Monday, November 27, 2006

Clearing the Cocos in Chacala

I walked over to Majahua late this afternoon. Trying to stay in the shade, I walked thru the gate for Majahua and Mar de Jade and cut across the palm grove that runs along the creek bed there. There was a worker-type truck parked in Majahua’s parking area. It was Marcos Antony, and his partner Pedro. They were cleaning the coconuts out of some of the coco palms. Probably for the coconuts, but mostly, I think, so the falling cocos wouldn’t land on the cars or heads of guests staying at Majahua.I have seen the coco cutters at work before. It’s pretty amazing. Pedro had a rope tied around his waist, and was barefoot. And had a machete hanging from a loop of twine hooked to his pants. The rope wasn’t a safety line. It was for tying around clumps of coconuts. So they could be lowered to the ground gently, without the cocos getting smashed. Marco Antony held the end of the rope on the ground, waiting to guide a coco clump down to the ground.

Pedro ran right up the tree, rope dangling from his waist, bare feet gripping the rough sides of the palms. Machete swinging from his waist. The palms are forty, fifty and more feet tall. Very beautiful, crowned with many, many palm fronds and maybe a dozen clumps of mature cocos.

Pedro waved as he went up, hanging on with one hand and his feet. When he got up into the palms he rested briefly, and then tied the rope around a coco clump. And then started hacking away at the branches with his matchete.

When a clump broke free he backed away, and Marco Antony, on the ground, guided the clump down to the ground by slowly letting the rope out. Some of the larger clumps had 30 or more cocos. Others just a few.

The Majahua handyman was there with the little ATV/mini-trailer they use to take luggage and other stuff up to Majahua. He drove on ahead with a big load of coconuts on the back of the ATV, and I followed him up the hill. On foot.

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