Almost Time to Leave the Rio, Already!
02 December 2012 | Casey's dock, Cayo Quemado, Rio Dulce
Beth / 90's with showers
We got a chance to explore Flores a wee bit after we checked our bag at the Santa Elena bus station on Friday. The same driver who had brought us in from El Remate drove us across the causeway to La Casona de la Isla, a hotel where Kelsey suggested we might find a good breakfast. It was indeed a good one: watermelon juice, coffee, fruit and fried bananas alongside a tortilla topped with a layer of black beans and a poached egg. The dining room was charming in bright Caribbean colours of turquoise, pink and yellow. We walked around the whole island, admiring the balconied hotels that faced over to the town of San Miguel, stopping to sit on a stone wall in the sun as we waited for our departure time. Then we hailed a tuk tuk – one of those little 3 wheeled, 2 passenger cars that zoom around all the little towns. It cost Q10 ($1.27) for the two of us and deposited us right at the door of the bus station. What fun!
The trip back was 40 minutes shorter than going, and it was sheer luck that I looked up as the bus slowed and recognized the pattern of the stores. As I exclaimed, “We’re here!” we scrambled to collect our books and backpacks and hurried up the aisle. I’m not sure if they would ever have announced the stop, or noticed that we had stayed on if we’d missed it. Jim had to practically climb into the luggage compartment to find our bag, and I could see the conductor getting anxious to get going. Fortunately I knew that bus wasn’t going anywhere until Jim had our bag!
As we walked onto the deck at Bruno’s we spotted Keith, who had come up with the lancha that morning, on his way to the Cayman Islands for a few months. We picked up a few things for Casey, had a bite of lunch and headed home to Madcap. Next day, I did laundry, started writing blog postings and we met Sarah and Jim who are building a home just across the bay, and their friend, Don, who arrived at El Tortugal a week ago.
Casey had found some fish for us – riballo (also known as snook) – and we enjoyed a fish dinner on Saturday. Jean Pierre (Taj Mahal) and Jennifer came over from Buenavista Bay, and the 5 of us cosied into Madcap’s cockpit for an al fresco dinner. I baked the filets with onion, sundried tomatoes, chopped fresh tomatoes and capers, served them with a mashed potato/carrot mixture and a corn/red pepper/cilantro salad. I’m trying to use up my fresh produce and fridge contents before we leave, and this sure helped. Jennifer brought her famous apple crisp and cream – sooo goood. As usual with this crowd, the conversation was stimulating and the laughs were frequent.
We are looking at the job list again as we get ready to leave on Tuesday, and so Casey and Che worked with Jim to start installing a new water line into our second tank, and we asked Tom from Quemado Sails to come over and take measurements for a sun awning and rainwater catchment system. With a little luck that will be ready when we come back in January.
This departure thing has taken me by surprise. Although I knew all along that we were going to take a week’s Spanish lessons before we go home for Christmas, I somehow kept thinking I had until the 13th here. What a shock to finally hear and comprehend Jim saying, “We … are … leaving … here …Tuesday!” So, I made piles of cold weather clothing to take home, lists of things to bring back. I cleaned out the fridge and Jim cleaned off the decks again. We zipped over to Texan Bay for supper – Sandy’s famous homemade ravioli for me and the very last BBQ pork sandwich for Jim. Fortunately, it’s only a month till we’re back to spend another couple of weeks here before we head up to Belize to do some exploring.
As for now – one more day, and we’re on the move again! We’ll take a lancha ride to Rio Dulce, make the dreaded 6 hour bus ride to Guatemala city, connect with either bus or taxi to Antigua and roll into our host family’s home in time for dinner. Spanish lessons start at PLFM at 8 o’clock sharp on Thursday. School day jitters starting anytime now!