FEBRUARY 24, 2015
BLOG: Ready, Set, Almost a Go
I do not think I will envy the tourists who take themselves on exotic cruises on those enormous ships. It might be great for some to have a printed menu in their hands before they leave the safety of their own back yard. It may be okay to know exactly which day is to be Papua, New Guinea and at which hour there will be dinner on the terrace of the local palace.
For some, this is the ideal and for all of this, they pay handsomely for the privilege.
Although parts of this great journey have been a little harrowing, other parts have been exotic, charming and truly beautiful. The meals I have enjoyed on the terraces have been offered by willing hands from cooks with the skill that is accrued by feeding their own kind of local cuisine to many numbers of people over the years before I even sat at their tables.
I have been in El Salvador now for about a month. It has turned into a patchwork of the times: getting grounded once again with money from travelers cheques has proved to be so far a long, terribly long waiting game. It is not yet sorted out and we wait on the bank.
Other aspects of this trip have been uplifting and very creative, lots of fun and a exploration of a culture, a family of dear people, a new friend and, of course, the one who never leaves: me. My friend, George, proves every day something more of his skill.
While we have been waiting on money to flow, yesterday George serviced the van, changed the oil, checked the transmission, brake fluid, hydraulic fluids and emptied the radiator to refill it with anti-freeze and water, and replaced a bolt in the bottom of the engine where it was leaking oil. Deanna here took the cleaning rags to double clean the doors and windows on the inside and while the doghouse was off in the front, cleaned out the floor readying it for what will need to be stashed there when we begin once again.
So, this is a short piece that will have a lot of feeling packed in that we will now be able to proceed on the next step. George will go to Santa Ana two different days to get a proper driver’s license. We will sort, organize and make a list of the contents of the van and translate it to Spanish for the border crossings to come. We will do some welding inside the van to make a hook for a hammock where George will be able to sleep and make a pair of hooks to lash the clothing rack up-right where all the clothes may be hung and covered. And the rest of the van will finally be packed, the hitch and spare tire locked in place on the rear.
Then there will a great moment when we will begin again forward to Ecuador after a stop in San Salvador to the Canadian Embassy to let them know I am traveling. Then we take a trip to Panama.
Long time ago as a kid, one old friend of my mum’s who was in the navy made a stop in Panama and brought me a wire doll dressed in a tropical outfit with a woven palm leaf hat on her head: I called her Panama Hattie. We are on our way!