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Vacation Journal
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Farewell Isla, Days 7 and 8

By: Diane in IA
Date: 6/22/2005

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Mike slept in while I enjoyed coffee on the balcony and caught up on some of this journal. Later we walked to the bank to exchange some travelers checks. There was a torta stand directly across from the bank. Mike needed his Wheaties, so we ordered two pollo tortas 14p. The cook grilled the meat while we watched and even heated the bollilos. There were a variety of condiments to add such as cucumbers, avocado sauce, salsa, onions, cilantro, and some other mysterious items which we didn’t sample. A fellow customer warned me about the HOT hot sauce with a head shake and “muy caliente”. The juice guy was a couple blocks up, so we washed the tortas down with freshly squeezed orange juice.

Playa Sol was fairly crowded, but we located a couple chairs in a shady spot and got ready for a great beach day. The ocean was cool, blue, and beautiful. We had a few beers 20p and relaxed. Around 12:30 it started to get seriously dark to the south. Sergio told us that a big storm was moving up the Yucatan Channel between Cuba and the coast of Mexico. We found out later it was tropical storm Arlene. We got home just as the big rains came. The storm lasted throughout the afternoon with some breaks, so it was great for napping and reading.

Later in the afternoon we went to the craft market and bought two bright yellow wrap skirts from Hortensia for the neighbor girls who are our cat sitters. Hortensia’s husband makes necklaces, so we bought a couple of those as well. I asked Hortensia about hammocks, and she escorted me to her friend’s stall. He had nylon and cotton hammocks for sale. Cotton was recommended as the most comfortable. We bought a hammock sized for one adult for 300p. The guy taught me how to attach the ropes and tie the knots to hang the hammock. I practiced while Mike went back to the room to get some more money. The guy indicated we could take the hammock and pay him later, but I decided to stay to practice tying the knots. I also got a lesson on using S-hooks. As we were leaving, the guy handed me two new ropes to hang our hammock.

When we ventured back out at 9 PM, Hidalgo had some deep puddles. We checked some menus on the way to the grocery store where we bought some snacks to give to our cat sitters. We headed back to Sancocho's. Mike had the gigantic Jammin’ hamburger 60p whiled I feasted on the pollo shish kabob 70p. Both were very good. Our waitress gave our Spanglish a workout as we tried to converse.

We listened to some music at Bamboo before going “home” to pack for home.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Time passed. It passes. Too easy to look at it in the melancholy sense of an arrow in flight with time as a linear progression of start to finish, too soon our vacation descending to the end. But time can be viewed cyclically. Circles within circles like a boomerang that spins the days of sunrise to sunrise. The curling flight of home to home with hopes that soon the boomerang will arise renewed again and yet again.

Time to discover new places or maybe not so much the place as our selves within that place. On Isla we seem to find a better self or at least a more relaxed state of being. Shuffling through the streets in worn flip-flops, absorbing the scents of tropical flowers, freshly prepared foods, and the lightly brined breeze.

Squinting against the white light of the midday sun reflecting off the waves, we watch the island grower smaller as the ferry glides across Bahia de Mujeres. The view rapidly diminished but not within our minds’ eyes. One need only close the eyes to picture her.

And the hammock? Well, it has been very soothing as I withdraw from our time on Isla. It is no wonder that babies like to be rocked. I could spend hours swaddled within the gentle sway of that hammock.

Um pay sis utial tik bim...

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