Monday, July 24, 2017

Letters From Nicaragua: Part 13 - The Rock Hound Of Maderas

There was a point in our journey when a customs official picked up Pam's bag for inspection and said "What have you got in this thing, rocks?" and Pam replied, "Yeah. So What?"...all the while I was considering what the current prison sentence was for bringing rocks home from a foreign country.
Pam has a rock garden at home that has samples from all of our travels. It's safe to say that she is the only person in the world that knows where they came from. All I know is that there always seem to be room for just a couple more. If this trip was supposed to be about epic waves, it was really about epic rock collecting.
Not only did Pam find Nicaraguan beaches about perfect for rock hunting, she found a whole team that she was able to enlist in finding only the best rocks. Emily and Miguel had the most interest, while I was more like a pack mule. All I kept thinking about was that somebody was going to have to lift her bag up over their head and put it in that shelf in the plane. And I was pretty sure that Short-stuff wasn't going to be lifting her bag full of rocks. Even I had to admit that the beaches were great opportunities for people like Pam. It seemed to be a lot of what looked like shale and there were always patterns in it that made you think of really cool ideas for flooring in a house.
There was an afternoon at low tide, when the killer waves were even more deadly and we were all walking down the beach. It was overcast and cool, and the fun was in walking over all of the rocks exposed by the low tide. In Pam's case, it was more hobbling than walking because of her swollen "blackfoot" situation, but even though she couldn't wear shoes, she somehow had a pair of crocs that would work.  Looking back, I'd have to say Pam climbing on those rocks in those old crocs probably made my adventures in the water look tame. At least I had a decent chance of NOT falling on rocks.
Lest I leave you with the feeling that this trip was nothing less than idyllic, I should not neglect to mention that you should always drink bottled water while on trips to Latin America. In spite of Pam's repeated warnings, there were some of us that decided cheap margaritas had enough alcohol in them to kill any bacteria in the water. We were proven wrong on that one. And so it was that some of us on that beautiful beach walk were actually frantically searching for a bathroom rather than the next cool rock for the collection.

The highlight of the day was when Pam approached a couple of young girls that were coming out of the water from a surf session. She asked them if they knew where to watch out for rocks in the surf, in hopes of helping us be safer next time out. The girls took Pam for a surfer as well, and told her to stay over to the left and she would be okay. From that moment on, I was instructed by my wife to tell anybody that asked that she was sidelined by a foot injury, otherwise she would be out there with us. All I can say is that she does say "dude" a lot, so I'm not really surprised..... 

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