“For your own safety do not stay under the palm trees in the gardens, this could be dangerous. Please use just the paths of the hotel.” — Hotel Service Guide
At some point on the ride to our hotel the word “coconut” was uttered and a million questions ensued. What is a coconut? Where does it come from? How does it grow? Why is there water inside? Can I drink the water? What does it taste like? What colour are they? Do monkeys really throw coconuts?
In the course of 30 minutes La Niña learned all about the wonders of el coco and became obsessed with everything related: finding coconuts, seeing where they came from, seeing a coconut palm, tasting the fruit, and drinking the water inside. Within seconds of getting off the bus we were in search of palm trees and delicious coconut delicacies.
It took a bit longer than expected to find a coco vendor; a day, actually. But once we found one La Niña got the full experience: testing the sound of the coconut, using a machete to cut away the top, and finally drinking the water without the aid of a straw. From that point on there were coconuts everywhere: washing in with the waves, falling from the trees, appearing as babies that needed to be rescued, and in rather random (and abandoned) piles around the hotel.
I think the most exciting experience for La Niña was seeing a man shimmy up a palm tree, chop the coconuts, watching them fall to the ground with a loud thump, and then seeing the man shimmy back down the tree. After witnessing this from the hotel balcony she came running back into the room saying in hyper-speed: “Guess what guess what a man climbed his way up the tree and hit the coconuts and they fell to the ground where they made a really loud noise and can I learn how to climb a coconut tree too?”
I’m not sure if La Niña ever got over her coconut fascination; each one seemed to develop it’s own character and personality. In the end, she became the ever vigilant coconut-in-the-tree watcher and made sure neither of us put ourselves in danger by walking under a palm tree. In the end, I did learn one interesting tidbit about coconut water: in a pinch it can be used as intravenous fluid.