Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Another day in paradise....
Tap tap. Tap tap. Tap Tap in my back. My elbows flailed into the air, body convulsed and I took a big endorphin filled breath as my fight or flight instinct kicked into full gear. "Whoa buddy, it's just me Alwin. I'm waking you up to take Sam to the doctor." Sigh of relief.... a second prior I was sure I was being prodded by the crazy horse that roams the property and is said to be a bit bite happy. How the hell would he get into the house anyway? Probably the same way everything else does. Another day in paradise...
We finally got Sam to the clinic this morning for a visit with a physical therapist/doctor and he got some great news. Nothing is wrong with his spine, it's only muscle tension in his back that has been giving him all the problems. The solution to which is a heavy dose of muscle relaxers and some physical therapy for the next couple weeks. The doctor also recommended that he carry a lighter backpack and do some exercises to build the muscles. While Sam was at the doctor's office, Alwin and I made a pit stop at the beach park in Pinones so I could do my morning jog along the ocean. It was an awesome morning, the trades challenging me during the upwind portion of the run, and the sun beating down providing the extra sweat factor.
We had our normal breakfast at one of our favorite panaderias and I grabbed an extra cafe con leche for the road. A brief trip to the drugstore and we were on our way home to get ready for the beach.
We sped back down the mountain and back to the area we had come from in Pinones, but this time we passed our beach spot from yesterday and drove onward through super cluster of food stands that line the beach in the western part of Pinones. Here we stopped for some Coco Frio (ice cold coconuts cut with a machete so you can sip the milk out) and snack foods at a stand and then parked and walked around back to what I like to call "Brad's Beach".
Brad's Beach is a tiny stretch of beach that we found a few years ago when we were here for a vacation. It is behind one of the stands, and like the other beaches in the area, protected by an old fringe reef. There is a quickly sloping beach of porous sand that leads you into a tiny tidal pool filled with little fish and sea glass. The glass has been pounded over and over on the reef by waves and is usually smooth on all edges. One of the reasons that this is Brad's favorite beach is because he usually collects the sea glass and takes it home to make interesting artwork or fill vases for clients. There were a couple children playing while their father was fishing for crabs, but he wasn't the only one fishing. Dozens of sea birds were scouring the reefs for the delicious black crabs that hide in the old coral formations. It was awesome seeing them tear them up when the caught them, and they were usually able to swallow them down with a few quick gulps.
The day passed along nicely and we got some great ideas for the orphanage project while brainstorming on the beach. We sat until sundown and enjoyed the view of the north Atlantic swells coming in. Almost every minute there was a jet plane flying over the beach. We were very close the the end of the runway for the main airport in San Juan and we got to see the first turn into the trade winds as the planes carried load after load of people off the island. You can rest assured that the other side of the runway was dropping an equal amount of people here, even though we weren't able to see it from our perspective. Luis Munoz Airport is the busiest in the Caribbean by far.
On the way home I spotted a small red car stuck in the sand at one of the neighboring beaches. We pulled over and offered our help. It was a tiny Toyota and it was buried deep in the front end. I had the driver get out and I began to dig out the tires by hand. A gentleman who had got there before us suggested we pick the car up. He looked at me and said in Spanish, "With your strength, we can just lift it!" I don't know who he thought I was, but I sure as hell wasn't lifting a car out of the sand, so I kept digging to expose the lowest part of the tread. We then made a ramp and pushed it out while it was in neutral. They were so thankful that we stopped because it was a rental and they had to get it back in a few hours! Whooo.... close one for them!
We stopped at the grocery store to get some dinner and I got to play chef again. This time it was steak, eggplant and maduros (a sweeter plantain that is closer to a banana in taste) all grilled and seasoned to perfection. Like I said... another day in paradise! Getting some planning done now for the orphanage and then going to bed. Hope you are all having a great night wherever you are! Sweet dreams!