Today has been a really good day in spite of some problems. Or, maybe I should say the problems were so much less because of some good things.
Yesterday we had plans to do laundry. But…. no water. The water was still out this morning but there was a heavy equipment trailer parked down the road. Word was that they were digging up pipes so they could repair something.
Yesterday it rained and gave us water for washing all the dishes, flushing toilets, filling empty gallons, and filling two 5 gallon buckets for later so we were feeling good. (We keep about 10 one gallon milk jugs and a half dozen 2 liter bottles of water on hand at all times for these water outages. They don’t happen as much as they used to when we first arrived, but I feel much better having a supply just in case)
This morning I set off on my bike towards Aquacatal and parts northwest. It was a spectacular day and I was anxious to be out, not having ridden since Saturday. The fields were green, the sky was blue with pretty puffy white clouds, and the scenery looked like something out of a travel magazine. I passed one green field with two guys on horseback. Then I passed another with three horses just running across the field for the fun of it.
The picture doesn’t even begin to do the day justice, but I was having too much of a good time to stop for a lot of photos.
I noticed some odd noises from the back wheel of my bike and thought seriously about stopping by the shop on my way home. Maybe something happened when I got the chain wedged by the axle on Saturday. I was feeling great though and the bike was still doing fine, so I pedaled on until… thunk… and then it didn’t feel right. I couldn’t see anything out of place, but as soon as I got back on the bike I realized the back wheel wasn’t stable and it wasn’t fit to even coast back to town.
By some huge stroke of luck, just then a bus came along and it even had a roof rack! I removed my panniers, they put the bike up top, and we headed to the bus terminal (cost me a whole $1!). As more luck would have it the bike shop is only a block from the terminal, an easy walk, and it was only 11:30. I could easily make it before the shop closes for lunch. But… no… they were closed when I arrived at 11:43. But one of the bike shop guys was in the shop next door so he took my bike, and I was asked to come back after 2 when the repair guy would be back.
Joel, again, came to my rescue and picked me up from the bike shop. As we got to our neighborhood we passed a water truck. They had filled all the containers that we left in front of the house, and were making their way around the neighborhood helping others who needed a resupply of water. We barely got in the house and discovered the water was flowing again! We made a dash for a most welcome and heavenly shower, cleaned up the kitchen, and filled any empty drinking water containers.
Back to the bike shop… the rear axle was broken, and the rear wheel spokes don’t look so great either so he will change them also, all for $12.
Now that we had water again, I figured it was a good idea to finish making the fish soup I had started. I dug a good yucca root out of the front yard and headed back to the house to discover the water had slowed to barely a trickle *sigh*. OK, quick, wash the lunch dishes, wash the yucca, and double check that all toilets are flushed and all containers are full. No sooner had we finished all this, than the water pressure picked up again.
The water is at full pressure now so it looks like we are OK again. My bike is being fixed and though it had a problem, I made it back to town with no trouble. The fish soup might be my best yet. I started with the bones of a big pargo (red snapper) so there is quite a bit of meat. Then I added a grated plantain (home grown), a nice sliced yucca root (home grown) some onion, celery, carrot, and a little green pepper. Yum. And, in the midst of all this, Enrique came by. He is our produce guy who comes every Tuesday and brings us the freshest fruits and vegetables, and he is a heck of a nice guy too so I’m always glad to see him.
This has nothing to do with anything today. It was taken on the way to Boquete last Saturday, I found it in my phone and liked it, so here it is. That was another very gorgeous day in the Chiriqui mountains of Panama.