Tuesday – This morning, we all go off on an adventure (minus Peter and Maddison: she’s still not feeling 100%). Judith and Bryan bring two friends along and Lorraine’s daughter Michelle joins us. Barcas Fiesta personnel pick us up in an SUV and two cars. We drive to La Audiencia Bay, where we find our boat waiting just off shore. It’s a fairly large boat, with a blue second floor and rows of white plastic seats below. Jorge (he-who-drives) is our Captain, Lou is the translator, and we also have a bar tender (whose name I missed). We cruise around the bay, marveling at the green hills circling the water, the enormous cactus plants poking their arms above the shrubs, the rocks hunching over and plunging down to the sea. Lou explains about the Devil’s Crack, a rock formation that has created a deep waterfall within its arches. It’s fascinating to see the waves crash into the curved walls, then circle around to make a cavernous hole in the sea. Lou says it’s called the Devil’s Crack because if you got too close, you would be sucked into the whirlpool never to be seen again. Watching the water swirl viciously, we believe him. Another amazing sight is a cave at the sea level. A huge wave splashes against the walls, rolls out again, and smacks the next wave as it rushes inward. This action creates a big spout of mist and water as they clap against one another.
Later, a bunch of us go snorkeling in the bay near an artificial spit of land that surrounds an old coral reef. This is where Chris, Dave, Barb and Doug snorkeled. We can see the sunken ship in the distance – and later, we cruise by it as Lou tells a story about how the boat sunk and was left as a home for the fish. (Leedalo’s gang snorkeled there, too, but we don’t – Lou warns us that it’s dangerous. Ha!) We see big and tiny fish swimming underneath us in the salty, buoyant water. Deep royal blue, black and white, orange, white; some look as though they are alight in the fingers of sun. We see a stingray far below, barely visible on the sandy bottom. It’s a feast for the eyes. When we are finished snorkeling and try to get back in the boat, it’s a good thing Jorge is mucho forte. There are only two small steps to launch yourself back in, a fact I missed on the way into the water. At first I think I will have to trail along behind for the rest of the trip. Then Jorge actually lifts me out of the water onto the deck! The only person who can make it out on her own is Jenny, whom we have dubbed freakishly strong. Later, we circle around to another snorkeling spot, but here we simply feed the fish. They bob to the top, lovely orange and black and white striped creatures. As we continue the tour, we enjoy the birds circling overhead or sitting on buoys, pelicans and cormorants and seagulls. One bird looks like a cross between a seagull and a duck, but even Lou doesn’t know its name. We cruise around the bay, gazing at the homes, hotels and beaches.
Meanwhile, our bartender has been doing a very good job of handing out cold cervesa and tequila. The people above us (Bonnie, Jenny and Michelle) start laying down on the floor, hanging upside down, to entice us to come up and dance. After enough lubrication and enticement, Vince and I go up and sway to the music and the waves. We sing over the microphone and somehow Vince quotes David Duchovny from Californication into the sound system. From that moment on, he is known as Senor Chub. Rosaleen gets locked in the bathroom and no one notices, not even the person holding her drink (me). She has to pound on the door before one of the “sailors” hears her. We have no idea why time didn’t seem to register with us! A few of us can’t really remember the drive home, either. Bonnie and Jenny go to sleep immediately upon their return and Maddison paints mustaches on them. We think we’ll go on another trip in the near future. That was fun. After dinner, we toast Jenny and Maddison with tequila because it’s their last night.
Wednesday: After a leisurely start, and good-bye hugs to Jen and Madda, we take the bus to Miramar Beach. (Pete and Bonnie go shopping for a uniform – Bonnie is going to volunteer at the clinic they took Maddison to.) We drink cold cervesa (again) and eat lunch. Then we play in the waves all afternoon. Mary Jo gets a bruise, Sandy gets planked on his ear, and generally the sea wins. Later, we all have naps when we get back. Most of us go to bed early, but a few stay up and play cards and dice by the ocean.
Thursday: Maire, John, Rosaleen, Pete, Bonnie, Helen and Sandy all go off to Barre de Navidad for the day. We spend today mostly at home. Mary Jo, Peter and Vince go shopping, while I have my Crime Writers meeting. Later, we make a delicious pasta meal and then drink bloody caesars or wine or beer. Next come the tequila shooters to toast Rosaleen because it’s her last night. The week has gone by so fast! Around 8:30 p.m., I’m wondering where Scottie is, so Vince goes out to look at the street. Miraculously, he is just walking up the road with his suitcase!