Greeting from San Diego, the comfort of the couch, and under the umbrella of my sisters wicked fast wi-fi. Y’all got it great hear in the states. The sequence above I wanted to put on the blog a year ago, but I couldn’t get it to load. I loaded it here in less than a minute. Needless to say the waves are from a long time ago, but the memories are still good to relive. From what I understand the waves are similar to this at home in Nicaragua right now. You can check the web-cam, it was looking pretty good earlier today. The forecast looks pretty good too…I’m enjoying being home, but I still can’t wait to get back to the office!
Click on any photo to see it full screen!
Tacos Pescado Ahumado, Adobado, Al Pastor, Carne Asada, Carnitas, Mole, Chile Relleno, etc….it reads like another language, but it’s a language of love.
One of the few things I miss about California is the Mexican food! Upon arriving in Nicaragua it came clear that I was not getting any of the things above unless I made them. I’m home for a visit this week and now my blood chemistry is about .o1% pura comida Mexicano! I can’t stop.
Thank goodness San Diego has no shortage of good Mexican food either. From food trucks to the scariest little taco stand, you’re never more than 200 yards from something spicy to eat and most of the time it’s good…really good.
When it comes to picking the best Mexican food the rules are pretty simple. Go where the Mexicans go. I grew up in Bonita, an area inland of Chula Vista and only one small town away from the border. I grew up in the breadbox of Mexican cuisine, outside of Mexico anyway. I was front row for the birth of the Baja fish taco and the burrito. Yes, the burrito didn’t exist until Americans, who are notoriously impatient, wanted food to go that they could eat on the go. Americans eat burritos, Mexicans eat tacos and everything else that’s a rule. In fact that’s a rule we should all adhere to. When you’re eating something as good as we’ve got here, take your time, sit down and eat and even better, have it with a cold Pacifico! That rules.
You might have heard me say it before and I’ll for sure say it again, but Nicaraguans are a backwards bunch. Case in point: here the winter months of say, November through March are referred to as summer. The summer months of April through October are referred to as winter. In general they refer to the seasons backwards because of the rain… rainy weather being associated with winter and sunny dry weather the opposite.
Right now we are in what they call “La Veranita” or , “the little summer”. If you look through weather almanacs you can clearly see this phenomenon year to year. The rains typically start around April and it will rain intermittently until sometime around July. Then for about 1 month it goes dry again. Sometime late July into August the rains begin again and often get more frequent and intense until October. Once November hits, the rains go away and it doesn’t rain again for about 6 months.
What is nice about the Veranita is the land is green, the winds are offshore all day and there are no bugs. With the strong winds the mosquitoes that hatched last month are blown out to sea. Without the incessant rain the new hatchings are minimal. Now that doesn’t mean you won’t get hit by no-seeums or sea lice….but that’s another story.
Nobody’s got herpes! As we usually learn by high school, a herpetologist is a snake expert. It requires a Phd and a love for an animal usually thought of as ‘icky’. Apparently we have a lot of them down here including several species that are highly venomous, but a lot that are not including some beautiful Boa Constrictors.
So the other night we were on our way home from Transito…just visiting a buddy for the sunset, having some cold tonas. On the dirt road, right after sunset, we came across a rather large Boa stretched across the road. It was about 7 feet long and beautiful red color in the lights of the truck. As we approached it to get photos and revel in its beauty it tried to slither away into the bush. I took the opportunity to do the “Steve Irwin”, I grabbed its tail and I pulled it back into the road so we could keep looking at it. “Yeah, she’s a cranky one this one” (read with Aussie accent). Wether it sensed the heat of the truck or just a place to hide it headed for the truck and snuggled up to one of the tires. Now I couldn’t back the truck up without backing over the snake. We were able to find a stick which helped me to unwedge the snake, but at this point it just wanted to get away and so it did. The snake slipped off the stick, and then quickly slithered its way up into the under body of the truck…gone, but not forgotten.
“Well I guess we should go” I said to the group. “You’re not going to get the snake out?” they asked.
The Boa constrictor was about as thick as my bicept…a 7 foot long bicept. There was no way I was getting this Boa out from under that car. It was going to have to want to come out when it wanted. With reluctance we all loaded into the truck along with the Boa, but we didn’t know exactly where it was located.
We made it home safe and apparently the Boa did too because in the morning we found it wedged into the wheel well adjacent to the motor- no doubt enjoying the warmth from the engine as it cooled that night. Jose had taken a lighter to see if he could use that to prod the snake out…no luck with that of course, it was only burning the snake and I made him stop. Then they tried the hose, which just made the snake a clean snake. I told them to leave the snake in there and when it wanted to come out it would. I couldn’t convince the locals that the Boa wasn’t venomous as they believe all snakes are. They finally insisted on calling their buddy who knew something about snakes.
With some time they were able to get a loop of its body out and a rope around that. With some steady pulling the were finally able to free the snake. They wanted to kill it and eat it. I said no. They wanted me to kill it and eat it, I said no. I had them put the snake back in the bush where it belonged and where I wish I’d let it crawl to the night before.
It was pretty cool to see it, but next time I’m going to park just a little farther away.
Some of you might remember that earlier in the year I was engaged to guide for an author, Elliott Woods, who was writing an article for Outside magazine the subject of which is the canal project here in Nicaragua. To get his research on the subject he asked me to guide him across Nicaragua, translate for him and help him with the logistics etc… We had a blast even though it was a tough ride and involved a lot of hour to hour logistics to keep Elliott in the audience of people that had answers and insight into the canal project. I actually purchased three Serpento Supermoto 250cc motorcycles to use for the trip…Outside magazine was willing to pay me a fee and reimburse for motorcycle rentals so I used that money to fund the purchase of the bikes…and now the three bikes are here for rent at Surf Tours Nicaragua;-) We definitely put the bikes through the paces and logged well over 1000km on the tour. We went clear across the country until we had to take a boat to go further. We even loaded 4 motorcycles onto a panga in order to traverse some rough country sparing our arses further damage. We covered a lot of ground because we had to and my only though is that I would like to revisit a lot of the places we went and spend some more time there. It was a beautiful ride though, particularly in the Eastern reaches. There is a subtle continental divide here in Nicaragua and as we defended the Eastern slopes, the dry scrub of the pacific side gave way to deep lush green of the Atlantic. Even in the dry season there is some scattered rain that stacks up against the divide and keeps the east verdant through the dry season. The saddest part of that was the east used to be covered in ancient hardwood forests that have been clearcut for lumber and to make way for palm plantations. Not the best way of preserving the natural landscape, the scars remain, but the land is still beautiful. I might just have to do this again, but this time I’m going to take my time a little more and go North to South instead of West to East.
The link for the article is attached…enjoy!
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