Walk to the Hot Springs

I slept in a little this morning, and hung out in the room with Phillip until breakfast. That was relaxing, we’re getting a lot of sleep here, 9 or 10 hours every night so far.

Breakfast was lots of watermelon. I didn’t try to mix it with cantaloupe today (and they didn’t serve cantaloupe anyway), so I felt a lot better. That was, until I ate too much watermelon too fast. That made me feel pretty overfull for about 15 minutes until the feeling passed. It’s so simple to eat just watermelon for breakfast, if you eat slow and enjoy the company of the people around you (i.e. don’t eat it fast like I did.)

Banana Plants Here and Hills Out ThereWe walked up to the hot springs today. A beautiful, but steep walk. We were ready for a break by the time we arrived, and getting in the water felt great. There is no sulfur smell to the water here like other hot springs I’ve seen. Two rustically finished off pools, provided a couple temperatures to choose from. Time passed surprisingly quickly. We got back a little late for lunch, and we were hungry.

Lunch: banana smoothies, as well as solid bananas, and “me-mei”, a fruit that tastes a lot like sweet potatoes (or perhaps pumpkin pie filling). Naturally there was lettuce as well, but I’m found today I felt like waiting for dinner for a salad.

Banana Room at the RetreatThis afternoon I had a chance to ask Dr. Graham questions about bananas, receiving tips on how many to buy and how to stage them. He and his wife go through a case of 100 bananas (about 40 pounds), in about 3 days. At any particular time they might have two to four cases in the house in various stages of ripeness.

They use different parts of the house to ripen them, at speeds necessary to insure a constant stream of ripe bananas. That many bananas is a 6 to 12 day supply, which they will allow to dwindle in numbers whenever they’re about to leave on a trip, and they need to let the number drop to zero by the time they leave.

When the bananas get ahead of them, and too many are ripe at once, they have an extra banana meal (it’s usually bananas for lunch, so this means dinner too). Or, perhaps they invite someone over for a workout and have banana smoothies together afterwards.

When they get ahead of the bananas, and have a shortage, they instead may have whatever other fruits are in season. In fact, when persimmons are in season, Doug said he might not even be eating bananas at all, instead concentrating on persimmons.

Tonight’s dinner started with tomato/orange juice and mangos. Then there was a big platter of cut vegetables and fruit (pineapple, mango, papaya, cucumber, and chayote) for dipping in a personal bowl of sun-dried tomato and red pepper sauce. Skewer sticks were provided, and it was sort of like fondue, but all ingredients were raw and remained uncooked. Tasty and light.

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