When Walking Pays Off

3/30/2013

Evi said there was a farmer’s market today where fruits and veggies were cheaper than the store and that I should go check it out.  It was in Puerto Viejo (PV) and it’s 3km from here…doesn’t sound too bad.  I mean, I’ve spent HOURS walking in the jungle before so this should be a piece of cake.  Plus, it was still early and fairly cool and not many people on the road, so after I made breakfast and checked to make sure the beach was still there, I took off.

I stayed on the shady side of the road and it was nice.  I’d look up at the trees, hoping to see a sloth or a troop of monkeys.  I didn’t see those, but what I DID see were those HUGE banana spiders with their giant webs up in the electrical lines.  It was crazy!  There were probably 50-75 of them along this one stretch and I was walking almost right beneath them.  Not that they’d fall on me or eat me, but they were a little scary.  Some had babies in the web…they were all just chillin, not moving.

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Then I looked to my right and saw the beautiful Caribbean and it was blue this time.  This is the first day the sun has been out since I arrived.  I stopped in at a few little beaches and took some pictures (sorry, with the camera phone, didn’t do it justice).  The water was calmer over here than it is at my beach.  I got to PV and saw a huge pig roasting…I really should’ve gotten some.  Then I popped into a bakery which was crowded but the breads looked and smelled great.  I would catch that on the way back.  After asking directions TWICE to the farmer’s market I found it.  I got some sausage, cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, mango, green beans and a bag of oranges.  The fruits/veggies set me back about $7 and the sausage was $4.50.

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Naturally this was heavy.  It was getting hot and I didn’t feel like walking back home.  I had the tourist office call me a cab (they’re not just readily available here) and got a ride for $4…best spent $4 yet!  Oh, the bakery line was too crowded, so I passed on the bread unfortunately.

Finally caught a good shot of the hummingbird too!

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Jaguar Rescue Center

Hi Buttercup!!
Hi Buttercup!!

I dropped by the Center today to drop off the Goat’s milk for the monkeys.  They had tons which made me feel better.  For some reason I thought they might be desperate, but thankfully I was wrong.  I waited a while and got to look around.  I saw the volunteers cleaning extensively, one girl had a monkey on her head while she worked.  There was a parrot talking to himself and screaming like a child on a big branch.  A couple of deer roamed free.  A toucan with some missing toes harassed everyone and everything…even trying to tear a plastic trash bag out of its bin.  They wish he would just free himself (he has the option of doing that) but he won’t.  And apparently that’s kind of how it works there.  They take the monkeys out to the forest each day and if they want to come back ‘home’, they do.  Sometimes they spend the night (but rarely) and some find troops that have adopted them.  So it seems pretty cool.  No forceable releases…they go when they feel it’s time.

Little Buttercup up there was adorable.  I felt badly for the sloths though because they stay with mom for a very long time and these didn’t have a mom.  They’re so sweet…I can’t wait to nurture them.  What a great job…being mommy to loveable creatures.

Tiny pit viper..what could be cuter!?!
Tiny pit viper..what could be cuter!?!

Everyone knows I take a liking to snakes and there were plenty.  Poo said the owner deals w/ them but if you (meaning ME) has an affinity for them, I may be able to help with them.  Maybe the educational part and possibly the cleaning of the cages or whatever.  They also help with venom collection.  Poo said if you were to get bitten by a poisonous snake, this is the place to have it happen (meaning Puerto Viejo area) since there’s a large stock of antivenin.  Pretty cool.  Saw some beautiful pit vipers, large boas and rattlesnakes.  I’m always very picky about enclosures and all of these met my standard, so that made me happy.

Oh wait, baby pit vipers cuddling with mom...definitely cuter.
Oh wait, baby pit vipers cuddling with mom…definitely cuter.

So I will start a week from Monday and maybe sooner since some volunteers are leaving.  Can’t wait!  Sure as heck beats resetting passwords under fluorescent lights!  Oh, and the beach is right across the street.  Yeah, what could be better than that!?

In The Yard

Got a customer!
Got a customer!
Morpho butterfly
Morpho butterfly

So I finally ventured out into my yard today to see what was there after it stopped raining (which went on ALL night and morning).  I found the lime tree with a lot of limes on there, some very hard though…not sure what that means considering they look ripe.  Haven’t tried to cut them open yet.  There is a little perch where I can put fruit and such for birds so I did…a little leftover banana I had for breakfast.  Then I saw a big ol Morpho flutter by and land on a leaf…right after I snapped the picture it flew away.  I will look for a spot to plant the jalepenos and see if they even grow.  Not that I even eat that many…I just like planting things.  My mom told me recently that when I was little, she’d find plants sprouting out of her houseplant pots.  Apparently she finally caught me planting orange seeds and whatever else I could get my hands on and the riddle was solved.  haha!  So it’s in my blood apparently to be a farmer of some sort.

My first night was interesting.  A lot of noises, wind, rain, strange cat howls and loud motorcycles.  But it all calmed down eventually and I was really surprised there were no barking dogs and no roosters waking me up!  WOW!  What a treat!  It will become even quieter after all of the tourists leave on Sunday.

I found one problem though with my doors to my room and bathroom.  If you close them, they lock.  So if I accidentally do that and don’t have my keys…?????  Ugh.  It’s a pain to remember to carry them around, but I must.  Ahhh the challenges so far.

So Here’s What $50 Will Buy You…

Jeez, I almost keeled over when I saw the price on the register today.  Luckily the grocery store (not a supermarket) is very close to me.  The downside is that the prices are high.  Puerto Viejo town is far…would have to use a bike to get there.   Back in Texas, I’d spend about $45 a WEEK on groceries.  Here is what I got today for $50

Groceries
Groceries

Approximations as I don’t feel like getting up and looking at the prices:

Clorox wipes $4.50

Jif Peanut butter $6.50

Bag of black beans $3

Small block of sharp cheddar $8 GASP

2 rolls toilet paper (which you cannot flush here) $2.50

Frozen bag of god knows what chicken parts $6

Blackberry jam $

Roll paper towels $1

Can black beans $1.60

Sliced ham $4

Small bag of pasta $2.50

Unknown prices- two bananas, two potatoes, a jalepeno pepper, stick of butter, carton of milk (glad it wasn’t shelf stable or powdered at least), bag of rice, 6 eggs, white bread loaf and other things I can’t think of.

I didn’t even dare look at wine prices.  Not needed.  Looks like I’ll be losing weight here.  Ha ha!!

So yeah…yikes.  And I’m not here long enough to grow my own stuff unless I rent it out for another 3 months.  Although I will plant those seeds from the jalepeno for sure and whatever other seeds I can get my hands on.  I’m going to steal some bananas from the trees on the beach if I can reach them.  I need a machete to cut the coconuts open…but all of a sudden I’m seeing blood in my future.  I think I need a lesson first.  Evi said there was a tree with some kind of fruit that has like 30x the vitamin C of oranges and what appears to be a lime tree.  I haven’t even looked at my yard yet.  Anyway, this should be interesting.  Evi said there are guys that come around selling stuff and there’s a farmer’s market in PV each weekend.  I’m down with that.