Thursday, June 5, 2014


May 31, 2014

The Hammock on my Porch
The Bar

I had seldom been as lazy as I was on my first day at the Surfing Turtle Lodge.  I was supposed to have a surf lesson, but the entire staff and the other guest who wanted a surf lesson were hung over, so it never came to pass.  A large group of English people left early in the morning.  I got up when they did, thinking that the morning might be the best time for surfing, but all I managed to accomplish was eating breakfast and uploading pictures to my blog.  By 9:00, I retired to my hammock to read and stayed there, alternately reading and dozing, until nearly 4:00.  At 4:00, I went up to the bar and ordered a diet coke, just to keep myself awake.  I managed to stay up long enough to eat dinner and play with the litter of kittens for a while.  After dinner, it started to pour down rain.  Everyone scurried around, lowering plastic shields to keep the rain out of the lodgings.  It got so wet in the common area that I had to retire to my cabin to keep my phone dry.  Insects were attracted to my light, so I
couldn’t really stay up to read.  I sat in the dark, watching the lightning, fireflies, and lights on the fishermen’s boats offshore.  The night on the island of Los Brasiles glittered.  Geckos chirped and occasionally fell out of the thatch overhead.  It would have been ideal if the screen had actually reached the ceiling and kept the
bugs out.

June 1, 2014

 I got up early, hoping that there might be surfing going on, but I was the only one up.  I settled for a run on the beach, instead.  Between the humidity and the crashing waves, there were places where it looked like the sand was smoking.  It was the first time I had run since I fell into the engine compartment.  I only ran a couple of miles and did so barefoot, but I felt fine afterwards.  I came back, showered, and enjoyed a breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast and coffee.  I spent the morning on the internet and then spent the afternoon reading under a palapa on the beach until it got so windy that I retired to my cabin for a nap.  I had chicken fingers for dinner and
spent the evening playing with the kittens and watching the young folks play Monopoly.  I was assured that the surf would be conducive to a lesson on the following day.

June 2-4, 2014

The Surfing Turtle Lodge from a Distance
Days ran together at Surfing Turtle.  I had come to surf, but no one seemed to be surfing the entire time I was there.  Maybe it was not the best of surfing spots.  Maybe it was just the tide and the season.  Instead, I took a vacation from my vacation.  I woke early and listened to the surf crash on the beach.  I dozed until the coffee was ready and then went up to the common area for coffee and breakfast.  The food was tasty and always prettily presented.  The coffee was the best I had ever tasted.  By mid-morning I was ready to study Spanish, read and nap in my hammock.  One day, I sketched a seascape with colored pencils I had bought in Mexico. 
Common Area with Dorm Above

The Surf

Future Bar with Deck Above
Sometimes I ran on the beach.  By 5:30 or so, I was ready for a beer and then dinner before the kitchen closed at 6:30.  It rained in the evening and I retired to my cabin to watch the lightning over the water.  There were fewer bugs when it rained and I could turn the lights on.  I may not have fulfilled my desire to learn to surf, but I did get to experience living in an open palm thatched hut on the beach during the rainy season, which had an awesome beauty.

Common Area

Cabins (Mine on Right)
The Surfing Turtle is not for everyone.  For starters, everyone there was young.  An older person would either need to be self-sufficient or bring his or her own company.  It isn’t for people who mind bugs, geckos falling out of the ceiling, or crabs scuttling across the floor.  When it rains, water gets in.  My bed stayed dry, but the front few feet of my cabin got wet each time it rained.  The common area was open to the weather and the only thing keeping the rain out was a curtain drawn across the windward side.  Dogs and cats milled underfoot.  Sometimes all the conversation was in German.  Much of the work was done by volunteers who were sometimes not as responsible as traditional workers.  The electricity was turned off in the lodgings during the day to conserve energy, although there was always somewhere to charge a phone or computer.

On the plus side, the setting was ideal and the price was right.  The beach was the cleanest I had seen since Mexico and cleaner than some of the beaches there.  I saw no litter anywhere on the island.  What little I saw on the beach was plastic that had washed up there.  The young people staying and living there were kind and open kids.  The storms were beautiful and the nights glittered
Solar Panels, Water Tank & Internet Dish
with fireflies and the lights of pangas offshore be-tween lightning flashes.  The food was excellent, if somewhat limited in variety.  It was quiet when no one was partying and even when there was noise, the sound of the ocean was enough to diffuse it.  There were no streets on the island and, therefore, no traffic.  Power came from solar panels.  The satellite internet was excellent and operated 24/7,
Turtle Hatchery

Basketball Court and Horses
although it didn’t reach my cabin.  Geckos chirped.  Kittens wrestled.  While I missed the turtle season, turtles came there to nest at certain times and the owner and volunteers protected the eggs until they hatched.  In summary, the Surfing Turtle Lodge is a great place to enjoy living with tropical nature if you are the sort of person who can let go of expectations and enjoy what comes.  People got stuck there and many returned once they had left.
Spina, the German Shepherd Puppy

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