Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jan 28th - Week 4 (Part I)

(Sorry for the delay in posting...)

Week 4?  Have we been here that long?

It's hard to believe that we've been here almost a month.  It feels like we're just getting the "real" hang of it.  We are comfortable walking, shopping and taking the public transportation all around town.  We even took our first camionetta.

If you don't know, the camionettas are basically just pick-up trucks with an awning over the back.  Some have benches on the sides inside the bed of the truck, others just have room for standing.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous taking one with Josie but, it was nothing to worry about!  The people on the bench slid over to make room for Josie's little bottom and we were off.  No problems.

For the most part, all of the bus guys (there's one driver and one that you pay) have been very helpful with Josie getting on and off the bus.  Most of them will hold her arm or hand, some will even pick her up and put her on the sidewalk.  She only had one little slip off the steps of the bus.  As she says, "I'm ok!" It was a little traumatic at the time though.  It was a packed bus, and extra tall too, and I couldn't reach her hand as she walked down the stairs.  I was still trying to squeeze myself through the crowd.  (Seriously, sometimes you feel like you need to grease your sides and slide through!)  Lee had just stepped off the bus and turned to grab her hand when she slipped off the last step.  She hit her back but, we got ice on it right away and then carried her the 10 minute walk to the Kingdom Hall.  (VERY hot & VERY tiring!!)  She had a little bruise but, she's a trooper.  Not even a complaint after the initial fall.

Monday.  Man, did we have a great day last week!  We planned a boat trip with the family next door, the Larsons and their parents.  We first took a bus to Las Penitas, the southern part of the beach here.  That was a fun experience!  Really all the buses can be an experience but, this one seemed to be extra special.  We had an extra packed bus, lots of stuff in the back and overhead racks, and we were squeezed in through the back door.  Boy, personal space is not an option here!  Lee said you usually feel violated as least a few times on a bus ride. :-0

Waiting at the bus stop:

I was able to take a couple of sneaky pics while still holding on to the bar and Josie too!

Anyway, we got to the beach, found the restaurant we were meeting our guide at and sat down to eat some lunch.  That's another adventure here.  For the most part any time you go out to eat you are going to wait at least an hour before you get your food.  It was probably a little more than that for this particular meal.  Fortunately, the guide wasn't on time either.  We had a nice meal with a beautiful view and enjoyable company.

When the guide, he's a local JW, came we took a walk down the beach to the park office.  There we had to pay the park entrance fee.  The park is on Isla de Juan Venado.  That's John Deer island for you gringos. ;-)  We got a chuckle out of that.

After paying the entrance fee we went to get the boat.  First, our guide had a helper and the two of them were pushing the boat through the shallow water to get it to the spot we were supposed to get on.  He came, we all got on, went a little ways and then it was too shallow again.  So, the boys got out to push.  After a few in and outs with pushing the boat we were finally able to reach the mouth of the river.

It was a beautiful ride!  We saw many different kinds of birds.  Most of them took flight when we approached and gave us a show.  We were also on the look out for caymans.  The guide was in the back of the boat, steering the outboard motor.  He saw a cayman about 6 feet long but, by the time we all turned around he was long gone.

The river runs parallel to the beach.  We went to the furthest point of our tour and stopped at a little beach in the woods.  We followed the path to the beach and we were welcomed to our own private beach.  Wow!  It was breathtaking!  There was an unusual shoreline at this beach.  It looked like sand but, felt like rocks.  There were many tidal pools and crevices for little snails, crabs and other critters.  We probably could have just stayed to play there all day.  But, no!  We were on to the main event.

Path to the beach.

The entrance to "our private beach."

We took the path back to the boat and came back the way we had come.  About half-way back we stopped at another little beach in the woods.  This time there was a little dock.  We took the path, much further this time, to the beach again.  This time we were greeted by an enclosure.  We looked in to see four, maybe five?, iguanas in there.  They are quick and stealthy!  The first time we looked in we only saw one.  By the time we left we had found the rest of his companions.

A little further toward the beach was a hut, and a large covered area.  We approached the covered area and were greeted by a local woman.  She didn't say much but, she didn't have to.  She passed out one latex glove to each of us and we looked into the plastic tub next to us to see this cute little guy.

We all took turns holding him and his sibling.  I was so excited to be able to do this.  Holding in my hand this tiny little creature that will grow so large, live so long and travel untold miles in the ocean just impressed me so much.  We were told that these two had been born that morning and would be released that night.

There were also other nests that were netted to protect them from humans and other predators.  We were told that the people here like to eat the turtle eggs.  (So sad!)  This particular nesting area we were told is run by the government but, the people that work there live off of the donations that visitors give them.

After our brief encounter with those amazing creatures we were back down at the beach enjoying the, again, private beach.

I love this guy!

The ride back after our "dirty feet" kind of day.

Getting tired now.

A beautiful view of the beach.

I know there's a lot of pics in this post so, I'm splitting this week up into two postings.  I'll put the other one up soon!

Much love to you all!
We miss you!
The Bachman Family

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