Just like at home, driving to the big city to get groceries feels like a mission and my tactics of talking EJ out of going for another day only work so much. So as the tides change and we can surf later in the day, we have an extra cup of coffee and pump ourselves up to go, with loud music and our usual banter.
Breakfast was eaten in the colourful square in the centre of town. Beans and rice, eggs and local cheese, and of course it would not be complete without a coke. Yes I did say that. I never drink pop at home, but down here you can only drink beer and water so much, and hell the pure sugar cane just makes it taste so darn good.
With bellies full, and hands on our pockets protecting cash from sneaky hands, we enter sensory overload of the market. The fresh and colorful veggies are piled rows high, live crabs rustle in oversized baskets. Raw meat hangs from hooks, and spices are sold in fragrent bundles. Police roam through the narrow isles, offering nods here and there. We seek machetes and sling shots, and really just a good look around in the organized chaos.
Nicaraguans have a wonderful sense of humor and as we buy four slingshots for four dollars, a local woman and I entertain all of those within earshot, saying I will only use them “occasionally” on my husband.
We shop at the gringo store for most of other food as it is way easier to get everything in one place rather than sweating and dealing with raw meat smells from the chicken bin. And after spending numerous quiet days at the beach you only really have so much energy to spend shopping. Besides if you have one of the inevitable belly bugs here, they have one of the cleanest toilets in town and air conditioning.
Ej’s new idea is to start an app for an Iphone or GPS, that has toilet comfort ratings so that in an emergency you can hit a button and go destroy the nearest clean toilet in comfort. There have been some scary ones used in times of need, and it’s a circus act to try to not touch any surface. God help you if you forgot the toilet paper that sits mandatorily in the front of the car.
We take out money from the local ATM, well looked over by guards with shotguns. There are no services around the beach area, so as time passes and we get lazier, we begin to start bar and food tabs at all the local joints until we can make a money run.
It always feels so good once the city trip is over, because then you have days upon days of going with the flow, melting into country and beach living.
As we wake each day I wonder what interesting people will come into our lives, or animals we will see. This morning slowly making it’s way across the dusty road was a turtle, it’s wee tail poking out of the back of it’s shell as it disappeared into a wall of sugar cane. Inevitable cow jams fill the road in the early hours of day, as young boys move the herds from pasture to pasture. They are beautiful and patient beasts, that slowly lumber to the side as you drive your car though them all. I keep telling EJ one day, they might get pissed off with all the early bird surfers and lift their tales and cover the windshield.
We saw a skunk, newly born horses that were figuring out their legs and tails, one of whom I am in love with and may purchase instead of a dog. Our friends here said you can buy a horse for twenty-five dollars, and a decent one for a hundred. I think the family will take me to the cleaners if I ask, as they see me stop the car and watch him with longing everyday.
Our best recent find for afternoon antics has been a tide pool that someone took the time to make bigger wit pick axes. As the tide marches out each day a natural rock shelf is revealed with a large square of clear water, sand filled bottom, and striped small fish that swim around your legs. Add a small speaker, beer, and afternoon sunshine and you have a coveted destination for all within the area.
We have been working on our land, hand surveying it with a spool of marked rope, a tape measure and level, trying to get a more accurate view of it so we can begin planning our future buildings. Armed with long socks, hats and bug spray we only have a few operational hours in the morning before it is too hot, or in the late afternoon when the land begins to cool. We wander around the now dry brush, day dreaming of our time to come when we can be here for extended periods of time, living the simple and savored life of a surfer settling in Central America.