Friday, February 10, 2017

Villa Dysfuncion

Week five Antigua. Feb 5th-12th

This is our last week on Antigua. Sunday we fly to the country/island of Dominica.  Sounds quite different than this island, a tired money-laundering (historically) over used tourism country.
Out for an evening walk

Do I sound a bit jaded.  I know it may sound like all our travels are fun and games, lying in a hammock strumming a guitar or cooking up some gourmet creation but one must take the bad with the good.  We love this style of travel;  booking rooms, apartments, cottages and all the unique travelers and hosts that we meet from around the world.  But of course once in a while you get the bad that I mention.

This home we are staying in is lovely, on the internet, on AirBnb's website. It shows a swimming pool through a pair of palm trees, a large bedroom and modern bathroom en suite as well as a large open plan living room, kitchen.  It is surrounded entirely by a ten foot wide veranda and it is up the hill a ways and has a nice view out to sea as well as sea breezes most of the time.  But, it should be called Villa Disfunction.  I recall my first impressions as we came in, walked up the unswept stairs, saw the dog foot prints all over the deck and chewed up cardboard scraps lying around the deck that I thought....hmmmm.  Then inside, the white painted cupboards all finger printed and in need of scrubbing.  Our bedroom though, has always been an oasis. We have a very comfortable king size bed with good linens which Yata launders at least once a week.  And we have pretty good wifi so we can take care of work and communications handily.  And even watch a Netflix movie once in a while. (The Art of Cia Qhoung, sp?) was an inspiring one.

Twice in the last three weeks the water quit and it takes nearly 24 hours for someone to come and repair it; apparently air gets into the line and then needs to be bled and the host, Adrienne hasn't learned how to do this.  So we use water from the swimming pool to flush the toilets and we have bottled water for drinking and cooking. But one of the most annoying things are the two stray dogs Adrienne has adopted who are mostly starving for attention, left chained on the deck and when released run and wrestle and harass each other and us. They are completely untrained and bark at all hours, often waking us from a deep sleep.

There is more, but I'll save that for the AirBnb review.  That's the thing, you can usually depend on the reviews in AirBnB and Adrienne had at least four top rating reviews. But in hindsight, they look as if they were young travelers who wouldn't notice the lack of cleanliness and were just out to party. Like Adrienne said, 'when I pick them up at the airport, they want to go to the bars before they even head to the house.'

Besides meeting CJ the Aussie who took us to a Cricket game and taught us the rules, we've also had Filip and Anna as fellow guests.  Filip, about thirty years old, is a salesman for a Heating and Cooling business from Prague, Czech Republic and Anna is his Russian girlfriend.  They were diligent about practicing their English and going to the beaches, everyday, of which there are many on this island that boasts 365, one for each day of the year.  We shared a driver to the beach a couple times and enjoyed meeting them and the driver, Denzel.

Denzel is probably the best driver we've ever had, in any of our eighteen years of travel. Nice van, slow pace, and very punctual. Often times, he would come even earlier than we said, 'just to be sure'.

Let's finish this blog with a recipe:

Kohl Crop Salad with Turkey Bacon:
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon spice (either Garam Masala, Cajun, West Indies curry, take your choice)
Broccoli  1cup cut into florets
Cauliflower 1cup cut to same size
Kale leaves, 3 cups, destemmed and ripped
1 cup of cooked garbanzo beans
Six strips of turkey bacon, cooked and torn into 1 inch pieces

1 large clove of garlic, in the skin, slightly crushed
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Plain Yogurt
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1- 2 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice

In a bowl combine olive oil, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower and spices
Mix to coat, pour onto baking sheet
Roast in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 min, turning periodically.
Add kale leaves, stir and continue to roast five minutes more.
Remove from oven set aside. Remove garlic clove and add to the dressing ingredients.

Meanwhile blend in food processor: all the dressing ingredients adding the de-skinned roasted garlic clove.

Salt and pepper to taste.   Pour dressing over vegetables add garbanzos and bacon pieces and mix.
Serves 2 as a main course, four as a side dish.

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