Ian gave me a go on the run over to the his island… sorry, MY island… at least for a year… welcome welcome to Jinja Island.
No sooner had we dropped off our bags than we were whisked over to Jean’s place in Dolphin Bay (around the back of Jinja) for lunch. Jean’s a local guy with a lovely palapa-style restaurant called Valle de los Ranas (Valley of the Frogs) which sits out on the water… inspiration for Jinja, methinks!
Jean’s place is famous for its fish tacos, but since this was our first time, we went for that giant burgers instead.
Sunday we went to Rana Azul – a little restaurant hidden away in nearby Terra Obscura bay – something of a weekly tradition for the ex-pats around these parts. On the way we met Ernie from the episode of New Lives in The Wild featuring Ian’s island. Once at Rana, Case and I learnt how to make cocktails as we would be replacing Vanessa and serving in the bar come next week. We met the regulars – Bill and Janis, Jane and Peter, Tony and Marilyn, Linda and Wayne, Cathy, Lyn, Axel, Captain Ron, Captain Ray… and Josef, the Austrian guy who runs the place.
Then it was back to Jinja. Ian and Vanessa stayed at Bill and Janis’s for the night, giving Case and I our first night alone on the island. An island!!! This is boss!
Case meanwhile was busy befriending Campesino, the impeccably well-mannered Jinja Island dog, and the nine chickens that would be our indefatigable early morning alarm clocks for the foreseeable.
Ian and Vanessa dropped by to say farewell, and just like that, Jinja Island was ours!
Case and I spent the next week getting to grips with our new environment – the chickens, the geckos, the exotic birds, the boat, the long trek to town, the VHF radio network (our secret codename is BEN 63), Dolphin Bay… it was a steep learning curve.
We marvelled at the bananas growing out the back, and fell in love with the baby coconuts and the tiny geckos running all over the shop.
The next Sunday we scooted off to Rana Azul and got to work behind the bar.
They were a good bunch, they introduced us to Cards Against Humanity (which will be a running theme throughout the year), we introduced them to Rana Azul and we drank a good amount of alcohol. Yay!
We caught a lift there with Bill and Janis, our wonderful neighbours from the US who have kinda adopted us. They’re like the coolest neighbours EVER. We love ’em.
I like this place. I think I’ll stay.