Also Happy July First.  Very few Americans on this ship know about Canada Day, even the Trivial Pursuit people, who know everything.  But as I was writing that (I'm in Barista's, the coffee bar, with a weak Americano that Marco makes for me), a woman (European-born not American) wished me a happy Canada Day, bless her.  

Port Days are busy. The excursion at Huatolco on the 29th took me to  a posh tourist resort.  My choice, because I am interested in the contrast. Everything was slick and clean and neat and manicured and fake, created for tourists, looking like a movie set.  Contrast that with the drive the next day from the port, steamy hot, up a mountain through rain and cooler air to a fiercely ecological macadamia nut farm,where we were served a "snack".  Good thing I didn't eat lunch. We ate three - count 'em - three pancakes made with macadamia nut flour studded with chopped macadamia nuts adorned with macadamia nut butter and blueberry-m-nut jam, beside slices of banana and papaya. Actually I ate just one, more than enough.  We also had the best coffee since I left home, also grown here.  

But the drive: up through jungle (rain forest?) and indigenous homes, slapdash bits of wood with thatched or corrugated iron roofs, a far cry from the factitious (fictitious) buildings of the day before.  Very different.  Yesterday we docked in Nicaragua where my excursion took us on an hour and a half bus ride to Managua, blessedly air-conditioned because the heat was killing: 98 degrees F. with a strong dry wind.  You know what white-outs look like in  (parts of) Canada? Well, we drove through a brown-out, with dust blowing so strongly that we couldn't see the road, as the wind lifted the topsoil off the dry land. Our guide gave us a political history and updates on the Nicaraguan economy, with a hopeful prognosis for the new canal.

Today we will dock in Costa Rica about noon and I have chosen an Eco Mangrove River Cruise requiring not only sunscreen but also mosquito repellent. 

So I'm still exploring, although mentally I have begun a countdown.  Next Sea Day - tomorrow, I think - I'm going to have to look at what I've accumulated and think about packing.  Oh my.