|Heading out for a walk early in the morning|
Slurping down my second cup of wake-up coffee I can hear my friend Marcy’s voice outside my front door: “hola, hola.” She’s come to collect me on her morning walk. Marcy is much more committed to exercise than I am. I need to be pushed into a routine. We typically head south on the Caribbean side, cut back west through the Colonias, and then walk around the pathway of the Salinas Grande before returning home.
|Fruit vendor at south end of Salinas Grande|
Along our route we pass the fruit vendor’s makeshift stand tucked under the roomy shade of the trees at the southern end of the Salinas Grande.
She has tables and free-standing boxes stacked with fragrant fresh vegetables and fruits, protected by an assortment of tattered old tarpaulins strung in the branches.
In the shallow marshy end of Salinas Grande there is a variety of birds; herons, storks, cranes, cormorants, a type of duck, and spoonbills paddling and hunting in the muck.
|Various birds in Salinas Grande|
Further on a very sweet little pit bull-cross plays with us, begging for pats and belly rubs. We trek past a number of congenial young men having a quiet morning beer or two, chatting with friends, and enjoying the peace of early morning.
They greet us with Buenos Días, and a smile. Perhaps they are thinking that their way of beginning the new day or finishing the previous night is preferable to our method.
|Pat me please! (M.Watt photo)|
Marcy and I are just two people out of the dozens who stride up and down, or around, the island in the attempt to stay active and reasonably fit. Every day there is a steady stream of people passing our house. The long-legged former vice-principal of the high school, who now works in Cancun, marches past around six in the morning, with his arms swinging enthusiastically to increase his heart rate. He returns an hour later, saluting a greeting as he passes our house.
A little later on, another local couple and their sweater-covered lap dog do the same route from the Colonias into centro and back. The little poodle manages to keep up most mornings, although occasionally on very hot days he gets a ride in the arms of his accommodating human.
|Mango Café – “smoking chair”|
Earlier this week, while Marcy was away, I trudged to the south end of the island to feed two kitties (not cats, I’m told) whose humans were out of town for a few days.
Along the way I snapped a few photographs; the colourful smoking chair outside Mango Café, the group of workers lengthening the ocean side path, the four-year-old sign for the still unfinished General Hospital, and the construction of a beautiful stone wall in front of Isla 33 condos.
Fifty minutes later I had reached my destination, chugged down a bottle of water, then fed and played with the kitties. Retracing my route, I had planned to catch a taxi home.
|Four-year-old sign – General Hospital still unfinished|
I soon discovered that on the Caribbean-side of the island there are so many walkers, joggers, and dog-walkers that taxis are few and far between.
Everyone is focused on exercise. They don’t want or need a ride. I was footsore and sweaty, and about halfway back to our house before a taxi appeared.
Ah well, by the time I got home I felt righteous, very righteous, for all of my exercise.
At lunch time I indulged in an order of tasty beef fajitas and a cold beverage at the Soggy Peso, with Lawrie, my other walking partner.
He usually ambles around the various island neighbourhoods with me.
Marcy, on the other hand, sets a brisk pace. We hustle!