On Monday, 19 January, I ended my day at a small cove called La Palma Sola. The reason I chose to end here was threefold. Firstly, there was a huge sign indicating that camping was allowed. Secondly, a very friendly chap stopped me as I ran passed the entrance and proclaimed it to be the most beautiful place. And finally, I was pooped!! The combination of the sun and the humidity literally sucks the energy out of you and the hills don’t help either. I followed the track down to the village and first impressions this was going to be a short stay. There are a few homes, a couple of small shops and not much else. I continued down the track and over a little hill and was pleasantly surprised. This was the kind of beach you imagine or see in movies and to add to that it was deserted. There were palapas on the beach so I asked if I could hang a hammock rather than camp. This was of course no problem and within minutes a table and chair was also provided. Then came the offer of dinner. From our conversation it transpired that there were two choices – fish or lobster. Having not had lobster once on this trip I enquired how much it would be. 250pesos or £12. I said I would think about it and let him know later.
As I lay in my hammock some guests arriving. It turned out to be the whole family and they had come to find out what I’d like for dinner. I suggested some meals and it turned out that they only had lobster… Of course they did! As I had been thinking about having one for a while I decide to dispense with thinking and just go for it. I was told to wait and hour or so.
Nearly an hour later the call for dinner came by way of a flashlight… Not wanting to risk losing anything I decided to push my stroller up the hill rather than leaving it on the beach.
Dinner was to be in the family’s house. There was the mother and father, a pregnant daughter, a non pregnant daughter and two young boys. The house was spacious with a mud floor and hammocks hanging from the ceiling. The kitchen was warm with a big log oven in the middle. The men seemed to be using the hammocks while the ladies pottered around the kitchen making tortillas and other delights. Right in the middle of the room was a table with one plate with a delicious looking lobster and rice. I immediately felt rather awkward… I slowly strolled over and took my place at the table acutely aware of several pairs of eyes following me. It felt like a period film when a laird arrives and demands a meal.
Dispute the rather odd atmosphere the food was really quite delicious. The lobster had been barbequed with a healthy amount of garlic and while a little tough was definitely worth the money. I quickly ate up and made my excuses.
As I left the father insisted I left my stroller in the house for safety. Its always a difficult situation because you don’t want to be rude and decline the offer but at the same time you don’t want all you belongings in a strangers house. Going with my gut feeling I left the stroller and made my way to my hammock with a belly fool of lobster and a packet of peanut M&Ms waiting for me!!!