Well, it seems the evening maids really did remove the worrying wasp-like thing from our room last night, together with a land crab, leaving only a large spider on the wall beside the toilet to keep us company. The spider is set to be a feature for the whole stay.
We enjoy making our own coffee in the room early and toddle down for a late breakfast. It seems that early breakfast is more the norm here – only one other couple late and they finish before us. Some kids are already splashing around in the pool by that hour (c9:30). I name one noisy American family “The Coffee Family”, by virtue of one of their kid’s unmitigated coughing. The lack of mitigation extends to the absence of hand or hankerchief in the coughing process. Worse still; the Coffees are in the next door villa to us. We decide that the pool is probably not for us.
Don’t ask where the first half of the day went. We both did some reading I suppose. We found a very nice semi-shady place in the garden away from the pool, which was fine for a while. Charlie collared us and asked when we’d like to eat tonight; I guess they try to stagger the guests and arrange the maid evening service. I noticed that the Coffee Family had opted for a 6:30 dinner, so I suggested 8:00 for us.
Soon we realised that the beauty of our own shady terrace would be great in that middle part of the day, ahead of our 15:00 hacienda tour.
Our guide for the hacienda tour was Herlon and our driver Eddy. The latter seemed better at spotting the fauna, even though he was driving at the same time. Both were good guides, in fact. We saw some birds, quite a few howler monkeys, a capuchin monkey so much in the distance you’ll have to take our word for it because the dot on the photo is unrecognisable and some two-toed sloths, who resolutely refuse to show us their faces.
Daisy was especially excited when we saw three macaws at the chicken and cow farm section of the estate. These birds have been introduced on the estate – they are not indigenous to the area, but they live wild and we had only ever seen a macaw in a cage before (in Guatemala all those years ago).
We also saw a viewing point from which we took a couple of good pictures and ran into Charlie with an American named Mr Mike on horseback. Then on to see the shrimp farm and a sighting of a mother and child two-toed sloth at the end of the tour; I am hoping they’ll still be in that tree when we walk that part of the trail tomorrow morning.
Home in time to shower and get ready for dinner before dark and implement my master plan for the evening; avoiding the sound and trajectory of young Master Coffee’s coughing by taking dinner relatively late. We hear the Coffee family leave for dinner, as arranged, at 6:30 (a door banging and then an absence of coughing). We sit out on our lovely terrace in the breeze, reading. We hear the return of young Master Coffee at about 7:40 (a door banging and then the presence of coughing). The master plan surely has worked.
Five minutes later, we have both finished our reading and we decide to go down to dinner a little earlier than announced, confident that our mission has been accomplished.
Daisy choses a recently vacated table right at the front of the restaurant and the waiters hurriedly start making up the table for her…but…horror of horrors…right next to us is the Coffee family complete with young Master Coffee coughing away with abandon. He must have simply returned to his room briefly to get something a few minutes ago when we heard him coughing. I suggest that the front table is a little too breezy, so we retreat to a table towards the back of the restaurant. In fact, not much more than five minutes later, both of the Coffee children go off to their bungalow leaving mum and dad behind.
I have a salad starter with cherry tomatoes, asparagus and avocado (Daisy takes a little of mine but has no starter herself). I then have the chef’s special seafood pasta, while Daisy has curried shrimp with mash and zuccini. We both try the Nicaraguan trio of deserts; I liked both cake things but not really the fried cassava thingie in syrup. I have a glass of chilean sauvignon blanc and Daisy finished off the bottle of pinot noir, with a little help from yours truly.