The Birth of the Bab

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 20 October 2010

The Pacific in front of me, coconut trees to the left of me, banana trees to the right, the old git wearing nothing but some factor 20 and the daughter embalmed with Vera's Aloe..

Today is Wednesday 20th of October, The Birth of the Bab, Bahais everywhere are celebrating whilst me and the fam are continuing to acclimate ourselves with the way of the Costa Ricans.

Which a far as I can tell, after four days, is early to bed, early to rise making them healthy, I'm not sure about wealthy, but seriously wise. Their wisdom, however, lies in areas that I didn't even know existed like how to climb a coconut tree without the aid of crampons, screw off a green coconut, machete it open and then offer up the sweetest water this side of the Panama Canal.

Not to mention how to hang a hammock with one hand, identify a hungry howler at dawn, whilst grinding coffee beans with the other.

Now the journey from England to Central America was not without its hiccups. At 6.30 o'clock, we were told by a dear Heathrow helper that Mr. Barack Obama had introduced a visa that if we didn't have we couldn't get into CR.

We had to go down into the bowels of the airport, pay our internet access fee and then fill out three separate visa forms at $14 each so that we could travel on our way.

I just have to tell you that as I write the rain is bucketing down, the monkeys are howling, the pool is filling up by the second and the 'oosbind and child are running around in the wet deluge. You couldn't do that in Hastings...

We were helped out by Liam, who had much too much aftershave for the dawn patrol, but more patience than he was ever credited for.

We boarded at 9.00 and after four films, three meals, a change of time and a loss of eight hours we arrived in Huston, Texas.

Note to self DO NOT WEAR DUNGAREES WITH METAL FASTENERS. Every bleedin' time I went through customs I beeped. After they had satisfied themselves that I wasn't carrying an AK47 or in receipt of a pacemaker I was let through. It was just my luck to have a novice wearing rubber gloves in her thick southern drawl she apologised in case she hurt me as she tapped me with her rubber hands and poked me in places that no Southern belle has ever been poked before.

We had four hours to kill so we ate what all the other yanks were eating. CRAP...then we boarded another smaller aeroplane, half full, with seasoned travellers on our way to Liberia airport.

The trip took three hours, although we lost one due to Mountain Time.

Liberia air terminal has two ceiling fans, overweight Costa Ricans who welcome you and your suitcase in style, noisy birds and not much else.

Freddie met us in his pick up truck. We drove through the dark night and stopped off at a fruit stall for ginger, garlic, onions, pineapple, paw-paws and bananas. By the time we reached our Villa we had been on the road for eighteen hours. Jet Lagged? Does the Pope wear a funny hat?

We all awoke at 5.30, unpacked, looked at the view, declared it really was paradise and sat down for breakfast which was paw-paw, coffee and mild hysteria.

Sunday and Monday were cloudy, Freddie told us after the full moon we would have more sun.

Yesterday we walked to the beach. Down past the blue and yellow flowers, right at the orange flowers, down past the monkeys, right at the surfing shack, across the road over piles of dead wood and beached coconut shells there it was 'The Ocean'. 20 minutes away from our beds we were sploshing about in the Pacific. Walking back was slow, hot and undeniably satisfying.

The rain is abating and the mist is clearing, although to be fair seeing anything is a trifle difficult. Having been spiked by a caterpillar - not fatal - fallen on the wet grass as I threw my paw-paw peel over the shrubs into the forest, and gashed a hole in my shin, eaten a black pepper corn and dislodged my gold tooth, I stood on my 404 glasses and snapped them in two. Thy old git, always ready for an emergency, took out his Araldite and worked wonders with a matchstick. As I write I have one perfectly normal right lens and a battered left one with two chunks out of it, Specavers I am not.

It's now 11.20 your time and time for tiffin here. Freddie has just shown us pictures of the Canopy Tour he takes people on, caterpillars as big as your arm, snake skins and yellow spiders, I think I may just be sticking to the patio watching the view with a plate of watermelon, Steig Larsson and a cup of freshly ground coffee. It doesn't get any butter than hat....Sorry it's my testicles, specticles......

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes


1. At October 21, 2010 9:35 AM Vicky wrote:

I have missed your blogs in the last few days - so it was a lovely surprise when I was skimming through my usual sites and found a new blog from you to read. Jeni, when you write you take me there - I love it - keep writing! And I hope the three of you have a wonderful, relaxing, rejuvenating, uplifting holiday.

2. At October 21, 2010 9:38 AM June wrote:

Hi Jeni

Oh what a treat on this feezing cold morning. Your blog.
The sun is out but it's very cold, well bloody freezing really.
How lovely for all of us, didn't expect to hear from you for three weeks.
Have a wonderfully relaxing time all of you. Looking forward to the occasional blog from Costa Rica maybe?

Love June

3. At October 21, 2010 11:16 AM Lindy Fleetwood wrote:

Oh wonderful Jeni, I could have guessed your first postcard would make me cry with laughter ! Only you could wear dungarees to go through aiports, ah or was it for the attention ! Your directions to the beach I could just picture the route. Looking forward to your next postcard, continue having a wonderful time and keep away from the caterpillars ! xxhugxx

4. At October 21, 2010 11:53 AM lina wrote:

hopefully you are having a wondwerful time abroad. I was wondering if u have left lbc radio?

5. At October 21, 2010 12:02 PM Rhianon wrote:

You do nothing by halves, you lot!

6. At October 21, 2010 12:42 PM Pauline Jones wrote:

Oh Jeni it is so good to hear from you - you've brightend my day again. Have a wonderful time! Love Pauline

7. At October 21, 2010 12:48 PM Marmite wrote:

Oh Jeni you do make me giggle, I have a vision of you like Jack Duckworth now with a plaster on your glasses! at least you won't be able to see the creepy crawlies! It's gorgeous here in Florida, but I really need to learn how to rub sun tan cream in should see the stripes I have!! No rest for a domestic goddess though, off to a friends kitchen today, she wants some proper British scones. Enjoy Darling you deserve it, tell B I am on the look out for far only found Sketchers.
Much love Marmite xx

8. At October 21, 2010 1:19 PM Sandra Martin wrote:

Jeni, I know you are on holiday enjoying yourself, but I have written a very curt email to LBC telling them how much I will miss my afteroons listening to you and your listeners deserved an answer. They could not care a damn. Enjoy. xxxx

9. At October 22, 2010 1:54 AM christian wrote:

Only in your World.....etc etc

I too can see the Pacific


10. At October 22, 2010 9:19 AM kerri wrote:

Wonderful to hear from you Jeni! As others have said, what a lovely surprise, brightened up my day. Have a smashing time all of you. Love Kerri xx

11. At October 22, 2010 4:46 PM margieuk wrote:

glad you are away relaxing, it all sounds idyllic. enjoy your holiday and come back fit and healthy and ready for the next chapter of your life.

12. At October 25, 2010 7:14 PM tessieh wrote:

Photos please ! x x

13. At October 26, 2010 1:38 PM Kirsten wrote:

Hello Jeni, I'm visiting my family & thought I'd check to see if there was any word from you & here you are!!

Thanks for the laugh, hope you're still enjoying yourself - I'm off to catch up with your latest missives. Hugs.

14. At October 26, 2010 9:43 PM Debbie wrote:

Hi Jeni,
Enjoy your holiday.Don't know why lbc don't want you any more, but more fool them!
I can't stand Petri Hoskin, and now listen to radio 2.Maybe you could get a job there?xx

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