We were in Guanaja enjoying ourselves and watching the weather for the opportunity to make a comfortable trip around Cabo Gracias a Dios. That’s why we were still there when we heard of a few reasons why we might want to return to Maryland. That’s how we ended up back at the shipyard in La Ceiba that we had so gleefully escaped only shortly before. This time we paid for bottom paint removal, worth every penny. So while we’re away, the boat will be drying out; we’ll put on a new barrier coat and bottom paint when we get back in the fall.
PHOTO PAINT DUST BILLOWING CALOOSA
We took the ‘most luxurious’ Hedman-Alas bus from La Ceiba to San Pedro Sula’s airport. Apparently luxury means tall seat backs with fresh covers freshly applied, and silence, which is indeed a luxury, since lots of buses show kung-fu movies in ‘surround sound’. But where was the steward with the canapes and champagne?
We ourselves felt more like checked baggage, or hazardous materials. Couldn’t buy a ticket without a passport, couldn’t change seats, couldn’t touch our own luggage once it was checked (note to self: next time, dress for arctic cooling); had our photos taken before boarding. Turns out H-A worry about hijacking/kidnapping; they’d want to know which passenger it was/had been in seat 23C. This isn’t something that happens on the chicken buses. Or maybe this was the ‘chicken’ bus.
Then, we spent hours propped upright in the airport waiting for our red-eye flight. The reward was a hypnotizing view of bright moon over cloud banks as almost the entire plane-load of passengers slept, not unlike a nice night passage. And, ya know, it’s only 888 miles/2 hours to a whole ‘nother world.
In Ft. Lauderdale at daybreak we could barely stop remarking on how clean, that is, free of trash, and orderly, the landscape was, and how pink, and plump, were many of the locals. We knew this, but had forgotten. Tri-Rail expeditiously zipped us north for a brief visit with the only family I have whose memories are longer than my own.
Within hours we were in a car driving ourselves at 60 mph, as if we’d never left. We tried to sneak down to Goodwill for clothes that weren’t so ‘nautically’ bleached and frayed as the ones we arrived in, but they were closed for Memorial Day. No problemo – everyone in the US has clothes they want to get rid of. Just as well too, I wouldn’t know how to dress myself if I had to chose from the entire clothing universe.
We ate in restaurants that had entrees other than something-and-rice-and-beans on the menu. We shopped in supermarkets stunning in their range of stock.
And with a big-screen TV, we got the full effect of the oil spill and of all the spiteful arguments surrounding it. How quickly we adapt.
Clearly we would need a car of our own, and a cell phone. It took a week in Florence, Alabama during a visit with Doug’s family and friends to organize both of these things. We used to laugh about the questions you have to remember to ask before making a deal in Central America; well, it’s the same in this world too.
USED CAR SALESMAN
After a few false starts we had to buy the phone at a Walmart. Next, I need to learn to text without looking at the numeric keys. It will be like learning Morse code; an exercise in temporary technology, but possibly good for me.
After several further adventures (future posts) we finally got to our sweet little house on the creek in Maryland. I can tell you that in all our travels, there are few places that can compare.
VIEW DOWN WAREHOUSE CREEK ON THE LAST DAY OF SPRING
Considering that the sprawl of greater BosNyWash has tsunami-ed Kent Island, I’m grateful that so little has changed within my frontal periphery (although lots outside it).
RT 50 TRAFFIC
The weather is perfect. The crabs are running, honey flow is still on, peaches are in season, local ‘lopes, sweet corn, and hallelujah, real, fragrant, tomatoes, are starting to appear. We’re getting settled in for a social spell in The Land of Pleasant Living. But first, a visit with my remaining bees.
HARVESTING WILD COMB
‘My’ bees have been on their own for two winters. Nobody told them they had to built rectilinearly, so they didn’t.