Well, the next week was a blur. I kept staying “one more day” at the hotel (ocean view with a clean room and free Internet and breakfast for $15/day? Heck yeah! The truth was, I wasn’t quite “right”. Each day I kept hoping I would feel good enough to ride, and each day I felt weak.

I hardly ate, further debilitating me, and in my daily run for water or Gatorade I’d chat for a few minutes with Pepe who ran the artisan shop two doors away.

A fascinating man in his sixties, he was an ‘expert’ on Paracan culture, and we had a wide variety of esoteric conversations, especially surrounding 2012 (which I keep finding more and more people talking about now…)

Anyway, the fourth morning when I said I wanted to stay…oops, they had a motorcycle tour coming in and needed my room. Drat. Listlessly I packed up, and while packing the bike next to Pepe’s shop, I started to say good-bye to him, and told him the hotel story. He immediately closed his shop, insisted on my following him to his doctor friend, and within 20 minutes I was on antibiotics and following him home to his  compound, Hipocampo. Pepe delivered me to his painter wife, Carmen, who is just as neat as he is. And a decade older. Neat folks!!

Carmen fed me “clean” food, and while the first two  days I laid in the hamaca letting the antibiotics do their job, over the course of a week I helped them with a variety of things around the compound and had some fascinating conversations with them. Pepe had lived in the jungle for a number of years, and they plied me with all sorts of natural teas and fascinating conversation in the candlelit evenings. Carmen and Pepe live “off the grid”. They have their own compound, complete with guard dogs, fruit trees, proprietary well with backup, and solar panels. Edward and I have talked about such a lifestyle for a while now, but Gosh it’s a lot of  work! I m glad I got to see it first hand.

When I was feeling better I accompanied Carmen to the market. I wasn’t a big fan of this market, but I’ll take you for a tour anyway.

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