From Lively to Manic


This seductive, slow paced city, turns into a manic monster on Saturdays. Famous for its Saturday markets that have become so popular they are now held daily in abbreviated form; however, on Saturday it explodes like confetti being shot from a cannon. Like a manic depressive, the rest of the week seems repressed, depressed, and withdrawn as compared to the manic, nothing is held back, city on amphetamines nature that is its transformation. 
 We could not believe what we were seeing as we left the hotel for the park. There was barely a footpath between booths, stands, and individual sellers walking the narrow transit areas hawking their wares with pushcarts. It was exciting, it was a sensory overload, it was energizing. There were fruits we have not seen before or some that we have not seen in years.

Burdened down with cash, I felt a strong need to unburden myself by shopping. There were little gifts for some friend’s children, some things to embellish the walls of the B and B bedroom walls, and other presents for me alone. Five avocados sell for $1 or a bag of ten mangoes for the same price where 75 cents will buy you a grilled banana or plantain. Some woman sell roasted bugs and in another bowl cooked beans. I was not taking the risk of getting the wrong one so by-passed both.

Basically, this is how we spent our day, being tussled, shoved, stepped on, and pushed out of the way while browsing and shopping. What a fabulous day it was. There were stops at The Daily Grind for a coffee and Buena Vista for lunch. Christmas shows are still being performed in the main square creating a liveliness I have not felt for years.

This being our last night, we decided on Hosteria Country Inn Puerto Lago restaurant out of the town. It sits on a lake overlooking the mountains. We went about 6 pm to be sure to make it before the sun set. Being seated at a table right near the window, the view was incredible watching the clouds dance around the mountains turning color from milky white to orange sherbet.

Quinoa empanadas stuffed with cheese is nothing I would ever have thought of, but they were unbelievably delicious. Ron had a trout in a sauce neither of us was familiar with, while I had curried chicken. My potato was baked, but halved, scooped out and filled with a cheesy cream. Both dishes made impressionable presentations.

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