Exciting times in Las Brisas! John, Peter, Bonnie, Dave, Chris, Doug, Paul and another couple from the condo nearby have gone to climb the mountain around 7 a.m. this morning. Vince gets up earlier than me or Maire, Deanna and Barb and walks out to the sand for his usual Bay Watch. As usual, Gracie and Martha are putting out the chairs under the umbrellas in the sand. Martha asks Vince very politely in her Spanish-English if he has seen the other two blue lounge chairs, but he has not. He says hello to a young boy lounging by the public side of the beach and the chico nods. He’s got his bike nearby, nothing out of the ordinary, no hat, a muscle shirt and the ubiquitous dark hair. Vince comes back in, rinses off his feet and climbs to the second floor to our balcony. He looks toward the ocean and notices that the blue chairs have now disappeared. He returns to ask Gracie and Martha if they removed them from the beach for safekeeping, but no – the chairs have been stolen! Just then, from the Internet café side of the balconies, Maire sees a young guy on his bike with the two blue chairs; he rides like hell out of the area. Vince tells Nacho and they run out onto the main road to see if they can catch him, but the boy has disappeared. Deanna, Vince and I walk over to Bricios for breakfast and halfway through huevos mexicanos with tostado, Nacho comes running across the road followed by a truck with several armed police officers. In the cab of the truck, is the boy who is suspected of stealing the chairs, along with his bicycle in the back. Vince is not “seguero” that this is the boy: this one has a hat and a different shirt, but the bike looks the same. The police speed off and question Maire, who takes them around the back and shows them the suspect’s route. It’s very crime fiction stuff! Later, the police pull up in front of Suitas Las Flores and there are two of the chairs: along with the boy’s father, who begs Nacho not to press charges; the chico will be disciplined by Dad! We are all impressed by the level of interest in four little chairs (still don’t know what happened to the other two). Deanna and Paul leave this afternoon; we gather once again in the courtyard of Las Flores and tears sit at the corner of our eyes. It’s amazing how much we all bond over birthdays, rainstorms, sunshine, and tequila. We’ll see Deanna and Paul in October!
The next day, after early morning Aquafit and/or jogging, some of us lounge in the sun, while others go to the shopping centre and the outdoor market at Santiago. Later we all sit by the ocean. We play in the waves, snorkel a bit, drink, read, and laugh. Just the way the sun is diamonding the sea, I state that it would be a good day for the whales to return. Chris starts speaking “humpback” and Barb and I send energy out into the bay to summon them. Suddenly, there is a spout!! The whales raise their backs and wave at us with their fins. For the next hour, they entertain us. We cannot contain our excitement and believe that we will remember this moment for always.
Potluck tonight by the ocean! Gotta go make my famous rice.