Nicaragua, Morgan’s Rock, 15 February 2016

We rose early today, as we have arranged our bird walk for 6:30 this morning. Our guide for this activity is Bismarck, who tells us that his birth certificate says “Bismar”because the registrar missed the end of his name by mistake.

We start our walk on the beach, where the first “life” we encounter is actually a stone dead iguana on the beach with no evident signs indicating cause of death. Bismarck suggests murder by a bigger animal but given the absence of visible clues we suspect human poisoning.

Soon we are at the estuary water where a fair amount of interesting bird life is to be seen. Daisy makes copious notes of all the species while bemoaning the absence of a helpful Morgan’s Rock bird leaflet along Jicaro leaflet lines. Most of these water birds are small and therefore not photogenic with our little cameras.

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Then we start to walk through the estate forest, where we see more lovely birds – some quite colourful but again mostly small. It was a lovely walk. Ironically, the highlight of our bird walk was actually a really good sighting of a group of spider monkeys. These are usually far more shy than howlers, but I think this group were so enjoying their tamarind tree breakfast that they were willing to hang/swing around for us. It was only when a vehicle came along the trail that they really cleared off.

We took a short cut through the forest proper, perhaps because we had dawdled so much earlier in the walk or perhaps in a vain attempt to find the rarely-seen toucan.

Towards the end of the walk we encountered the mother and child sloths again; still on the same tree. If you think some bits of my diary/blog can be a bit dull, imagine the equivalent blog for a two-toed sloth…

  • 14 February, sat in tree all day, munched a little, slept a lot;
  • 15 February, sat in same tree all day;
  •  16 February – big day – moved to the next tree. This tree will do us for the next few days…

…actually don’t knock the sloth thing, folks. We’re planning our days at Mukul to be sloth-like in the main.

We took a late breakfast. Waitress Gabriella seems to have caught young Master Coffee’s cough. We then retreated to our bungalow where we pretty much did the sloath thing for the rest of the day. I got through most of my magazine backlog and Janie read most of the interesting Nicaragua book.

Again we went down at 8:00ish for dinner. Initially we were pleased to see that the menu had changed; but dinner actually turned out to be a shower this evening. My crab soup was a tiny bowl of sugar-water with a slight taste of crab, some small chunks of vegetable and a whole, tiny, hard-shelled crab (a little reminiscent of our land crab friends from the room) which was impossible to eat. The mains took an age to arrive. When they did arrive, mine was not the dish I had ordered and came without any vegetables, let alone the vegetables I had specifically ordered. Daisy ate her main while I waited (let’s not pretend patiently) for my order. The food was all dry and ordinary with the sauce in pots on the side. Different “chef” who brought my replacement main himself to apologise for the mistake. Daisy tried a tres leches desert and I tried rice pudding (very sweet and ordinary) for some small comfort. Still, overall the worst meal we’ve had in Nicaragua and that’s in the face of some proper competition.

Daisy’s overall (and kindly) observation is that there has been no manager to be seen while we’ve been here at Morgan’s Rock and that you cannot expect much from the local staff, who are sweet and trying (in several senses of the latter word), when unmanaged.

We’re not sorry we’re moving on tomorrow and hope for better things in Mukul.

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