Thursday, January 28, 2016

Book 2-Chapter 1

The Chill Mobile

     We call him, "Willy."  As of today, we are not certain of when our next boating or sea adventure may be. We do know, however, that in April of 2016, we will be making a go to Canada, Nanaimo, to drive Willy back to the States and make him an official citizen of the USA.


Meet "Willy," the Chill Mobile

And Brian and Richelle, Willy's previous caretakers


     Today we are vacationing in PV, staying at a hotel outside of Bucerias, wrapping up some business arrangements.   Our return date for the States is up in the air.  Our plans at this point is a visit to Dad and Mom in Paris sometime in February.  It is likely that we fly from here to Paris and meet our "stuff" back in the States in March. The only day that we have any specific plans for is March 17th, Buckets 6th birthday, we will without question be spending that day with him.  

     I will continue to blog and do my best to keep our family and loved ones up to date on our gypsy-like life style.

Until next time....
Chill

Love to All

Velvet Sky Becomes Cape D

   
     We initially bought 16 tubs at the local Walmart, thinking,  "This should be just almost enough to pack most of the stuff we have moved into the Velvet Sky." Well, it was NOT EVEN close to enough, as it is we have a total of 73 tubs and parcels to have to be hauled back to the States.  How in the world did we get soooo much stuff in such a small space?  We were completely moved out in about 4 days of steady packing, hauling, and cleaning our things off of Velvet Sky.


     I would like to introduce you to the family that now resides on the former Velvet Sky.  Their names are Daryl, Janet, and Julian Swensen.  They made a visit to Velvet Sky late January.  Marshall has been friends with them for a couple of years and brought them aboard because they like the thought of living aboard an Island Packet.  They liked the idea so much, they now call the this one, theirs.  They have renamed her and are moved in and sleeping peacefully on board.   They love her and we are over the top happy to have this family take over the love and care of this Island Packet.



Daryl, Janet and Julian.  Residence of CAPE D (formerly Velvet Sky).

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Paradise Village Nuevo Vallarta

   We have been tied up in the marina at Paradise Village, Dock B-slip 38, long enough to get the boat cleaned up and put back together after the jarring passage north from Barra De Navidad.  Our trip was planned with a 20 hour voyage in mind.  We opted to not get fuel in Barra but rather use our reserve 20 gallons from the jerry jugs on deck instead, heck it was a short run and we would probably sail some of the way….no need to fuel up.  We left Barra with about 28 gallons of fuel in the tank and no reserve.  We left Barra on January 2nd at 09:17 and would anchor for the night in Chamela which was a short 37 miles and 7 hours.  We made good time to Chamela arriving at 16:15.  We dropped anchor and ventured out for some swimming and snorkeling before a pleasant dinner of scalloped potatoes, glazed carrots, a bit of fresh marlin, and smoked pork chops.  We all had a good night sleep in spite of the rolly night on the hook. We pulled up anchor at 11:00 on the 3rd of January and set course for Paradise Village Marina with our ETA looking great for 10:00 on the 4th.

Hitchin' a ride.....

     We had a pretty good start….anytime we start out sailing it is a pretty good start even if the current did push us back about a half a mile as we sailed to our first waypoint.  Then we made the starboard tack….now the current and the wind was directly on our nose.  Start the engine. We will motor sail.  Very well, this is becoming the norm for us.  So, I opt to take the noon to 16:00 shift, I don’t know why I offered, honestly this is the worst shift, what was I thinking?  Sometimes I am just too nice even for my own good.  This shift is straight, hot sun, and blech!  The time is around 15:30, I look up at the boom and I see a block dangling from the end and I can only imagine the look on my face.  I imagine my head moving back and forth in wonder, you know, like a confused puppy.  “What the hell is that,” I am thinking.  Then I look a little higher and notice a line swinging aimlessly, twisting itself around the back stays.  “This is not right,” I say to myself.  “Hey Scott! You better get up here!”  Scott comes up from his nap, I say not a word, just point.  The topping lift has come apart.  The pin in the shackle came loose and is lost in depths of the sea, never to be found.  After several attempts of catching the line intending on replacing the shackle, we face the fact that we were just going to have to rig a makeshift topping lift until we have a little less wind and movement of the boat is a bit more calm.  Scott is able to rig a spare halyard to the boom….we have a good temporary fix.  The winds start to pick up and the seas start to get a little more rowdy.  It feels like we are warming up for a huge, rockin’ ocean party.  We put in a double reef and start closing the hatches, only we don’t get the hatches closed quick enough.  We get hit by a huge wave and I guesstimate five to ten gallons of ocean come spilling into the boat.  The main cabin gets half and our bed gets half.  Grant is rushing around trying to close hatches as he is trying to not vomit.  He is sea sick in a very bad way.  I come down below to help and he informs me that he is blacking out.  I have him sit on the floor while I continue to close hatches.  In the meantime, outside in the cockpit, Scott and Marshall are also getting splashed.  The ride had gotten so rough that the auto pilot was not an option and we were down one crew member.  Grant was instructed to go lay down on his back, breath deep, and stay that way for a while.  Scott, Marshall, and I were it.  We agreed that one hour at a time would be our due.  Then it was my up.  I was 2 minutes from my hour of being up, it was 16:58, *SPLLAASH!*  I just got drenched with what I would say a small swimming pool full of water….drenched…yes drenched!  I start to whine….”I just want my shift to be over!”  Scott says, “Well move over, I will take the wheel.”  Of course I have to finish out my last 2 minutes, and I do.  I go down below and change into dry clothes.  Just as I was thinking Karma had just got back at me for something, I look out in the cockpit and see Marshall get drenched.  Five seconds later he gets drenched AGAIN!  And then yet again after another five seconds.  Okay, so it wasn’t Karma….the ocean was just being a bitch today.  

     Marshall sat out his entire hour dripping salty sea from every ounce of his being.  He left the helm in Scotts hands and low and behold….sheet after sheet of ocean was poured over the Captains head.  Oh…we were not happy sailors.  Scott asked me to bring him him a towel and in the transition of towel from hand to hand I was thrown across the cockpit.  I had a firm grip on the binnacle with my left hand and did not let go with enough grace to save myself from being injured.  I tore or strained, or tore and strained several muscles in my left arm.  We were down to a crew of 2.  Captain Scott sent me to bed and instructed my to stay there until further notice.  I obeyed, not only out of respect for the captain, more because I had no choice….my arm was inoperative, I could not move it, though I knew it was not broken. 

     With our crew count down to two, Scott and Marshall were getting tired.  They were wet, salty, and exhausted from hand steering against the power of the wind and the sea.  At 21:00 they opted to heave-to.  We all needed a rest from the banging, crashing sea.  The boat was a mess inside.  Things had been thrown around like the Velvet Sky had a temper tantrum.  Flour in the galley, dishes on the floor, dirty laundry strung about, wet sheets, throw pillows, carpets, it was just a mess.  The six hour break of being hove-to was much appreciated and savored.  Grant came around at about 02:00.  The winds were a consistent 29-30 knots, and the sea state was completely undesirable with 6-12 feet waves on the nose about every 6 seconds.  03:00….things felt calm again.  We could breath deep and we could walk without falling.  We started the engine and and found our course for Paradise Village Marina.  Grant took the helm until 09:00 while Scott and Marshall caught up on some much needed rest. I stayed in bed with my arm in a sling position.  The guys brought us in and tied us up to the guest slip on A-Dock at 22:16 on January 4th.  I am so glad to be here.



     We have been here and tied up on B-Dock slip 38 for 10 days.  We have got Velvet Sky back into shape and beautiful as ever.  She has been washed and waxed on the outside and cleaned and oiled on the inside.  I love this boat.  We have done all of our laundry, sheets, towels, cleaning cloths, even the hatch covers.  it seems odd to say that having the ability to do my own laundry is a luxury, it is!  We have had a shower every day, many times twice a day.  We have had happy hour on the beach under a palapa with friends, both new and old.  Last time we were here we didn’t leave the resort.  This time we have traveled to PV three times, once to BucerIas, once to LaCruz.  We have been to the market twice.   Watched two (not so good, not terrible) movies at the cinema.  And we have only been here for ten days.  We will likely be here until the first week in February.


Laaaaaaaaa......They made it to PV!

We took a walk on Olas Altas

Dad, Mom......Does this look familiar?
We found the smallest McDonalds ever! Desserts only.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Barra Navidad -- Happy 2016!

     Awwwwe…..Paradise.  Well, it feels like paradise.  We are in the marina at the Grand Isla Resort in Barra Navidad. I have a few pics however, photos do no justice to elegant structure and exotic ambience of the place.  This would be an ideal honeymoon destination or Christmas/New Year vacation for any land lubber looking for a get-away.  Here is the website, enjoy:  http://www.islanavidad.com.mx.  It is just beautiful, a must see.  And the little town of Barra is quite pleasant as well and only a short, 7 peso bus ride to another small town of Malaque.





    We started our New Years Eve day with a visit to the pool and stayed planted there until around 17:00 until we caught the water taxi over to Barra and had New Year’s dinner of BBQ Ribs and enchiladas.  We headed back to the resort around 21:00 and found seats on one of the many balconies.  We visited and had drinks until midnight when we brought in the new year with good food, drink, company, and a terrific firework display.  Spectacular!

              HAPPY NEW YEAR!  *CHEERS!*
       Many blessings of love, joy, health, and laughter in 2016

    I am quite comfortable here in Barra, it is a pleasant stay. And since our last tour was a looooong 40 something hours and I am not looking forward to the bashing on north, however, we are leaving here tomorrow and are pushing on to Nuevo Vallarta.  The resort there calls itself “Paradise Village” and I remember it being a luxury vacation spot, so that, I am looking forward to.

     


Love to All

Isla Grande to Barra Navidad

     We pulled up anchor and left Zihuatanejo on the 26th at 08:47 and motored to Ixtapa where we fueled up and was underway again by 11:09.  Course set for Isla Grande.  It was a pleasant 5.4 mile tour and we dropped anchor in 12 feet of clear water at Isla Grande at 12:02.  We utilized our time wisely and spent the day swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, drinking cold drinks and eating fresh guacamole.  There were no bugs, we love this!  We went to bed early (like 6:30 or something) and awoke early on the 27th.  We had breakfast of pancakes, eggs, coffee, and juice and was underway by 08:51.  Course set for Barra Navidad.  

     The guys were getting a little restless.  We have all been reading, reading , reading.  one book after another.  Someone need a break from the books and “had an idea.”  It was the Captain!  He had the wonderful idea of rigging the hammock chair to the spinnaker pole so we could all take turns sitting outside the boat dangling our feet in the ocean.  OH MY!  Seems like shinanagens to me and I am not so sure I want to be involved. I am on shift  (12:00-16:00) so it is a good reason for me to stay at the helm and watch the excitement while being alert to the fact that we might be performing more than just a man over board drill, we might be doing the real thing.  Marshall was all in on the rigging and knot tying.  The boys in these men came out to play.  Honestly, I am glad they did, because IT WAS FUN!  Yep…..I joined in too.  It was irresistible.
The "idea" begins to materialize

This looks like a go

Captain first

Whoo-Hoo!

This is AWESOME!

Next....

I'm in....it looks too fun to not to.....

Grant takes the plunge

This is livin'


     We played with chair for a while and pulled the rigging back in.  Grant came on shift at 16:00.  He would be on watch until 20:00.  It was an uneventful evening, although the seas were fairly calm and winds light both were still against us and kept us motoring at 2100 RPM and moving a mere 4 knots if we were lucky. The sea state began to change the winds grew stronger the morning of the 29th. Neither was in our favor. I started to develop a headache and felt queasy from the relentless thrashing about.  Marshall had the 12:00-16:00 watch  I was due on until 20:00 and was hoping to find some relief from the motion sickness before my watch.  

This is how Marshall does the 12:00-16:00 watch....he makes it look good



     We had about 15 hours of hellish conditions.  Things calmed down around 02:00 on the 29th.  We pulled into the marina at Barra Navidad Resort at 08:44 on 12-29-2015 and tied up G dock, slip 24 just in time to buy breakfast croissants from the French Baker.  Life is good again.

Merry Christmas 2015

     We left Huatulco on the 21st of December at 09:45, course set for Zihuatanejo, ETA 15:00 on December 24th.  Approximately 81 hours later, December 24th, hour 19:51 we dropped anchor in the anchorage at Zihuatanejo.  It was a HOT trek, and we motored almost the entire way.  We did find an opportunity to sail on the 22nd, the winds were a steady 15 knots out of the north-west.  The sails were raised and the motor was given a break at 17:30, about an hour and a half into my !6:00-20:00 shift.  Marshall came on shift at 20:00.  We made our tack as we we growing to close to shore.  I went down to get some rest and Scott would follow Marshall and pick up his shift at 23:00.  As it turned out the tack and continuing to sail almost perpendicular to our rum line.  HA HA!  We ROCK! We had seven hours of peaceful sailing and it set us back 6/10 of a mile!  Our new ETA was 12-24-2015 @ 18:00.  We motored the rest of the way and arrived on Christmas Eve at 17:36.  We all had a glass of holiday Ronpope (mexican version of eggnog and rum), and dove into the 90 degree salty sea water that we had just dropped anchor in.  We ended the evening with a fresh water shower in the cockpit followed by meat, cheese, and crackers and fell into a very much welcomed deep and uninterrupted sleep.


Grant taking the 08:00-12:00 watch....he seems to be enjoying the journey

     We awoke Christmas morning, had juice and coffee and Marshall handed out gifts.  What a thoughtful guy.  He was the only gift giver of the four.  Sweets for me, Ronpope  for Captain Scott, and a soap dispenser shaped like R2D2 for Grant.  After gifts we rowed to shore, strolled through Zihua, sat under a palapa eating pistachios and cacahuates (peanuts), drank 2 for 1 margaritas and micheladas while watching people play in the surf and Velvet Sky dance gracefully in the bay.  We bought some ornaments for our grandchildren from one of the wandering venders.  he ornaments are coconuts, hand painted to look like fish.  We made some phone calls to our family members which was the icing on the Christmas spirit cake.  It was a good and relaxing day. 



This is the woman that made ornaments.




     We rowed back to the boat around 17:30 where we prepared and ate a lovely Christmas dinner of roast chicken, with tarragon, garlic, and honey glazed carrots, stuffing, and jelled cranberry sauce.  We toasted to family, friends and good sailing adventures with a drink called Caldo De Fruta (soup of fruit). Caldo De Fruta is a fermented drink (tasted like moonshine), made only with fruit and sugar, we bought it in Guatemala and  had been saving it for this toast.  As my gift to the fellows, and they were pleasantly surprised, I added ice to their drink.  As most sailors know, ice is rare and precious, Marshall calls it “liquid gold.”  I had it stashed in the back of the ice box and was looking forward to serving it on this special occasion.  It was a Merry Christmas!


  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Huatulco (Marina Chahue)

     We left Chiapas on Friday, the 11th of December around 10:00.  There were several other boats waiting for the Tehuantepec to give the window of opportunity for a safe crossing.  There had been a couple of week wait for the opportunity for boats going north and south.  Friday was the day.
   
     The starter battery on the boat was low or something because the boat wouldn’t start, so we plugged back in to shore power and charged it.  The Velvet Sky started up, we unplugged, untied, and shoved off the dock at 10:45.  Other than the batter being low there were no other issues.  There was not enough wind to start out sailing so we motored for several hours.  Secretly I was hoping to motor the entire passage.  If the Tehuantepec could (and has been known to) act up without warning, I did not want to be caught with the sails up and the battery dead.  We did motor the entire way.  We were half way across around 07:30 on the 12th, still nothing happening out there.  I had really been hoping for a grand experience of glass-like seas and loads of sea life.  We had none of it.  The passage was pretty dull other than a brief showing of dolphins at dawn and dusk.

     Marshall took shift after me.  He had the 23:00-02:00 shift which means I had just fallen asleep when ***BOOM!***   something hit the ship!  All the sleeping crew was up and out in the cockpit within seconds.  “What the heck was THAT?”  We didn’t see anything in our wake and Marshall had spotted nothing before hand.  We checked the bilge (all clear) then heard this growling sound coming from the front of he boat outside.  This was not good.  Captain Scott called it out right off, “Sounds like our bobstay is broken.”  He and Marshall took flashlights out to the bow, it was 00:24 and a moonless night.  Sure enough. It was the bobstay and we still had 6-7 hours to go before we reached our destination.  The boat, she was not happy, she sounded like a momma lion disciplining her toddler cub.  She growled steady for the remainder of the tour.  This made it near impossible for any of us to sleep.  So, we kept each other company in the cockpit until 07:45 when we arrived at Marina Chahue (Chaw-way) in Huatulco (Who-aw-tool-co) Mexico.  We tied up, washed the boat off, covered the main, put up the shade covers, looked at the broken bobstay, then fell asleep until lunch time. 

     There are not any rigging companies in this area, so, Mastermind, Captain Scott devised a temporary fix to the bobstay until we get to Nueva Vallarta where we can have the proper stay replaced.  

     We thought we might be heading out and north from Huatulco on Wednesday the 16th, however when we went to start the boat….you guessed it…..the battery was dead.  We had an electrical issue.  It turned out to be corrosion……. easy fix.  Well, it was an easy fix after Scott hauled the battery to a local Auto zone and had it tested then brought it someplace else and had it fully charged then back to the boat and found the corrosion before reinstalling.  The Velvet Sky fires right up, just like new.  

      Oh! Before that…..while out in the middle of the Tehuantepec we realized we had no radar.  An electrical gremlin. Marshall took a look at the connections and discovered the radar connector was not plugged in all the way, another easy fix. Next issue, the lights were flickering and the voltage meters were not in sync, all three had different readings.  Oh shit! I love having electricity, I love using electricity, I bow to the inventors and the scientist who give us the gift of electricity.  If I had to create electricity from scratch, I would be back living completely primitive because it is so so far over my head.  Thank goodness for the men on this boat…..they had the panel to the switches opened up, all the battery compartments exposed, the multi meter going from one connection to the next.  While down in the lazarette they noticed the wiring to the icebox had corrosion and some bad connections.  Marshall had that all repaired and ship shape in less than two hours. 

     Scott and Marshall made the whole exorcism of the electrical gremlin look like a simple game of shoots and ladders….up the ladder to the cockpit back down into the living area….in just a few hours they had all electrical systems up and running.  All three meters read the same 12.8 v.  

     Last night we went to the cinema and watched the new Star Wars.  It was interesting because it was opening day and I would say there were maybe 30 people in the theater.  We were the only Gringos.  We decided that the rest of the attendees were there by school assignment.  Maybe they were taking an english class and it was required to watch a movie spoken in english with spanish subtitles.  It was a great time!  

     We fueled up this morning (December 18, 2015) using 82 liters to top off the tank and plan on leaving Huatulco Monday morning.  It is likely we spend the remainder of our time here across the street at a hotel that charges us 50 pesos to use the pool and internet.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Adios Chiapas.....on to Huatulco (Marina Chahue)

Enrique and Guermo (Memo), El Heffe's De La Marina Chiapas
(The Bosses of the Marina)
These are great guys who would do anything for anyone, although they always reserve the right to do it "Mañana."
They have taught us to take it easy....enjoy the moment....do it tomorrow.

Shrimp tacos underway....better than street tacos?  Possible.

The Velvet Sky got Tehuantepec-ed! She came away with a broken bobstay.   She is a tough cookie!
And Scott will make the repair...

As Memo would say, "Mañana." Today he is going to cool off and kick it by the pool at the Hotel across the street from
Marina Chahue.

And Grant is making his initiation into the tropical ocean.....90 degree, salty sea....
Life is AWESOME!

This is mañana and the temporary fix is a success ...... with a Crescent wrench (and a brilliant mind)
a man can conquer the trials and tribulations of the Tehuantepec....

This will hold until we get to Nueva Vallerta (tentative date, January 3rd, 2016)

Road Trip From Chiapas to Guatemala


      I can’t apologize for the lack of availability of the internet, since it is beyond my control.  Usually I post while sitting in the vicinity of wifi.  I haven’t really have a convenient place to do any posting, and the internet has been pretty sketchy, so I have just put it off.  This is where my apologies come in.  Since I have procrastinated there are a lot of days, activities, and details that are going to be askew or left out.  There is this really cool thing called “text edit,” it is an application that allows me to journal now and copy and paste onto the blog later.  It is a lovely tool and I am encouraging myself to use it more often so that I can journal while my thoughts are fresh.  

     We got to Marina Chiapas and spent a couple of days in the town of Tapachula where we ate A LOT, shopped a little, and purchased a sim card for the telephone.  We had ordered some new zinc for the prop shaft and had to wait for them to come in.  This would take a week or so, so we decided to take a little side trip into Guatemala.  Grant would stay at the marina and become more familiar with the Velvet Sky and tend to the business of polishing her stainless.  We left on a Thursday afternoon, it was December 3rd.  We loaded into the a van with five of us.  Paul and Judy from a boat named Grace, Marshall, and Scott and I.  It was a short 4 trip to Quetzaltenango, AKA Xela.  It is a pleasant little town, we had arrived just in time to drop our things at the hotel and walk downtown to find dinner.  We had dinner that consisted of the local dish of meat and sauce called “pepino.”  The sauce is very popular and has a couple of different variations.  We were back in our hotel by 7:30 to meet with our tour guide, Gabby.  We made arrangements to leave Xela after breakfast and head toward Antigua.  We stayed in Antigua a total of 3 days.  We saw many museums, including a jade museum, and archeological museum of Mayan artifacts. 

     On our second day in Antigua we went on a coffee tour.  We met one of the 35 families that share in the growth and production of the coffee brand "De La Gente" (meaning "Of The People").  We walked through the coffee plantation, then to the home of Cecilia and Armando to roast, grind, cook and drink a cup of the freshest coffee I may ever drink.  While we were exploring the plantation we came across a fruit, new to us, called jocote.  We also enjoyed some of the oranges that had fallen from the trees nearby. We had the pleasure of viewing a volcanic eruption while on the coffee tour as well.  Actually it was Scott who spotted the big clouds of smoke being emitted from the mountain top.  He called us away from the ripening coffee beans to enjoy the three eruption show.  

     The next day we went into Guatemala city and went to a couple of different museums, drove through downtown, had lunch at “Pollo Comprero,” a local version of “KFC,” we do not recommend it.  We ended back in Antigua at our hotel (Hotel Lucia), around four o’clock and were in desperate need of a nap before we were to walk downtown to join in on the “Quema De Diablo,” festival.  This is a celebration that starts off the Christmas season for Guatemalans.  It is translated to “The Burning of the Devil.”  It is a customary ritual that is performed on December 7th every year.  It is meant to symbolize cleaning out the trash, negativity, the years bad memories, unwanted thoughts, etc.  once the “devil” has been burned, the house is now clean to welcome the celebrations of Christ. 

     While napping, the bed started shaking, slowly at first, then it felt a little rumbly.  I knew we were experiencing an earthquake.  This was Scott’s first ever earthquake.  Later we found out it read 5.1 on the Richter Scale.  

     The next day, we started out after breakfast, and headed back to Quetzaltenango.  We were just beginning this leg of this journey when we heard there was a nationwide highway strike.  The medical staff, who were striking for more medicine and better medical facilities, would be blocking the major highways until they got their demands met.  Would we be getting back to Chiapas anytime soon? This was the question we all had.  And if not, by van via highway, how?  As it turns out, the strikers take a lunch break and they all clear the high way at the same time, leaving an exit route for a couple of hours. Funny! We made our break and made it Xela with time to walk around and enjoy the quaint little town for more than half a day.  We needed to get up and out early enough to beat the strike the next day, it started back up at 8 am.  We left at 6 am and made it to Chiapas by 10 am with no issues.  Who’s to say the driver that was heading back to Xela didn’t get caught up in the strike.   And we never did follow up to see if the medical demands were met.  I hope so.



A small peak at the banana orchards that surrounds both sides of the highway for at least five miles.

If you don't have a visa or a passport you can raft or swim across the boarder....good luck.

Follow that motorcycle....

There were trucks lined up for miles waiting inspection to cross the boarder....we could see no end.  They must plan on a 24 hour lay over.

The cemetery was the most colorful part of this small town in Guatemala.

Who is that guy sitting next to me?   The one with the gray hair?
Notice we are wearing warmer clothes....we were at 10,000 feet elevation....70 degrees felt cooooold!

I am looking for design features for my house (if I ever live in a house again).  This will be  the knob for my front door.

This graffiti was completed on 12-04-2015....it took one and a half hours.

Our hotel in Quetzaltenango.

Banana, cream, raisins, and chocolate.....local dessert of Antigua.

This is what you get when request a room for three.

Bunking' it!

Morning coffee at a french cafe.

Raw coffee beans.

Raw coffee beans being dried on the roof top.

Scott trying out the coffee grinding apparatus.

This is Cecilia....co-owner of De La Gente Coffee of Antigua.  She is carrying her 7th child.

Eruption number 1.

Separating the bad beans from the good.



Marshall knows a good bean when he sees it.

Scott going to school on roasting beans to perfection.

Sometimes it takes two....


A picture of Cecilia and Armando's expanding business.....you can buy their coffee online "De La Gente Coffee"

They are in it for real.....

Still roasting
Grinding the perfectly roasted coffee beans.

A small sample of farming on the hillsides.....a must see!

Who could resist buying something.....it was "For the baby."


Such a common photo.

This is called a "Chicken Bus," they are unbelievably elaborate!

Seven yards of hand woven material.......

Will make ONE of these traditional wear Guatemalan skirts.

Traditional wear for men (yes...the men really are this short, and yes....they really do wear skirts.)

At the market
A photo of the exact statue we watched go up in flames on December 7th.