Monday, June 23, 2008

One week gone by...

Back in the same internet cafe, sadly the air conditioner doesn’t seem able to cool all the hot bodies in here today, its raining outside and it seems like everyone else in town has the same idea as we do- do laundry and go to the internet.

The past few days have been incredibly relaxing and after a week here we are finally starting to feel in the groove of things again, with life here, and each other, and our daily routine. We've spent most of the time exploring new beaches in the close proximity of our camp site. My book, short stories by Barbara Kingsolver is just a few short pages from ending; I've spent lots of time in the hammock. The soccer semi-finals have been on TV and Pollo has been watching them religiously with people from all over the world. The Russia and Holland game proved particularly noisy.

We’ve been cooking two of our meals a day at the camp sight; we found some pancake mix that is all in one just add water, so add fresh bananas and guava jelly and giggle as all the other campers envy our feast. The stove in the kitchen is more like a blow torch and a bit of a death trap to light- Pollo has take on that task and does so with a lighter attached to a 3 foot long stick. The fridge here is a nightmare, it doesn’t stay cold and things get stolen, I’ve taken to writing "pregnant Kerry’s" on all our food, hoping people will feel some kind of compassion for stealing my food, it was oh so sad to get all hyped up for grilled cheese and end up with just bread. For lunch we have been enjoying all kinds of salads, today we have PB&J with papaya planned. There is an older gent named Norman who typically shares the kitchen with us while we cook, and amuses us with his stories of traveling throughout the region.

Dinner is our meal out and we have tried almost everyplace in this little rinky dink town, but our stand by is now "Miss Sam's Soda" a tiny ma and pop cafe that serves up good (not great) plates of jerk chicken accompanied with salads and a tablespoon of spaghetti with sauce and sometimes a fried banana. They also have their own scotch bonnet hot sauce in huge jars on the table and Pollo always leaves looking like he's just come from the shower. Sam her self is very unfriendly, but the service is fast and the price is right at just 3$ per meal. Best of all they are one of the only places in town that never runs out of watermelon juice, my personal favorite!

Yesterday we rented bikes, heavy clunkers, beach cruisers with fancy seats and 3lb locks- packed up avocado and cheese sandwiches and headed out with our snorkel gear to the near by town of Punta Uva. The ride took us first through the jungle on a tiny foot path, winding our way through the trees and vines sending ground crabs running in every direction. It paralleled the beach for a while finally dumping us out the other side onto a dirt road that looked like it had a recent land mine explosion every few feet- just a little bumpy. But still with fly catchers and tanagers and parrots over head and the thick jungle canopy shading us from the sun above it was really a great ride. It was only 5 miles to our destination where another dirt food path took us back out to the beach; we rode a few hundred feet up the surf line in the waves (something new for me and very exciting) and found ourselves a little private piece of with sand with aqua blue water and coral reef lining the beach. here is the map of our route, click on the S on the screen to see the sat image The snorkel Jesse got me a few years ago was put to use and we spotted lots of fish or al sizes, the water was a bit rough but it made for excitement as schools of big parrot fish would suddenly appear in very close proximity to our faces. Pollo gave a few shouts through the snorkel, and it was very funny to watch.

Soon afterwards we were joined by the Sunday crowd of families; they all pulled up in their trucks and SUVs, spilling kids and coolers and blankets everywhere. We worked on our tans and talked about baby names for a while, and eventually the families all left to avoid the mid day heat and we retired for a short nap to the shade of our palm tree.

The ride home seemed to go faster than the way there; we raced huge morpho butterflies the entire way, and were soon back at the campgrounds. A cold shower and a hot meal finished off the day. We sat in the hammocks last night and watched a huge tropical storm role in from the sea- lighting filled the sky and it was still pouring when we woke up this morning. All the crabs have taken refuge in their holes, drain pipes, and overhangs in the sidewalks- they look like little trolls guarding their bridges.

Today should be our last day here; we are moving on tomorrow to a town about an hour north to explore new territory. More updates soon!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Crabs and Jerk Chicken

We made it! Our first blog update from central America, we are paying  as much for this hour on the internet as our for our camp site, but I cant really complain as I am sitting right in front of the air conditioner. Planes, trains, and automobiles and here we are, together again at last!

We spent our first night in San Jose and left all Chicolinis stuff in storage, hopefully it will be there when we get back. Although we were really taken by the smog, hustle, and bustle of downtown San Jose we made a quick exit to the next morning to the Caribe bus station and took a lovely scenic 4.5 hour bus ride trough the mountains and out to the Caribbean coast, which has less of a rainy season than the other side.

After a short hike up the main dirt road, passing Rasta’s of all ages enjoying the late afternoon sun and fishing, we made our way to camp ground Rocking J's which for most of the night is rocking, but for most of the day is a quiet and friendly safe haven for backpackers of all ages see us on this map too - be sure to push the S at the bottom of the page so that you can see the satellite image!

Our first few days we enjoyed the shallow tidal pools in front of our camp sight, which are filled with warm water, coral and beautiful tiny neon blue fish. They swim in and out and all around our legs as we enjoy the warm sun and gentle waves. My pre-tanning proved a great investment as we didn’t think to bring any sun tan lotion; Pollo has since made the investment. Norman, an older gent who has been at this camp site for 7 weeks now still has my golden brown gut beat, but at least I’m in the running!
There was a toga party with all you can drink tropical fruit punch with vodka, pollo enjoyed the punch and I enjoyed the togas. He met a few Newcastle fans and as the full moon came up over the sea I retired to our tent. The next day not many were up before noon giving me lots of privacy on the beach to do yoga and read my books. I did however break my sun glasses making it very hard to read- note to self, buy new sun glasses!

It was yesterday while chatting with some other folks here we were told we had been enjoying the crummy beach this entire time- you could have fooled me! I took a short hike up the beach through the jungle path that runs along the short and came to a huge open beach filled with surfers, white sand, and coconut palms. I jumped into the huge waves and rolled around a bit. It is indeed an amazing beach but I must say I still love our little tidal coral reef pools and tiny fishes. The walk through the jungle on the way was amazing in its self. the ground is COVERED in fist sized bright yellow, red, and purple crabs who are all pulling huge hunks of rotting fruit down into their underground layers. The trees above were filled with birds of all types including huge kingfishers and tiny yellow tail bobbing warblers? We need a bird book, for now we are left to guessing. Maybe we should start making our own names for them all.

The new tent is working out great, we have it set up under a roof so that we can take the fly off and the screen keeps us as cool as we can hope to be at night. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we needed to invest in pillows, but finding pillows in this town proved a bit more problematic. After all we asked a man selling his wares on the street and he said "Oh! My wife is pregnant! You need pillows for between your legs! Yes go to the pharmacy!" and indeed we did find there two very overstuffed pillows that as hard as bricks, but that can be fixed with a small surgery later. All in all the place we staying is great and the best part is, we are paying just 2$ per night for hammocks, showers, beach front camping, and friendly staff. Not to mention they have a TV showing the Euro soccer league games, so P has a worthy retreat from the mid day sun.

Everything here is just great. We are both so happy to be together again but missing our friends and family and wishing you were all here. But don’t worry; I had an extra helping of jerk chicken for you all last night! Yum yum!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Getting started!

Hey everybody! Here we go with our very first blog!

2 summers ago in p-town, on a night like this, cold and dreary,  Pollo arrived at my door, the unexpected roommate who was to sleep in the hallway to the bathroom for the rest of the summer (behind a sheet that is). It was friendship right away, but I don't think either of us fully understood the real meaning of this 1 in a million chance. A year later we shared the stuffy yet romantic attic closet for the summer, and this time he brought along a group of friends who (unbeknownst to us) would soon become our wedding party.

We ended the summer with a exploration of America's deep south, a near tragic mountain biking accident, and a plan to not spend another winter at opposite ends of the earth.

Pollo left in September and soon found us a great little apartment in Vilnius downtown, where we spent the winter. Although it may not seem the ideal winter vacation spot, we enjoyed lots of time going out with friends, and staying in with each other on blustery Sunday afternoons. We mastered the art of banana bread and tortilla making, and watched endless BBC nature shows.

In November we went backpacking in North Africa (Morocco, Western Sahara, and Mauritania) and shortly after we were married on the hill in Vilnius. We spent our honey-moon in Italy, and then back again to Lithuania. Chicolini the great joined us shortly after and has been traveling along with me ever since, Due to make his grand out-of belly arrival Labor day weekend this year.

This spring I came home to the USA to spend a little time here while Pollo finished up his thesis. It was really was a beautiful spring here, and it was great to be at home with my family for a long over due visit. We built a new chicken coup, put in hundreds of feet of fencing, and started a small dairy goat operation (more to come on that later). Today Pollo finished his thesis and I for one will be happy to un-twist his hair and throw his computer down the well!

Now for the most exciting part! We are off to Costa Rica next week, the 16th of June for our long awaited rendezvous. Chicolini and I have grown significantly in the past few weeks and I cant wait to sport my new Homer Simpson costume on the beaches of Central America.

Homeland security has Pollo's green card application and they need it to ballast their war ships until sometime in the fall/winter- so we are taking my economic stimulus check and having our baby in a tropical paradise. You know what they say "When they give you lemons, make lemon-aid." and you all know that lemon-aid is my favorite drink :) Don't worry, I plan to be home in time to vote.

So only 12 days till we fly. We will spend the summer on a grand tour of all the best beaches and rain forest and thanks to mom's ease dropping in Target’s maternity section, we have a lovely 2 bedroom house with hammocks awaiting us for the grand event.

So, stay tuned folks- much exciting news to come in the next few weeks!