Christmas away from “it all”

It is not a great secret that in the “real world” I dislike Christmas intensely. I hate Christmas trees, dried up turkey and crackers. I cringe at the thought of a whole month of “driving home for Christmas” and “last Christmas” on the radio and I am deeply saddened by the misery that the commercialization brings. When my son – a policeman – wrote of being called to a suicide and then a domestic argument on Christmas Eve, that just confirmed all my prejudices.

Last year we avoided Christmas completely as we were at sea two hundred miles off the Sahara.

This year we spent the days anchored off Isla Canas in the Las Perlas archipelago. On Christmas Eve we joined our friends Elizabeth and Wim on a dinghy expedition up river to the cataracts at the river head. We had been told of these falls but had no accurate information where they were. We followed the largest river and got lucky. Lying in shady fresh water pools and eating chocolate brownies on a large rock in the middle of the jungle was definitely a dream outing. Back at the anchorage there was a waterfall on the beach so we could shower intensely before dessert and drinks on the yacht Bengt.

Bengt and Artemis anchored together off Isla Canas

In the tiny and immaculately clean village across the bay we bought fresh fruit and vegetables. All the fruit was “cut to order” in the neighboring jungle while we waited at the store. We received a whole bucket of lemons so Heidi had to invent a new drink with lots of lemon, sugar and rum – “Canasitas”. Suggested dose if you need to walk or row: one!

On Christmas Day we read, swam, showered again and enjoyed the quiet. The only presents we gave or received was three liters of fresh water that a young family passing in their boat asked for and some sweets we gave their children.

I really enjoyed this Christmas.

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