market in the middle of town, it went on for blocks and blocks. There were several of the same type stores, right next to each other, hardware store after hardware store, all selling much of the same items. Then plastics- stools, tubs, bins, bowls, crates... all plastic items, same thing, store after store, some the same, some had a few different items. Electric appliances- mixers, microwaves, blenders. Then a whole load of clothes, shoes, jewelry, bootlegged DVD's and CD's- selling for $1. Household goods- toilet paper, laundry items... on and on and on. You name it, it's probably somewhere in that market place. There is an indoor area in the center, that was 2-3 stories tall, where the food vendors were-fresh market items, then up a level was salon after salon after salon- nails and hair salons are BIG down here. Then the upper level was the restaurant vendors. Jim and I ate lunch for $4.75- together- NOT each. And we were full. We each had 1 papoosa, 1 tamale, and rice, and a coke-plus Jim also had 2 pieces of bbq pork. Some of you are thinking, "Amy drank a Coke?!?" Yes! It's my second one down here, the first was last Sunday at the beach. Coke and other soft drinks down here are made with azucar(sugar), of course, NOT high fructose corn syrup. I'm still trying not to drink too much of it, 'cuz it's still got sugar which I need to stay away from, but when you're out and about and you've had your fill of water, it's a nice change! And I just have to tell you about the restroom experience! Don't worry, I won't fill in every detail, but imagine this. You walk up to the entrance, and there is a lady sitting on the Mujeres (women's) side and a man on the hombres side behind a table. You give them $.10 and they give you tp they've rolled around their hand. You enter your respective side and enter your stall- first observation, dirty bowl, second, no seat, just the bowl- you pray the lady gave you LOTS of tp to cover the "seat" that doesn't exist! No tank top, no place to put or hang any of your belongings. Job done. Go to wash your hands, there's a long trough the length of the wall, with the old fashioned style spigots- "wait, please tell me there's soap somewhere?"...""oh, there it is, a single bar with a piece of rope around it hanging down in the middle of this trough". No towel, or automatic air dryer, shake and go! Honestly, that's top notch compared to some of the bano's we've seen around already.
After lunch, we shopped around the market place for about another hour and also took pictures of the outside of the cathedral right at the end of one of the streets. The Church was gated and locked and we could not get inside, but I'm sure it looks beautiful. This is not the same Cathedral that some of you may be familiar with that the movie "Romero" was based on. That is in a different part of town and we would like to get over to see it some time before we leave. Oh, and the smells!!! You'd go from smelling raw sewage that you could barely stand, then a few steps later smelling something from the cafeteria area, then laundry soap from the household vendors. The noise was like being at a fair where there's people calling over their P.A. systems calling you to come buy their ware's. And the traffic, this is not like closing off the streets for the Cherry Festival. It'd be like walking around the Cherry Festival with cars going through the street, and they expect you to get out of their way.
Okay, this is getting long, hope I'm not boring you- I'm not even ½ way through the day- but I'll try to shorten it up. The rest of the day was not nearly as interesting. The guys had more places they needed to go, we looked for a used generator, didn't find one, but found a lead to one. Finally at 6:30 I got to start my errands. We started looking for a particular item for Bridget for her Birthday, couldn't find what we were looking for, more expensive than back home. Should of known, imported items are more expensive, and I knew that before we came down, just decided to take a chance, since space was limited. We still are going to look for it for Christmas, that's why I'm being so secretive, in case she reads this. We might end up combining Birthday and Christmas and give her the one gift together. Stores started closing on us, but we still had to get groceries. By the time we got done with that it was 9, and we still hadn't ate dinner. In the area we were shopping was called Metro Centro and it is like a mall that's 2 stories tall, with the outdoor entrances. There was a Pizza Hut, KFC, some other possibilities. We all opted for the Hut. By the time we got done eating and the drive back to Bahia del Sol, it was Midnight, and then getting our items in the dinghy and back to the boat and the cold food put away, we fell into bed at 1 a.m.
We had a small party for Bridget Sunday at Aqua Fun. Our friends from another boat, and Santos and his wife and son came. We bought some yummy cupcakes from a bakery in LaHerradura and served them with cut-up strawberries, kinda like shortcake style, Yum! The cupcakes were 4/$.25. She had to blow out imaginary candles 'cuz while we were there, our candles we brought from home came up missing. They were on the table next to everything else, and all of us looked and looked and could not find them. None of us ever saw anyone by our table, but for some strange reason, they got up and walked away.
The weather has been great! We have had only 1 night with rain, for just a couple hours or so, I'm not sure exactly, it was during the night. Other than that, sunny, beautiful, warm, with borderline hot. We gaze up at the stars every night. You can't see the Big Dipper down here, only after about 12:30 or so, we know, we did start to see the handle rise up when we were coming back to the boat last Friday. Shooting stars, one night we saw the ISS. Cannot see the Southern Cross, maybe when we get down closer to Panama. But seeing some really pretty sunrises/sets is the norm!