Tag Archives: living in paradise

Watch Your Feet But Occasionally Remember To Look Up

16 Jul

Anyone who spends time in Mexico knows that you HAVE to watch your footing. Uneven urban sidewalks can mean a skinned knee or a broken bone if one gets distracted for a minute. I’ve seen openings in the sidewalk that could swallow a child, never to be seen again. In the jungle a tree root, stump or half-buried rock can take you down.

There are also the delights of looking down. There is a nance tree along my morning walk with the dogs. Tiny yellow fruit litter the ground and are quite tasty. They’re like a soft apple, not particularly sweet with a large seed. Not much to it really but worth trying if you see them in the market.

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I’ve been reading about the importance of biodiversity in our gut. These little fruits are seasonal and local. Children sell bags of them along the highway.

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The occasional snake or tarantula can also be observed if one keeps their eyes peeled during a morning walk.

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Neighbor kids found this beauty caught in our fence last year.

Of course life can not be lived only watching your feet. It’s important to look up at the beautiful sky or miss the rainbow, tucan or storm clouds. Here in Bacalar, we are never at a loss for a beautiful sky. Even during a restless night last night, the half moon glistened across the Laguna at 2 am.

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So find your balance, whatever it looks like, even if it changes every day.

DOS TORTAS

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A Week In The Life

14 May

Life in the jungle can be quiet at times. The question I was asked most frequently during our recent visit to Austin was “what is your day like?” This week the excitement entailed watching a rain storm (I am grateful, our plants were thirsty). Lisa washing the truck in preparation for its sale (thank you Lisa, it’s been hot here!) and a trip to Chetumal.

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All shiny and clean, inside and out.

Yesterday the Laguna was flat with no breeze so I headed out in my little blue kayak. Thirty minutes later, I turned around to race a storm home. The sky to the north looked ominous. The wind picked up and I surfed homeward. What fun with the wind in my back. How quickly the weather can change on the Laguna.

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On Wednesday we went to Chetumal, our nearest city and state capital. Halfway, there is a security checkpoint. We are near the border with Belize, so this is routine. We are used to being stopped in our big black pickup, but assumed it would be smooth sailing in Lolita. Not!

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Our new little car.

The security guards are dressed in black, long sleeves, bullet proof vests, boots, the works, and standing in the sun on a blacktop highway. I don’t know how they don’t pass out. We were signaled to pull over and asked the usual, “where are you from?” We said that we live in Bacalar, but the officer persisted in wanting to know where we were from. We told him, Texas and for some reason he proceeded to tell us all about his 15 day vacation to Florida. His eyes were wide and animated as he talked of Miami, Key West, Ft. Lauderdale…his enthusiasm for our country was palpable!!

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While this may have been an odd security checkpoint conversation for us, to him it appeared an opportunity to share his experience with someone who understood. It was sweet and comical. What a hoot. We laughed for miles.

DOS TORTAS 

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Bark Sniff Poo Repeat

28 Aug

The exercise, entertainment and care of Princesa Luna requires daily forays into the mosquitoey jungle. We clothe our bodies head to foot and douse in repellant, especially at dawn and dusk. I don’t think she appreciates us.

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The lane in front of our property.

This week I brought my camera along. Taking a picture with a dog dragging me along does not lend itself to the best shots.

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There are always flowers blooming. Watch the sharp points on the leaves. Ouch.

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Luna knows the way.

The path is surprisingly refreshing as the hot sun does not penetrate the jungle canopy.

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Why did the tarantula cross the road?

Luna is so curious about everything. This tarantula would not hang around to play.

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Lovely green wall.

There is an open property up the way where Luna and I run and play. I lust after cuttings of this cactus. I must return with my machete, gloves and NO dog.

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The jungle is also home to these amazing blue butterflies. They are the size of your palm and impossible to photograph.

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She doesn’t look one bit guilty. Maybe a little.

If it weren’t for Luna insisting that we go for a walk, several times a day, we would miss so many amazing things. We have seen fox, coatis, parrots and more. I guess life  in the jungle is a dog’s paradise. Ours’ too. DOS TORTAS

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“Es la Hoon-glah!”

3 Nov

“Es la jungla Alex!” (It’s the jungle) says Violeta, the housekeeper here in Bacalar, when I tell her about the bites that I have acquired and the itchy rash covering my body as a result. Es la jungla!

Very Itchy Rash

Very Itchy Rash

So I trot myself off to a doctor who looks at the rash and tells me essentially the same thing. When people are new to “paradise” they don’t have the antibodies to the mosquitos and various insects that creep, crawl and sting.  So I leave the office with crema and allergy pills and the promise that it will get better and I will acclimate.

Living in the jungle is definitely a new way of life. There are the beautiful lush flowers and plants growing everywhere. Most of them we see in little pots as house plants, but en la jungla are growing wild and huge.

Another thing about living in la jungla is that it gets very dark VERY early. I can be talking on skype to the U.S. in the same time zone and it is quite light there. Here, it is completely dark, pitch black. It’s like someone throws a switch and the lights go out.

This week we were invited to a pizza party at the home of a friend who lives back in the jungle three miles off the main road. To us newbies it seems odd to start a party at 3pm, but when you consider the ride home in the dark it makes sense.  So on Wednesday, we enjoyed our pizza and left the party for home and promptly got lost. I do not recommend back-tracking in the jungle, in the dark, and trying to find your way out.  It took four of us keeping our wits to figure out the right route and reach the highway for home.

One thing for sure, life en la jungla (hoon-glah) is never dull and we are quite glad to be here. And my rash is much better and I will live.

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