Tuesday, 15 July 2008

From The Eden Project to the Jungle.

Yesterday we made the long journey from the Marina to Guatemala City. As this entailed a 4am start I was not in my best functioning mindset as we headed across the Rio in the lancha (boat) just after 4.30 am.

Thankfully it had stopped raining, for the first time in what seems like days, and the water was as smooth as glass. There were five of us going to the city, all heading for the airport and different destinations. Mentally checking that we had left the boat in good condition to cope with our absence, not to mention the rising waters, I almost missed the grey object that hurtled out of the dark towards my head, maybe it was a bird? As we arrived at the dock Jim commented on the fish that missed me by inches, him by even less and landed at the feet of Inez the fortunate driver who was able to return home with breakfast! It was a sizable fish too...

It's a long drive to the city, around 4 hours, and I must say traveling at such speeds is exhausting! Remember that a good speed on the boat is 6mph... that puts it into perspective. So we took it easy yesterday. A good breakfast after we checked in and then I settled down to watch the BBC news channel on the TV. Well you could have blown me down with a feather when the first item flashed up to show the beach that my parents live on in Cornwall, down in the West of England!

There I am curled up on the bed in a hotel in Guatemala City watching scenes from my family life on the box! As the scene panned from the nearby town of Padstow, to the surfing bay that my kids love and on to the tourist attraction of the Eden Project I thought about how far we have travelled in the last decade from our former lives!
The Eden Project was the vision of one man, Tim Smit, to recreate a biodome in an old disused quarry that would illustrate the bio diversity of the different climate zones throughout the world. TBH and I made a visit shortly after it opened and I was fascinated by the Tropical rainforest section.

We climbed a mountain of stairs that ran beside a tumbling stream to view the canopy of the newly planted rainforest exhibit. It was a bit sparse in those days but fascinating 'cos I had never seen anything like it. And now here we are living pretty much in the rainforest! Surrounded by the lush greens of the jungle. Watching hummingbirds collecting nectar amongst the boughs of the mimosa tree. Eying up the bananas as they ripen on the branch. Listening to the howler monkeys as their raucous cries greet the dawn.

Like all things, familiarity really does bred contempt, and I guess I have become a little blase after 3 years in these latitudes. I should not! ! I could not have imagined when we gazed at the Eden Project that one day I would be living in this part of the world.

Mind you The Eden Project doesn't give the whole experience by a long chalk.. no mosquitoes, no biting flies, no snakes, no floods! Still can't have everything I guess...

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