Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Always an Adventure

I really expected our long weekend at the beach to be uneventful.  Carrie, Michelle, and I planned to spend two nights at a beach hotel on the Pacific coast over our 4 day weekend.  I thought we would relax, perhaps even bore ourselves.

What was I thinking?
That sort of thing doesn’t happen to us. 

The trip started innocently enough.  We set off on Friday morning at 6:00am, missing the Labor Day holiday traffic and sailing down the scenic road to the village of Las Lisas, where we took a lancha (boat) to our hotel, Playa Quilombo. 

That day was fairly uneventful.  We read books poolside, enjoyed a phenomenal seafood lunch, played a bit of Uno, took a stroll along the water’s edge, and went to bed early.

Looking at the hotel from the shore.  Our bungalow was on
the right, 3rd building back.

It was Saturday that the excitement started. 

Saturday, the ocean waves started growing in size.  We spent some time down at the beach just watching them.  Michelle, who spent 12 years ocean swimming in California before moving to Guatemala, said it was like putting chocolate cake in front of a fat kid and not letting him eat it because she was so close to the ocean without being able to enter it.  But even she agreed the waves were too dangerous for anyone to play around in. 

That afternoon, we were shocked when the waves crested the beach and drifted all the way to the front of our bungalow, which was probably 100 meters or so from the shoreline. 

We didn’t think much of it, though.  We just enjoyed watching those gargantuan waves crest and break from afar.

Around 4:30pm, the clouds opened into a rain storm.  Though the rain brought with it a chill to the air, Michelle convinced Carrie and I to run out into the downpour and frolic.  Best decision ever, of course. 

The storm didn’t last long, but the three of us enjoyed stomping around in the frothy foam left by the waves at the shoreline while raindrops thudded all around.  We seemed to start a trend, and soon all of the hotel guests (around 30 or so) were down at the beach playing in the spray and the rain.  It was hands-down the highlight of my weekend. 

Storm clouds.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Sayre

Other hotel guests playing in the rain.
Photo by Michelle Sayre

After a tasty dinner that night, we played cards, retired to our room to read our respective books, and I applauded myself for staying awake until 9:00pm. 

At 9:30pm, though, we heard yells about “el agua” from the people in the bungalows closer to the beach.  Jumping to the window, I watched a wave of water sail past our bungalow and on towards the hotel, flooding into the pool. 

One of the hotel guests went and found the hotel owner, and he moved all three of us on the beachfront bungalows into the main house.  The other two families from the bungalows were not satisfied with that, though, and when they had the option to take a boat back into town rather than stay the night at the hotel, they took it.  They packed their bags and left. 

We decided to stay (who wants to drive 3 hours back to the city at 10:00pm?!), but the hotel owner recommended that I take the boat back and move my car to higher ground, just in case the canal (and the parking lot where I’d left my vehicle) flooded overnight.  I grudgingly agreed to this.   But then Carrie and I dawdled too long, and the boat went without us.  I told myself the car would be fine and went to sleep.

At 2:00am I woke up to the sound of the waves growing in intensity.   I lay awake, unable to sleep as I worried about my car and whether it might be flooding.  Finally, I got up and padded out to the balcony, and for a few minutes I watched the waves pound the shore, flooding down past our balconies, into the pool, and beyond the main house towards the canal on the other side.  Michelle joined me shortly.  Despite the flooding, after the two of us chatted a moment, I felt reassured that my car was probably safe and was able to fall back to sleep. 

Here's a video Carrie took at 5am the next morning:

Sunday morning, we awoke and checked out the flooded property.  The wooden walkways across the sand had blown askew and some of them were broken.  The restaurant eating area was flooded, and it was clear the water and streamed clear from the ocean on one side to the canal on the other.  The pool area was still flooded, and waves still pounded the beach and regular intervals.

Flooded pool area

Flooded restaurant area

The closest walkway used to be right next to the pool.

After breakfast, we headed back to the city.  My car was thankfully high and dry, and we enjoyed an uneventful trip back home.

Adventure always follows us, in one way or another, though…