Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Snake Man

We took a trip to a nearby laguna with Magarito or Snake Man as he likes to call himself! The day started with a stop at his house to see his collection of animal bones and snake skins. He then took us out on his canoe through the mangroves where he spotted snakes, giant and baby iguanas, crabs and beehives and birds nests that seemed almost impossible to find to us even when pointed out and right above our heads. We rowed for a good while, it was calming even when Ed was holding the snake Margarito had coaxed off it’s branch. We were assured this snake wasn’t poisonous and the fact that it had bitten Snake Man and drawn blood was just because we’d disturbed it, it was pretty chilled by the time Ed was sat holding it for a good half hour.

I can’t say I felt calm when I was holding it though, the little wriggly thing was strong and well it could draw blood if it wanted!

Margarito’s dream is to live on the laguna, he already sleeps there sometimes in his hammock hanging from the trees. Having had an eventful, traumatic and pretty hedonistic life he now appreciates fully the tranquillity of the lake, in his 50s he’s super fit, drinking 9 litres of water a day and not eating meat. This is how he makes a living, taking people out on his boat, teaching them about the nature of the lake, it’s crazy trees, plants and creatures.

aboot this hoose

On arrival we got a taxi straight to Karla’s place to discover she’d left town! No more local friends, no more local and no more school! We spent the first week working out what to do next, staying at our friend Bret’s rented bungalow with him, his friend Jason, three rescue dogs Skip (chilled and a bit picked on), Palomita (hectic on just three working legs) and Scooby (old and senile, best not to look him in the eye) and a cat Hercules (puts up with having it’s entire head inside a dogs mouth). In exchange for a bottle of ron (rum) and a weekend of dog and cat sitting while they went on a surf/road trip. It’s Bret’s friend(Jason)’s friend(Carl)’s friend(Chris) from whom we’re now renting our new home. I love the way things work out here, there’s always someone new to meet here opening up new opportunities.

Carl, from Northhampton, long term traveller and musician now mainly settled in Copenhagen, is here on a two month surf trip and seeing his friend Chris. Chris is from Oz and lives in Puerto (at La Punta) with his wife Rosella from Mexico and their daughter Valentina in their hotel with the most amazing views of all of Puerto. Carl was staying at the hotel and introduced us to Chris, we came to see the views and the lovely place, there’s a cottage, some air-con apartments and some shaded apartments all next to a big pool, which is under renovation at the moment. All the guests this month have cancelled due to the swine flu! So he’s given us a very good price for the month, and as the main pool is out of use (although we can use his own at the house or the neighbours hotel who have no guests at the moment). It’s pretty far away from everything that we were really close to before. But the trade off is the stunning area, very chilled and luxurious accommodation.

Also it gives us the chance to find a house to rent in La Punta which was an area we fancied living in. It’s quiet, a bit hippy, lots of families both Mexican and expat, the difference with the expats in this area is that they don’t all congregate or isolate themselves, it’s all pretty mingled. From here we’re really close to the community centre and the kids classes. We may be able to use the place for our other lessons too.

Here were a couple of options we really liked on our house hunt:


Back in Puerto and it’s super hot! Just sitting typing is harrrd work! We’ve come back to rainy season though, so we do actually get some weather. Most evenings have cleared the sky with heavy downpours for maybe half an hour and you get a good breeze with it. But our first experience of the rainy season was a full on tropical storm. It was a relief to feel almost cold and good fun to get soaked through and drinking hot coffee and brandy, a good old English winter warmer not really necessary but tasted good all the same. I hadn’t heard thunder quite like it… each crack followed by an involuntary squeal! And the sky was like a plasma ball, pink, blue and white veins of lightning all around us! Amazing. This first storm lasted all afternoon and night and the landscape changed with it, especially the beach. Puerto is on a hill like most beach towns, and most the roads leading down to the sea are dust tracks. The rain flushed everything from the town and the various housing areas onto the beach and into the sea, the beach then had changed into great canyons where rivers had been created toward the sea. So for the last week the beach has offered some odd drift… dolls heads, bike wheels and a lot of mud. This was a particularly bad storm, and the cleanup of the beach is slowly showing. The best thing about all the rain is how fresh everything looks. Before Easter it was hot and dusty and everything had a bit of a sandy, dried out look. But now the mountains are green, we can see more of them as the sky is clearer and the trees are full of amazing colours.


24hrs in New York on jet lag… Brilliant! Best place to be if you want to pretend you’re not tired, there’s too much going on to close your eyes.