Saturday, October 26, 2013

2013, Day 298 - Sunbathing

There was a lot of flora in our day today.  This morning we got up and had a light breakfast of yogurt and fresh pineapple that we purchased at the Mercado Central yesterday.  It was so sweet and juicy that it left a sticky puddle on the cutting board.

Luis picked us up early, earlier than we should have left really but due to some miscommunication that is completely my fault.  So our plan to visit some museums we awry because none would have been open so we asked Luis to take us to see something he thought all visitors should see; he suggested a nice viewpoint and we agreed.  Along the way he stopped at a relatively low elevation vista spot before taking us up further to Puerta del Diablo, the Devil's Door.

The peaks were originally a single mountain that split due to being erosion caused by heavy rains.  However there is a more colorful story about girl who falls in love with an demon and when her father finds out he chases it off.  During his flight the evil spirit breaks through the rocks and plummets to his death.  I like this story better, the explanation of rain is just boring.

Here we hiked us a steep trail over rocks with steps cut into them.  It was a strenuous climb, according to Francene's FitBit it was the equivalent of thirty flights of stairs.  At the top we found ourselves enveloped in clouds pushed on by a cool breeze.  We rested and watched the clouds move past us long enough to take a few pictures before a new bank rolled over us again.  The views were incredible and it was a nice way to pass much of the morning.

Because we had seen a few places selling plants on the way up we asked Luis if we could stop off so we could buy a couple of house plants for Tim's apartment.  He only just moved in and it is a little barren.  Being the stellar guy that he is Luis immediately obliged.  We made our purchases at one small nursery and although there were a lot of great local plants in bloom we decided to go with things whose care requirements were already known to us.  So Tim ended up with a beautiful philodendron and a really amazing stag horn fern which is mounted on a piece of wood.

Next we needed a pot for the philodendron because it came in a black nursery bag so that meant another stop where we found some great pottery and many of the same plants at a higher price.  For eight dollars we got a nice large pot and a couple small bags of soil to use in our transplanting.

By this time it was getting to be late and we were getting hungry so after a quick stop for cortizone cream at a pharmacy with an armed guard out front we asked Luis to take us to a good lunch spot.  We ended up at a nice cafeteria-style place right before the lunch rush.  All three of us had a local vegetable kind of like a cross beween squash and jicama covered in cheese, dipped in egg, and fried with a nice salad, a side of beans and rice, and a cool beverage.  I chose a tall glass of horchata that we very well spiced.  It ended up being a lot more food that it initially appeared to be and by the time we were finished all three of us were stuffed and for less than five dollars per person.

Full to bursting we went back to the apartment to clean up a bit before Tim got back from his work trip to Washington DC.  Unfortunately that only kind of happened, I repotted the philodendron and just as I finished cleaning up he walked through the door.  We spent the afternoon catching up and putting together his new grill on the balcony.  Since Tim hadn't eaten since breakfast we went for an early dinner at Pollo Real.  Tim had never been and the food there is both good and cheap.  So we had a nice dinner and came back to call it a night.

Tomorrow we're getting an early start so I am eating my banana and local chocolate (cinnamony and spicy) and heading to bed.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/400 sec @ 100 ISO

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