Saturday, May 12, 2018

Saving the Carao Tree

A storm came through at the end of the rainy season last year and washed away about 2 metres of our riverbank.  A beautiful Carao tree also known as Pink Shower Tree (Cassia grandis-for my latin savvy friends) was left standing precariously on the riverbank.  It is a full mature shade tree at the very edge of our property and offers us a great deal of much needed shade.

We made a decision to try and help stabilize the tree before the next season of rain.  JD organized four full tandem truckloads of rock.  Our name Mira Flores (Look at the Flowers) was fast approaching Mira Piedra (Look at the Rocks)

Sergio arrived with his backhoe the next day. He worked the entire day moving and positioning the rocks along the edge of the riverbank and building up a stable foundation for the tree.

We will only know if we have been successful in the years to come.  Fingers crossed!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mind the Gap

Things are happening here on the Pacific Coast, southwest of Managua.  Playa San Diego, just 7 kms north of us was a hotspot in the 1970's and is back on the upswing.  We found an awesome hostel called Mind the Gap.  Established and run by Diego (mere coincidence) and Morgan -who are getting married this August. 
The place is littered with transient surfer types who are always ready to tell you about the best surf breaks in the area and their daily fun on the water.  It is also a great place to spend the evening drinking and chatting.  Diego is a helpful man to know.  He is fluent in Spanish, knows everybody within the immediate 20 mile radius, and is always sporting a grin. 

It is a collection of all things hippy, surfy, and quirky. A definite fun and happening place to visit.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Ladrillos - installation

Wow!  What a look!  We are thrilled with the success of the pattern, the colour, and the crasftmanship of installation.  Reynaldo, our local  contractor, surpassed our expectations.  It is starting to feel like we are close to finishing..but that might simple be the result of having moved all the tools and equipment out of the house to install the floor.  It is an incredible sense of space.
We had 5000 diamonds delivered.  Franchesco, Omar, and Jose are helping out for the day sanding the edges before Rey installs them. 

Ladrillos - making the mold

We spent a lot of time deciding what we wished to see on the floor.  In the end we chose a diamond shaped tile pattern that would give multiple 3 dimensional effects depending on the viewer's angle.  JD found a company in Granada who make cement tiles by hand.  Unfortunately, they did not have a  mold to make diamond shapes... but that did not stop JD. 
After studying the components of a metal mold from a video JD and I drew up the template on AutoCad and then took the drawings to a laser steel cutting company to cut all the pieces.  We asked our local artisan metal worker to weld the pieces together.  In the end, the welds did not provide for a perfect diamond fit so JD made a third stop at a computer milling machine to straighten up the edges and to make all the angles match.  The result...a unique and odd looking waffle maker.

JD and the waffle maker flew to Nicaragua.   Because the mold weighed so much JD decided to carry it in his knapsack and brought it on the plane as carry on.  En route through customs in Toronto he was almost not let on the plane.  The customs officials figured he could use it as a weapon.  But then the supervisor looked at JD and said he did not need the waffle maker as a weapon...he looked as JD's hands and said if he wished to hurt someone he could simply use his hands.  He waved him on and JD kept the mold at his feel, for fear of shifting in the overhead compartments. 

And here is the awesome result of such effort!

Playa Mira Flores

We now have a name!!

Playa Mira Flores 

it means
'See the Flowers'

And the road to our beach is
Avenida Mira Flores.

Somehow we were unaware.
We recently made a trip to the Alcaldia (municipality) to pay our taxes.  With the help of our new friend Diego we were able to inquired about our beach.  We knew that Mira Flores is a one horse town less than a kilometer away and the River is called Rio Citalapa - thanks to Google Earth satelite imagery - but we have not known the name for our beach or our road. 

Rio Citalapa

And now we have a website 

El Fumador - Part IV

El Fumador is still a member of our family.  He lives permanently at the beach.
I asked JD to describe 'Old Smokey' and he offered sentimental, admiration, love, and respect.

With the need to have something more reliable to bring guests from the airport to the beach we needed a vehicle that was a little more comfortable and had air conditioning. 

Meet Mindy...our new ride.

Friday, March 31, 2017

River Crossing

This is not your average route to school.  We were told about a shortcut over the river that the kids use to get to school.  We thought it would be cool to check it out....definitely not what we were expecting.  The access is behing this building, which is not the school as far as we can tell, but is a government building.  Unused for the moment.