Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Shoes, Bees, and Ants

In the last 24 hours I've blown out 2 pairs of rubber flip-flops. What bad luck. But the good news is at about $1 to 2 bucks each they were a bargain seeing as I wore them everyday and left them outside in the tropical sun for years.  So today we took our little boat over to town and I searched thru the open air stalls and stores for new shoes with success - a blue pair and a brown pair. I'm good for another couple of years. Clothing expense isn't an issue for cruisers in these warm climate areas.

Now, this is why I saw bees swarming as I was knitting outside the other day - a BIG beehive is in a nearby tree. You can even see the combs that make up the structure in this photo. The entire outside of this hive is covered in live bees. We estimated this to be a least 2 feet high and 1 foot wide. It's good to see the bees thriving, but I sure hope they stay away from me.
This is a papaya tree that we came across when out walking yesterday. If you look at the upper part of the trunk you will see the oblong green papaya fruits hanging right off of the trunk. When they turn orange they will be yummy! When green, you can put a couple of slices in when you cook beef and it will tenderize the meat. Yep, papain is the enzyme from unripe papayas that is used in commercial meat tenderizers.

The leaf-cutting ants were really busy! Under each of the green pieces of leaf in this photo is a strong ant.  They march in the same exact line for so long that they actually wear trails through the jungle floor or grass.

Yes, there's been knitting going on too. This is the bundle of wool yarn that I won at the knitting retreat last month. There was a contest to see who could correctly identify the most yarns out of 100 samples. They were numbered and we were to match them to a list of yarn brands & names. It was hard! I wasn't too interested in "playing" until I saw the prize! That's a whole sweater's worth of bulky weight super soft merino wool in 6 skeins of coordinating colors! On size 10 needles the knitting is zooming right along.

More boats have left the marina, leaving us behind. Fortunately, some folks are only just now returning from the states or Canada to begin a few months of cruising so we are seeing new faces too. Some people we'll see out there in the islands in the coming year and others we'll never see again as they are headed for adventures elsewhere. We're planning to linger in the western Caribbean for another year and enjoy all that it has to offer. With the tropical islands, cool high-altitude villages, city shopping opportunities and the beauty of Guatemala, we're not in any hurry to leave.

OMG that yarn is beautiful!
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