We are the Marincas-Bucy Family, Gregg (Daddy), Marlyn (Mama), Alex John (4.5 years old), and Gregorie Ann (3 years old). This blog will be the story of our 6 months spent traveling through Mexico and Central America. Please read along to follow us on our adventures, to find information about planning your own adventure, to get hints and ideas on traveling with small children, or to just daydream.
[Alex is now 7 and Gregorie is 5.5 , and our six months were spent. We are still reliving our adventures every day. And sharing them here. And dreaming of more... always dreaming...]

Monday, November 30, 2009

Looking on the bright side

PLAYA LAPA,  Carate, Costa Rica.  We arrived here to our home-for-week in the beautiful jungle of the Pacific Coast of the Osa Pennisula.  Getting here involved, first, a 1.5 hour drive on a mostly-paved- (and often being-paved-) road off the Interamerican to Puerto Jimenez, with one bridge 0ut (apparently a large crane attempted to drive across and...) -- the river wasn't bad there, just the grading on the river banks.  After a stop in P.J. for supplies and the keys to our house we had another 1.5 hours on dirt, rock, mud, water.  Yes, about 6 more rivers to cross, without bridges (not out, never had).  L.C. handled the drive fine and we arrived safe and sound and settled into our temporary home.  We had seared fresh caught tuna for dinner.  

Yes, life is generally good here.  Our gardens are gorgeous. We have seen, in our yard:  2 kinds of monkeys -- small, orange ones with white faces, and larger, black ones with orange faces; hundreds of butterflies; scarlet macaws; eagles; and, in our house rats.  Yes, rats.  Pretty tannish-orangish rats.  In our pantry.  Right after dinner last night.  We trapped one in a bucket and tried to drown him (as he wouldn't drown Gregg had to bludgeon him this morning).  Just after we captured him and thought we plugged the access hole, I saw another dart along the shelve.  We knew we were headed to the jungle -- we figured on the threat of snakes and scorpions (haven't seen any), mosquitoes (which are not bad), humidity, etc.  Not rats.

So, feeling somewhat "rat"tled, we are also struggling with what would otherwise be minor inconveniences -- mold, for one.  It is insanely humid here and the house is wooden and the smell of mold is pervasive.  Tomorrow I will mix of some vinegar, TTO, and lavender and have a go at that.  

And then each evening as the last orange streaks of sunlight disappear from the sky I hear in my head lines of a cummings' poem:

as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending

But it is not snow descending on my head in this house.  It is flying ants.  Scores of them.  They don't bite or seem to do anything other than drive me a little batty for about an hour.  They don't seem to bother Gregg (good, cuz the rats sure do) or the girls.  

Sooooo, as I head to bed with sounds of bright green crickets and aqua waves on graphite sands, I will try to forget rats, and mold, and ants.   I will focus on beauty.

O Gregg!

to come


to come

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Of duct tape and apple juice


We spent a month driving through the intensely mountainous regions of Southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.  Verdant hillsides sloped up from both sides of the carretara, enveloping us in lush, expanding waves of green.  We passed through Tegucigalpa just as the sun was setting and descended toward the coastal plain of Honduras's Pacific Coast in darkness.  The next morning we drove the 30 or so miles to the frontera with Nicaragua.  After all those mountains, there were the volcanic lowlands of Nicaragua.  We entered Nicaragua at Los Manos, the horizon opening before us, grassy prairies dotted with geometric cones of ash.  Nicaragua welcomed me like an old friend, throwing her arms wide, saying,  "Here you are again, my friend!  I always knew you would come back!"

For me, time takes on a misty quality here.  My last trip, perhaps I could blame Flor de Cano and Victoria.  But I know that there is more to it.  Perhaps it is the mystique of the volcanoes, and their legends; or the spirits of the heroes and martyrs; or the infectious dimpled smiles of people who despite the pains of their past, look forward with such hope, who have as a national hero, a poet.  My hours and days slip away from me here and when it comes time to go, as it is tomorrow, I think, "How can that be?  I am not READY to go."

Three days ago we took a trip to a place where I spent a lot of time -- a beach/surf break called Popoyo.  I wanted to show my family where I was content to live in a backpacker's tent for months, without running water.  A place where I made some of the best friends of my life.  I wanted them to see the place, and meet the people who lived their.  When we arrived at the beachside restaurant, it was closed for the slow season.  It is an open air restaurant and we were able to walk inside.  There on the wall, still hanging on by one corner, was the picture of the Golden Gate Bridge I cut from the back of my Rand McNally road atlas of the USA and duct taped to the wall, as my "I was here."  Seven years ago.  Duct tape endures.

I inquired about the woman who ran the place and learned she was in town, Las Salinas.  We drove there and found her house.  Her daughters remembered me and welcomed my family to their home.  They called Gloria on her cell phone, but she didn't answer.  One daughter headed out on her bike and found her.  She returned out of breath and sweaty, saying, "Gloria viene!"  A neighbor jumped on his motorcycle and went to fetch her more quickly.  She arrived and walked up to me.  Throwing her arms wide, tears in her eyes, she said, "Male!  Welcome back!  I always knew you would come back!"  Friendship also endures.  

apples and apple juice [to come]

Sunday, November 15, 2009

If a picture is worth a thousand words...

...maybe some images will make up for the lack of blog updates!  Traveling with children surely does not leave much time for self reflection, journaling, blogging...  We are now in Nica.  Since the last post we left Guatemala and headed to Copan Ruinas, Honduras.

 After a couple days exploring the ruins, museum, and town,  we raced through the rest of Honduras towards Nica.  We spent a night near the Gulf of Fonseco before hitting the border.

Our first stop in Nica was at Playa Jiquilillo, at Nate's Rancho Esperanza.  The girls made friends with some local ninas.

We took a break from the beach and explored Leon...
...but quickly headed back to the beach at Las Penitas.

The morning we left we tried to help out some fellow travelers but couldn't get their car to start.
We drove past Managua and up to the rim of a volcano whose crater has filled with a lake -- Laguna Apoyo -- our favorite place so far.

We are now in Granada and are headed to Ometepe on the ferry tomorrow.