Saturday, March 05, 2011


Girl's Days Out

The "girls", Karen and Cheryl of the sailing vessel Interlude and their guest, Michelle invited me to take a hike in the Carambola Botanical Gardens. Road trip? Hike in a jungle? Yes!

We took ourselves on a self-guided hike through different planted and natural areas. One interesting plot is planted with trees and shrubs that produce spices. We were able to crush a leave from a cinnamon tree - delicious aroma! From studying my spice book I believe that this tree was true cinnamon as opposed to "cassia" which is where we get the reddish-brown powder that we use and call cinnamon in the USA. It was a cruise-ship day and apparently a group of folks had gotten a guided tour before we got there, but we had the place all to ourselves. They had thoughtfully left out the samples of leaves, nuts and fruits on little display tables so we enjoyed looking (smelling and touching) those too.

On one of the hillsides was a small grove (plantation?) of cacao trees which had immature pods growing on the trunks. These pods have the seeds which after a fermentation process will produce chocolate! Yum!

So we hiked all the way up to the top of the hill and along a ridge to get some great views of the sea. Below us was the Anthony Key Resort and the reefs of the north side of the island. These are some premier diving & snorkeling sites.
We had a wonderful unofficial tour guide - a yellow and white cat who walked the entire trek with us. We kept asking him which trail to take, but he preferred to just go where we led him. There are a lot of pet cats on the island and a large number of them have this same coloring. We have seen very few cats throughout Mexico, Central America, and Colombia but they sure are popular here! And very friendly! Jonesy and I have been able to get our kitty-petting needs fulfilled these past few months (remember our boat is named after our long-departed family cat Niki).

It's not really the best time for viewing flowering plants but we did manage to spot a few and walk among some plantings. In the summer months is when we see the orchids blooming on the mainland.

The palm trees had GIANT bunches of big, hard palm nuts on them. There are so many different kinds of palms in the world - it's amazing. The fruit and the fibers from palm trees provide a lot of products that we use such as palm oil, dates, baskets, and other consumables.

Palm "nuts"

So that was one of the outings I've done recently with other cruising women. Another event was the Women's Day Out we had at a local beach resort. About 20 of us all met at the Luna Beach resort which is right on the beach in front of where we are anchored. We had a great lunch - a lot of chatter and introductions, then a swim in the fresh water pool.

Yes. That's me in the synchronized swimming stance. In the background you can see one of the boats at anchor in the bay.

So, that's been some of the activity lately. I've continued with my scuba diving lessons and have 2 dives scheduled for this afternoon for more instruction. Other than that, we've just been leading a quiet life and enjoying what we think is one of the best cruising area we've found so far.

Ahh, what a great life you have Terry!
what I would give for Palm Nuts :) Atually anything from another place lol.. looks liek so much fun :)
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