Published: April 25th 2011April 4th 2011
Up early today to dive. This bed is so comfortable here & the breeze is so cool, I think I could sleep forever. The breeze just blows directly into our cabana & straight through the room right off the sea. It keeps the bugs away & provides for a pleasant nights sleep. And the sound of the waves crashing all night, just lull you into deep sleep. I could stay forever. Really.
This morning we said goodbye to Derek & the fam, who all sit out in their open air kitchen area in the mornings, & headed down the path toward town. I love starting the morning with a walk through the densely filled forest of palm trees & tropical plants. We saw a huge hermit crab on the ground under the brush. Apparently he didn't get the memo that it's morning & time for him to go to bed.
Once in town we went on another search for the elusive coconut bread. Everybody was out. They say things like "no more, it's finished" meaning they're out. Sad day. We bought some Club Social (always said with a deep voice & over the top Spanish accent thanks to Peter)
& ate our hard boiled eggs on the deck of the dive shop. It's kinda fun after being here a few days we recognize people & they recognize us & everyone says hi, good morning, alright, etc. The community here just grabs you up & reels you in. It's nice & warm & inviting & makes you want to stay.
We're diving today with Mariano & mostly dive shop people & Dave's parents. We headed out to Daniel's Rock. The weather today is changing, just like they said it would. It's been really windy & a little cooler. There's been a few rain clouds that have passed over but haven't stayed long. On the west side of the island the waves aren't quite as big. This dive was super fun. On my descent into the water I spotted a humongous Southern Stingray just sitting on the sandy bottom sort of under the overhang of the reef with what looked like a little shark sitting right next to him. This guy was ginormous. We guesstimated at least a 5-6 foot wingspan. He was beautiful just sitting there. The dive was really nice with coral mounds & sand all around them.
We saw several sting rays buried in the sand with their big eyes poking out & staring at us. So sweet! We saw some more huge Midnight Parrotfish & Porcupinefish. What I learned on the surface is that the shark like fish is a Cobia, a bottom feeder type of fish that looks a lot like a shark. He was just hanging out with the stingray like buddies. We saw the stingray swim by at the end of the dive. So huge! It was really breathtaking to watch. And funny, with his little Cobia in tow behind him. BFF's.
We headed back to the dive shop for our surface interval, which is nice since the reef is just offshore. We looked at the reef books & discussed where we should head for our next dive & ate snacks. Our new fav: Cocana cookies dipped in peanut butter. Yummy! We bought chicken enchiladas (more like empanadas, but they call them enchiladas) for later & back out to the boat after going over our dive plan. I like the way they do the pre-dive brief here. They draw a picture on a white board of the reef & tell us how
we are going to navigate through it, where we'll end up, where the boat will be. It's nice to have a visual & an idea when you are underwater.
Our next dive site was Stanley's & was a shallow reef dive. There were tons & tons of bright fish & of course some big ones. We saw another really big Ocean Trigger Fish. There are so many varieties of Parrotfish here, babies, big ones. They're so bright & colorful. And Geoff saw a juvenile Butterfly fish that was no larger than a quarter, so cute.
Back at the dive shop we hung out for a bit & watched the panga arrive at the dock & the newest group of tourists to arrive. It's fun to people watch & see the expressions on their faces as they walk onto the island. We talked with Kelly, the chef from Casa Iguana, who also dove with us today & watched her order pieces of a cow that was being butchered. It was funny. This guy walks onto the deck & asks for Kelly. She says "I'm here" & he says I have some cow if you want to buy any. Love
it! So we asked when she'd be cooking this cow so we could enjoy it too. After all the talk of food we headed to Rosa's for another serving of delicious food. I, of course, ordered the curry chicken again. It was just too delicious yesterday. Geoff had stir fried beef. We just sat & enjoyed the shade & talked about our dives & our love of this island. We will be back soon.... for sure! While sitting there a little boy walked up to us & asked if we wanted to buy coconut bread. I guess if you want something bad enough it will eventually just come to you! Woohoo! We bought two big rounds of bread, just in case we don't find it again for awhile. The elusive coconut bread finally we have you!!
After lunch we headed down to the beach to walk back to Derek's. Along the beautiful beach we were stopped by a couple we had met in Ometepe. They bought us a beer & we chatted for awhile. Then on the road, or beach, again to enjoy the rest of the afternoon lounging at our place. The beach is so beautiful here. This
side of the island has sand that is made up of millions of little pieces of shells. All broken up on the reef because of the almost constant east blowing wind.
Back at Derek's we took our second bucket shower to remove the unpleasant smell of stinky armpit related to stinky armpit in wetsuit. Aka wetsuit armpit odor. It never fails. Something about the wetsuit & BO. And after walking on the dusty trail our feet need a good cleaning. Bucket showers are quite entertaining & I'm not sure I could take one without Geoff's help. So, it's a team effort & we were cracking up almost the entire time. Of course Geoff had to throw water at me a couple times. Give a boy a bowl of water & what will he do with it? It's a cute shower though. The floor is cement but filled with shells & rocks in a circular design. It's completely open air & surrounded by conch shells & the walls are made out of bamboo.
I journaled & then we spent some very quality time reading in a variety of hammocks & chairs & grass combos. When the sun gets to
be too much, move to the shade, lay on the grass, lay in the bed. So many options. All so good too!
After the sunset we sat on the highback wood chairs & shared a pineapple juice (freshly blended) & rum. No stars tonight with all the clouds but it's still beautiful. The breeze feels so good, it's almost chilly. I had to wear my sweatshirt for the first time in ages & it felt really good. A reprieve from the sweltering heat.
We had dinner here tonight. Derek & Ana cook up an amazing fish dinner. Geoff & I played cribbage at the kitchen table while waiting for dinner & Lola sat in my lap & helped me play my cards the entire time. Dinner was incredible. Breaded fresh fish served with spicy passionfruit jelly, a Spanish noodle dish that reminded me of veggie chow mein, & baked squash with Nica cheese & pineapple on top. Wow!! Dinner is served family style at the table with Derek & Ana & Marc & the 2 new guests from Germany. It was fun & lively at dinner. We talked about Nicaraguan politics & worldwide politics, given that we are from
all over the world at this one table, & all kinds of things. Travel, work, life, etc. It was really fun.
We stayed up & chatted with the German couple & Marc & talked about our different cultures & values that we have. Always interesting to discuss culture & values & the differences between our cultures firsthand with other cultures. One thing I will say is that almost every German we have met speak incredibly good English. It's really impressive.
After we all said goodnight we all ended up in the shared bathroom, brushing our teeth together. It's so funny, the little things like that kind of create an instant feeling of roomates/family. Shared dinner, shared bathroom, goodnight!
More reading & sleepy time....to the sound of the waves & the wind.
There are more photos below