Friday, May 17, 2013

This ... is Travel :-)

Ricardo's (the high-end restaurant) is gone.  Pfffft.  Terminado.  Fertig.  C'est Fini.

I had a bad feeling from a couple of things I saw online, but nothing definitive.

At breakfast, I asked my host, Carlo.  Nope.  It's gone.

He recommends "The Reef" as an adequate replacement.  But you should make reservations.  I tried, online.  Probably not so much about ensuring a seat, but ... ensuring they'll actually show up to seat you, make food, and serve you ;-)

No response to the online reservation form I submitted.

After a 3hr walk, this morning -- sweating like an absolute beast -- over to the Rio Cangreja river mouth (couldn't cross it, or I was headed to the cargo dock, just to see it; I'm fascinated by stevedores. Always have been.  Okay: not so much, but it is a cool word).

I came back wiped out, though.

Didn't check the Heat Index, but ... suffice to say ... it was a scorcher.

I finally whipped out my temp/humidity gizmo for the room.  WITH the a/c on (it's not set for a very cold temp, and is at the lowest fan speed), it's been about 80* and at least 80% humidity in the room.

Which does mean you can run a/c, and NOT turn it into an arid zone (Ari-zona ?).

Which is nice.

But after a few hours of just vegging out, and watching TV, I ventured out again.  Espresso Americano did NOT have its a/c on, today, and was actually way hotter than the outdoor air.  I mean ... brutal.

But I got my afternoon coffee -- black, with sugar, and a little hat.  Started drinking it on the park, when sweat was dripping onto my eyeglasses -- that's two layers (glasses + clip-ons).

It was one of those little moments of frustration: didn't want to be locked in my room.  Was too hot hanging out, outside.  Really just could not walk around any more.  Not today (blisters have subsided, but ... just heat exhausted).  Dinner plans had failed me.

Didn't want to go out on a low.

And then I realized: there's a rooftop restaurant at my hotel, I LOVE these people, they make GREAT food, and ... the view can't be beat.

I need a plan (they don't speak English, here.  Well ... Carlo spent a year in Georgia and Florida, somehow involved in military economics, years back when, but he gets about three English words out, and slips right back into Spanish).

Could I do something grammatically complex, in Spanish, involving multiple tenses and some idiomatic stuff ?

I found Mrs. Carlo, and asked her: "May I try to say something complicated in Spanish ?"

"Tell me," she said.

Deep breath.

"I have been looking for a nice restaurant to have my last dinner in La Ceiba.  I leave in the morning, for Tela.  Then, I realized that my favorite place to eat has been right here, in the hotel.  So ... could I have dinner here, tonight ?"

She just smiled.

"How about spaghetti with shrimp and some cold beers ?  Or is wine better ?"

"Oh, no.  Cold beer would be just divine"  I told her it sounded absolutely perfect.  What time ?


It's a date (well: appointment.  I take care not to use flirtatious words, if possible) !

[Earlier, this morning, she asked my name.  I told her that it's difficult to pronounce for Spanish-speakers, and that they should just call me Jugo.

Jugo de Pina.

That's pineapple juice, but it's NOT hard to pronounce.  They laughed.]

When I headed back to the stairs, La Sra. said, "Well done, Jugo de Pina" (the Spanish).  I just smiled.

So ... I'll be eating well, tonight.

They couldn't have picked a better dinner for me.  If I have a few beers, there's always the challenge of getting down the rooftop stairs, but ... one way or the other ... I'll manage.

Gotta' pack, tonight.  It's about a ten-minute process.  I'll breakfast here, in the a.m., and then grab a cab for the bus station.

This dinner ... is going to taste particularly good.  I'll probably be dining with Sr. and Sra. Carlos -- yet another upside.  They're just lovely people who really DO make excellent food, and have a very elegant little rooftop dining spot :-)

If I had anything else (nicer) to wear, I'd wear it.  But that, too ... is travel :-)

So ... chow for now ... from the sweating-so-much-I'm-losing-weight Gastronomic Department of ... The Gulag.

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