Flying Abuela

The lady sitting next to me in the back of the transport jeep leans conspiratorially close and says to me, I´m glad they didn’t ask our ages. Apparently after seventy, they don´t let you go zip lining….


Maureen is 77. Harry is… I don´t know, but he´s nearly deaf and he´s on hip replacement number three. Harry´s son has Harry´s cane strapped to his back as he zips through the forest. Zack is eight and it´s hard for him to reach up so the zip line guy can hook him on to the line. Zack´s mother and I round out our merry bunch.

Seventeen platforms of forest fun high above San Juan del Sur. We don´t have to pay our US$30 until we´re finished. Since I´m almost positive the concept of liability insurance doesn’t exist, I´m assuming the real insurance is that they have to keep us alive until the end so they can collect the fee.


Despite our group´s various challenges, it was a super day. Several hours of zipping through the jungle/forest among the monkeys. Many, many families of howler monkeys just hanging around by their tails. Too cool. I keep my camera close, not so I can take photos of them, but so they don´t steal it. Monkeys are total crooks.

Some of the zip lines are so fast that several of our group, including Harry with the new hip replacement, slam into the guides or into the trees on which the platforms are build. Seriously? Even if they say, don´t brake until the end, they don´t mean RIGHT at the END. I nearly got taken out by Harry when he slammed into the platform. Good thing were were all strapped to the zip lines with our carabeeners.


Tonight I’m splurging on dinner at a beach side restaurant. Instead of less than five dollars, I´m going to spend about twenty. I´m going out for lobster! When on the beach, eat at the beach! (Plus, don´t you know, I have a coupon for ten percent off the cost of my dinner! )

Beach side dinner
Beach side dinner

One glass of wine ONLY to go with my dinner. Why? Because when I signed up for surf lessons the other day, the instructor looked sternly at me and said, Come at 12:30. Not Nica time. Canada time. No hangovers. Yes sir! I can´t imagine learning to surf with a pounding headache and swallowing tons of sea water with an upset stomach. So I´m going to be a good student. Especially if I´m the only one. He´s lending me a wet suit because while the salt water will likely be good for my arm, the thought of it rubbing against a surf board makes me cringe.

On the upside, I’ve very successfully negotiated several transactions, in farmacias, in Spanish.

I can ask to make an international phone call. I can reserve a computer for internet access. I can negotiate a better price on an item. I´m friendly with my local pulperia lady (the corner store), where I buy a big bottle of water every day for a dollar.

In fact, my Spanish is getting less and less dodgy. If I start the conversation and know the context I´m pretty good. On the downside, if someone else starts the conversation, and I´m not clear what the point is, I´m still just about totally lost. Rome wasn’t built in a day…

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