Earthlodge (www.welcometoearthlodge.com) is owned and run by a totally laid-back Cannuck/ Gringa couple (he’s from Toronto, she’s from San Francisco). They have 40 acres of mountainside land, on which they’ve built their own house, six cabins (each with double beds, all sharing a bathroom) a dorm (eight beds, one bathroom) a sauna (called a chuj), a treehouse with the best view around, and a dining room/ library/ bar/ kitchen. The dining room and their house are the only buildings with electricity, and I honestly have no idea where it comes from!
Drew and Briana’s car is a 1974 green VW beetle… slightly beat-up, with a rack welded to the top. In Antigua we threw all of my stuff up top, and tied it down with some rope.
The 11 km ride took about 45 min… we gained about 2,000 meters (I later found out!). Whooooeee! So, that’s a bit more elevation that I’m used to in Ann Arbor, but not so terrible. Definitely not enough to cause any altitude sickness, but I was a little winded today (that’s probably just me being out of shape! :-P).
I’m staying in the dorm room, down a hill from the dining room and next to the sauna. There are four bunk beds and a little desk… no electricity. My first night I was one of four (three guys were also staying here—Ethan from Boston, Rusty from Reno who was traveling with his parents and brother, who stayed in the treehouse, and an Australian guy who just parted ways with his travel buddy and was chilling out for a few days to work on his book).
It appears that tonight I’m the only one! Nice… I was going to move to a cabin (for 70Q, as opposed to 30Q) but I think this is just as nice ☺ Here’s the view from my window:
Dinners are vegetarian (you can get homegrown pork added for 15Q) and served family-style at 7 pm. Last night was delicious—veggie pot pie, rice, salad, and bananna bread for dessert! Huge portions too. They have drinks available for a few Q, and some of the money goes to benefit the local school in El Hato. I declined drinks last night, and I think they think I’m some sort of very religious person now.
Things are pretty rustic… pit toilets, cold water showers, use a bucket to wash your hands and brush your teeth. It’s very laid-back and tranquil, though 🙂
Breakfast was muddy coffee (which still filled the caffeine bill) and a HUGE bowl of fresh fruit with homemade granola and yogurt. I mean, HUGE. Take the bowls at home. The ones in my apartment. The ones that I fill *maybe* about 1/3 of the way with granola. Double that size. Fill to the brim with pineapple, melon, and papaya. Top with really seedy (in a good way) granola and plain yogurt. Yummie.
Today I rode my bike down into town (11 km down the hill, through the little town, through a forest preserve with LNT signs in Spanish!… lots of dust that eventually turns into cobblestones and voila! you’re there) to meet Lauren and Kimia for lunch. I was really worried that I wouldn’t make it back up the hill again before dark (Drew recommended 5:30, but I figured 5 would be even better), so I had to cut their Spanish school search a bit short.
I made it back up the “hill” (11 km, 2000 meters of elevation) in about an hour, which I was happy enough with. I had budgeted two hours.
The cold shower felt excellent!
Dinner’s at 7…