Rondón

When we visited Delmar on our golf buggy day, he invited us to return for a rondón, a traditional African-Caribbean dish. It sounded like fun, and meant more coco locos, so we agreed to come back. After spreading the word around the anchorage a bit, we wound up with a group of ten. Delmar’s place is “just around the corner” from the anchorage, so we were able to arrive by water.

We are unable to get off of the bow of Aluminum Princess, so while the inflatable dinghies pulled up onto the sand, Scott anchored us fore and aft.

We then waded to shore, and made our way across the beach and up the steps to Delmar’s.

He immediately came to greet us, and made quick work of cutting coconuts, which he serves the coco locos in.

He was quite the one man show, serving us drinks, and another group food. We chatted and enjoyed the view, while waiting for our turn at rondón.

 

After doing a bit of research, I’ve learned that rodon is a soup made up of different types of seafood (fish, crabs, small lobsters or shellfish), with coconut milk, plantains, vegetables, peppers and spices. The word rondon comes from the words “run down”, which refer to going down somewhere to look for vegetables or fruits for cooking the dish.

Rondón is a traditional dish shared by different countries, so the ingredients and spices vary from region to region. Our rondón meal was “interesting;” not the most flavorful meal I’ve ever had. Aside from a dumpling, plantains, and some kind of fish, it was hard to discern what else was on our plate (I’m fairly sure that it included a pig’s tail).

Both the food and sauce were grayish in color, and it was very hard for me to get a knife through any of it it. Oh well, we try and be open to new things on this journey, and the drinks and views more than made up for it.

When it was our turn to eat, we all gathered around a large table under the palapa. Delmar played music for us while we ate. I think he enjoyed the break.

After dinner, some of our group made their way back to the anchorage, while Kevin and Marina and Scott and I stayed. Delmar built us a fire on the beach, and we enjoyed ourselves until way after dark.

Although it wasn’t our favorite meal, our host, the atmosphere and of course the coco locos were great, and we can now check rondón off of our list!

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

Touring Providencia By Buggy

Wanting to tour the island, we  headed into town with Marina and Kevin in tow, looking to rent a golf cart for the day. We learned that there are two choices for rental transportation here on Providencia, scooters and golf buggys…yes, golf buggys. They’re kind of a golf cart on steroids, which was needed for the island roads. We hopped in a buggy, and headed off.

Kevin and Marina had visited the island last year, on their way to Honduras, so Kevin was our driver and guide (with input from Scott, of course!). Our first stop was Almond Bay. We parked our buggy near a quirky and inviting bus stop. What a fun place to wait for a ride!

We followed the paved path down to the water, where Delmar greeted us with a smile, and an offer of coco locos. He lives on site in a tiny wooden house, built over a little bar. In the trees near the house, Delmar has built many places to sit and relax,  while enjoying your coco loco.

We sat at a table in the shade, and Delmar delivered our coco locos in a fresh carved coconut glass. It wasn’t even noon, but at least it was a Saturday!

After passing out instruments, and giving instructions on how to play them correctly (maraccas and a metal guiro require a specific technique!), Delmar entertained us with a song.

We could have stayed all day, but there was much more to see, so we said our goodbyes to Delmar and continued on.

There is a popular hike to a high point on the island, called the peak. Kevin and Scott were determined to find out where the path started. There was much discussion, and it lead us off road, until I pressed for a turn-around.

After passing another happy bus stop, we pulled over for water (and beer). A man was butchering a pig under a tree nearby. By the looks of the pile of meat, he’d been at it for quite awhile!

Our next stop was Southwest Bay, where there is a horse race…on most Saturdays. Unfortunately, we arrived on a “off” week (something about drama with one of the jockeys). We’d heard that the food was really good at the beachfront restaurant here, so this was as good a place as any to have lunch! There is a huge, open kitchen, and food is prepared on a massive wood stove. We shared terrific platters of fish, shrimp and lobster with rice and fried plantains…delish!

I made a run to what is becoming a familiar sight, when seeking a public restroom. Afterward, I learned that the large barrel of water is supposed to be used for “self-serve flushing.”

To it’s credit, it was very clean, but I’m really starting to miss toilet seats!

After lunch, we stopped at Deep Blue, one of a very few upscale-type places here on the island. Our drinks were higher than average, more like U.S. prices, but the view was worth it.

We’re getting used to the exchange rate here, and still gasp when we get a bill like this:

Thankfully, the total in U.S. dollars is only 24.50.

On our way back to town, we passed all kinds of interesting art. The landfill here has made good use of old tires, turning them into planters, along a mural painted on the wall, while mosaic fish and other animals decorate the school grounds.

We passed a restaurant that wasn’t open yet. Due to the huge pile of empty bottles in the front yard, I thought they may be closed after completely selling out of wine! It seems they also sell a considerable amount of beer, too!

By the time we made our way back into town to return the buggy we were hungry again, so we shared a pepperoni pizza at place off the main road. We are continuously amazed to find really good pizza as we travel!

As the sun set, we headed back to our respective boats for the night, satisfied with our circumnavigation of Providencia.

Here are more photos from our island buggy tour.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”