Monday, 12 February 2007

Juicing - the Nicaragua Chapter

Helllloooooooooooooo and welcome to DAY 86 of my feast :O
How did we get so far…??? ;)
One week from today, I will be breaking this feast with a meal of soaked prunes – my first solid food in 3 months…

Well, back to the present…I have been away for the last few days on a visa run to Nicaragua – hence the pause in blog entries – internet access was almost non-existent on the BEAUTIFUL island of Ometepe on Lake Nicaragua, where I’ve been exploring for the weekend…
It was a simply wonderful weekend of relaxation, away from the city and computer, just out in the semi-wild, experiencing the very simple, laid-back, slow pace of life there on these incredible volcanic islands. The lake is enormous – so large it seems like the ocean, with waves and beaches and even sharks. The island of Ometepe consists of 2 volcanoes, joined by a thin strip of land. One volcano is active, the other dormant, with a lake filling its crater. On the day we arrived by ferry, the active volcano had blown that morning ;O…we had an incredible clear view of both cones – apparently extremely rare there, as both cones are usually shrouded in clouds…it is a really beautiful place...

So, here’s what I’ve been surviving on these last days out on the road…

On Feb 9th I had:

1 litre water
1 litre orange juice with hemp oil
250ml tangerine juice
2 packets sugar cane
500ml watermelon juice
water of 2 old coconuts with green powder
1 tbsp kelp with cayenne
500ml blackberry and pineapple juice
½ tbsp coconut oil
500ml water

which is about…4.7 litres of liquids or…1.24 gallons
I woke at 5.30am that day – really bleary, as that is really early for me to be up, but I was meeting my friend to get the bus up to Nicaragua…I hand-squeezed juice the entire trip, with a nut milk bag and mason jar. I travelled very light – just a few bits of clothing, a couple of books and whatever foods I had on me to juice that day. I really enjoy that now – travelling light ;)
Entering Nicaragua, I came to realise the contrast between Costa Rica and its neighbours. Nicaragua feels SO much less developed – as soon as we crossed the border, we were met with beggars and hustlers on the streets. The people looked and talked different, everything was cheaper than in Costa Rica, the infrastructure was much less developed and the properties had far less security around them…it was quite a surprise for me, to see how different the places are. I came to appreciate the fact that I ‘ended up’ in Costa Rica during this period as I did, as I really didn’t put much planning into being here at all…yet it seems to be one of the cleanest, most organised, free-thinking and developed countries in this region…
We took the ferry out to the island of Ometepe, meeting some other friendly travellers on the way, found a nice little place to crash for about $7/person/night by the beach and wandered by the water under the stars…mmmmmmm…bliss :)

On February the 10th I had:

500ml water
water of 4 young coconuts
500ml pineapple juice
1 tbsp coconut oil
400ml watermelon juice
1 litre water
water of 2 young coconuts
700ml orange juice with hemp oil
1 tbsp green powder
½ tbsp dulse flakes

which is about…4.6 litres of liquids or…1.21 gallons...
This was such a delightful, relaxing day for me. We woke by the beach and went out for a morning walk by the water, basking in the sunlight and drinking fresh young coconuts for about 25cents/12pence each…people were out jogging on the sand, kids splashed happily in the water with a rubber dingy and beautiful blue long-tailed birds flew among the trees and hotel fronts…
We set out for a nearby natural spring. It was lovely – cool, clear, refreshing water. The climate is very hot there on the islands – though not so humid and thankfully there seem to be very few biting insects and a lot of nice breezes. We cooled off in the waters where the locals were playing with their kids in the waters and the young guys performed cool tricks with the rope swing over the water.
We caught a local bus from there round to the other side of the island – the other volcano – which is less inhabited – apparently round the far side of this volcano, people still live more or less ‘wild’ – there is no real road, people are just out there in the forests…we didn’t make it round there to check for ourselves, but I can imagine…it’s all very ‘rustic’ feeling…houses are wide open to the streets, pigs, dogs, chickens, cattle and kittens roam around at will and it feels generally like the pace of life is a little beyond ‘survival’ mode in many places…though it is far more common to see people swigging soft drinks and chewing sweets than drinking coconuts or eating fruits...
We found our way to a nice organic farm-stay place called ‘Zopilote’ and went to sleep in a very cute little wooden house on stilts, with hammocks on the porch – yummy :)

On February the 11th I consumed:

500ml water
600ml pineapple juice with green powder
300ml orange juice
water of 5 young green coconuts
1 litre water
300ml tangerine juice
water of 3 young green coconuts
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp dulse flakes
½ tbsp kelp with cayenne
250ml orange juice
150ml chamomile tea
water of 3 young green coconuts with green powder
500ml water

which makes…about 5 litres of liquids today or…1.32 gallons...
On this day I woke feeling hungry –the impact of being away from a good source of veg to juice was starting to set in and I went out first thing to pick oranges for morning juice…I found the tree and collected plentiful oranges, plus some fresh noni fruits for my friend – it was a really great experience for me to be out foraging like that on my own – I realised suddenly that every time I have foraged in the past, I have been with guys, who have known what they’re looking at and told me what each tree is. Being out there on my own was a different experience, as I really had to look for myself and work things out for myself – it was fun – it felt like seeing with different eyes – not just a blurry mass of green, but individual trees and plants with different things on offer…
The oranges unfortunately turned out to be really sour… lol… my friend appreciated the noni though…and we set off across the island again, walking with all our stuff (oh, the JOY of travelling light ;) to the lovely Finca Magdalena organic farm and hostel, where a big permaculture course is currently underway. We met up with friends there who had just returned from climbing to the top of the dormant volcano in mud, rain and cloud-cover…we all headed back over to the beach area...
By this time I was feeling quite worn out from not having green juice for the last few days. It was quite challenging for both my friend and I to find enough sustaining raw food on this trip, BUT, it is do-able and we both found ways. The coconuts are incredible and really balancing and sustaining for me and I love the fact that oranges/mandarins are so easy to juice by mouth, just walking along, sucking the juice out and discarding the pulp. For me, it is so much about having the will and the commitment to stay with it – there is a solution for every apparent ‘problem’ - I just do my best, working with what I have. An intake of mainly coconuts, orange juice and green powder was however starting to feel a little depleting and I was very spacey by the night-time and went to sleep early.

On Feb 12th I had…

500ml water
800ml coconut water
200ml orange juice
500ml watermelon juice
600ml orange juice
½ tbsp green powder
1 litre water
400ml orange juice
1 litre watermelon juice
500ml water
1 tbsp green powder
½ tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp hemp oil
1 tbsp pollen
300ml water

which is…about 5.8 litres of liquid or…1.53 gallons
I woke by the beach after a very long and restful sleep, packed up, got the guys at a local shop to fill my mason jar with fresh coconut water and we set off early for the ferry back to the mainland. It was a gorgeously hot and sunny day and I squeezed lots of refreshing watermelon juice on the ship back too…
The bus journey back down into Costa Rica was a very special experience for me. I really LOVE journeys like that where it feels like there is a lot of time for contemplation. I was drawn to use the time to examine how it is that my life came to be at the point it currently is at…I took myself back to 2 years ago and traced my path forward to where I am now, seeing clearly how it all moved and pieced together. I rarely go into old stuff like this and it gave me SUCH an overview and different perspective on things – it felt like watching a film of someone’s life, understanding the whole thing from the ‘bigger picture’, rather than at the day-to-day level…wow…it was amazing…I felt like I understand myself so much better afterwards…
So, back to San Jose and my little lovely place :) Happy to be home and back to access of celery juice for a start ;) Rabies the kitten was waiting for me when I returned, extremely happy to see me too…
It was a GREAT trip – I really had a fantastically relaxing time and enjoyed the beauty and sun and wilderness so much…mmmmmmm…

One love to all,
Angela. xxx


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