iEspera! Santa Madre De Dios!
At this very second, we are taking off. Finally. Sheesh. It seemed simple enough, buy a couple of tickets from a travel agent, confirm them, say 3 times including 15 hours before you need to check in, Then go to the airport, catch your flights, enjoy vacation. HA! Super HA! The vacation that almost wasnt!
So we get to the counter, and the clerk tells us that we are not booked on any flights. Despite everything, including the physical tickets I held in my hands that said so! Turns out that Jack, the Rat Bastard at Air Brokers never confirmed the reservations! So basically, we showed up to the airport with no flights. The clerk, J.J., did an excellent job of figuring out what the problem was, and getting it resolved. The only change made was on the return flight from Dallas, which was sold out, so we had to grab a later one, for a groovy 6 hour layover in Dallas.
So, with everything finally set, (at 23,000ft now) we head to the plane. Which was ˝ hour late due to a water leak in the 1st class cabin. The stopover in Dallas was planned at 1 hour, a nice length. HA Again!
We land, and wait 20 minutes to get to the gate leaving . oh 10 minutes to get to another terminal to catch this flight! We barely made it! They were closing the plane doors. Argh!
I know the baggage didnt make it. Joy.
I asked for an adventure, and it has been one. :) Whats an adventure without a hitch or two. Or three. Or four . Now, I must drink. Yay booze!
Ahhhhh! Booze! My friend. Free booze!! Yay!!
Back to the trip. Its now dark. Ive made an ass of myself, drank 4 bottles of whiskey (where did all this orange juice come from???) and its close to landing time now. 8:20pm, somewhere over Honduras or something. Been a quick flight!
Yay! Ive been here for an hour or so, Im
unpacked, showered, and explored my immediate area. Oh my
god! This place is excellent! Theres so much! The
cabina is cool. Very quaint! Its about what I
expected. I like it. The porch, oh the porch! Its
HUGE! Hammock, table, chairs, stained wood. I love it!
As for the surroundings, oh my. I have neighbors. Well, Jen is one, but the others are the lizards that live in the trees and plants right in front. And the doggies that stop by. :) The walks are lined with split coconuts.
Did I mention that I am in love with the sound of the water? And its warm water! Wow! A warm body of water! Never experienced that!
The weather? Overcast partly, warm, muggy, and a bit breezy. The sun, when it is out, is sooo hot! (Jen said she was finally warm! <snort!>)
So, its around 10:30 or so, and Im in my hammock, drinking a beer. This is nice. I think I may go wander down the beach and watch the hermit crabs.
So Im sitting here, and a lizard puts on a show for
me! Yay! Theres a big one sitting on a coconut for
some time now. I dont know how many pictures Ive
taken of them, I do know that Ive burned
almost 3 rolls already.
Ive scored coffee, and I think I want some.
I swam in the ocean water. Ive never been in salt water before! Wow! Yes, Im an easily impressed goober who has spent the majority of his life land-locked in the middle of North America. This is an experience. I like it! The beach is empty. No people, except for 2 goobers and some others, maybe 4 total? Nice. Very nice.
3:15pm I have nothing to do. I just thought Id say that.
Youve heard the horror stories Youve run screaming with fear . AT NIGHT, THE SKEETERS COME!! AAAAIIIEEEEEE!!!! :) Wake up from a nap about 5:15, hungry. So, we go to Sol y Mar for beer and burgers. One of the other visitors was there, watching the Knicks/Pacers game. Rocco. Hes a character. ("Nothing happens in my neighborhood in Brooklyn unless we let it!") Uh . Theres a word for that um maf-something. Yay stereotypes! ;) Anyway, back to the skeeters. As the sun sets, (its completely gone now) the come out of the wood work, drawn to the light, ready to feast on the pasty and sweet and fat Americans, known to the skeeter community as Buffet with Feet". I had no problems all day. In 20 minutes, I was bitten on both ankles & wrists. Stupid bugs. (Theyre huge! They swallow whole children!!) Back to the bananananana cabin for a Deet bath. Well see if it works.
Its almost 7, and it is pitch black for miles. Wow. Too many clouds for star gazing. I can safely say that I made it through the first day without burning.
I realized something at the bar. Im relaxed. Its a weird feeling. :)
Outside now. Sitting on a bench that for some reason makes me think of mangos or papaya. I dunno. Its soo dark out. An hour ago, I saw the Osa peninsula. Now I can hardly see the path in front of me.
Sat outside for a few hours and watched the darkness. (No lights, fewer skeeters!) Chatted with Jen about everything from John Cleese being a God to wondering how high the oceans would be if there were no humans. And had a beer. I still have yet to see 80 proof beer.
So, I am inside on the bed, which Ive just put the mosquito netting around. (Why do I keep thinking about Eric Idle?) Nappy time!
Breakfast consists of coffee, some local bread from "Breddy", and fresh pineapple. Score!! And the ocean, birds, and Hendrix for accompanying sounds. Hell yeah .
I have a big day today! I had to get up with the sun at 5:30 just to make sure I had enough time! Lets see I have to swim, tan, meander, beach comb, pick up shells, take pictures, visit the store, send postcards, eat, nap, read, have more beer, swim, tan, chat with fellow stoked one, and I have to try to stay relaxed! This is the hell that is my life! The Horror! :)
(Ooh, is this love baby, or just a confusion?) Good old Jimi. Poor old dead Jimi.
are scary looking here.
The waves are kinda impressive this morning.
At some point, I need to bust this coconut open. (Its a simple question of weight ratios!)
I think Im gonna change careers. Im gonna study and become a professional beachcomber! :)
Im too easily impressed and amused. I get great kicks out of standing on the beach, letting the waves roll over my feet, and as they roll back, pulling the sand out from under my feet. Ah . The simple pleasures.
"You and the penguin were the only ones ever good to us. Singing Elmore James tunes ." I should have brought more blues.
(Click here for a list of the tunes I brought.)
So, I got beat up by the ocean. Twas fun, although I was a bit surprised by the pull of the water. Ive had my salt intake for the day.
After a nap earlier, I sat on the beach amongst the crabs, trying to look like driftwood. Well, driftwood with a camera. I dont know how many pictures I took. They are so cool! And fast! They could be 3 feet away from their little hole, and if you blink, youll miss them scamper back to their holes.
Did I mention that I had a roommate this morning? Yup. A lizard. A teeny tiny lizard. He was about an inch long. He disappeared before I could get a picture.
The sun is setting, theres a storm over the Osa, (again, all day) and its a very nice temperature. Nice breeze.
I think the noisy neighbors left this morning. They were right next door in the cabina Jen was in last year. We were sitting out here last night after dinner, and they arrived, about 4 or 5 of them, and showered outside for about half an hour or so. Weird.
I walked down the road to Riccardos earlier this afternoon and they were closed. Jen went about an hour or so ago, and they were open. Weird. Oh well. I dont need anything.
This dog just walked by. I called to him, no use. He proceeds to squat down and do his doggy business between the cabins. I guess that was a . shit and run . :)
Its only 7. Its pitch black except for the flashes of lightning from the storms that are everywhere but here. I think it is sprinkling, but thats all. No biggie. What, am I gonna complain? Naw, Ill save that for my regular life. Right now, that seems an eternity away. I have not touched a computer in two days. Closest thing is my CD player, currently playing AIC Unplugged. I may go check my mail tomorrow, just for the hell of it. Im glad I cant check my work email. Work. Wazzat?? Oh yeah! How I paid for this trip!
Anyway, stuff doesnt consume my thoughts here. From time to time it comes up, or as a background process. On the whole, this is great. Just what I needed. I still have a week in Zancudo. Oh my. Im either gonna be bored outta my mind or become a puddle on the beach. But Im willing to find out!
Oh! I saw a pool table down the street!! Yay! Been writing for an hour or so now. Gonna sto-
Woke up at exactly the same time today. 5:23 am. I dont remember asking for a wake up call, but I must have because a very large bird (for a small one) was sitting right outside my window chirping quite loudly. Oh, no! How horrid! /sarcasm off. So, Im up, got my coffee. Ive thieved the broom & swept the sand away, so now I have to plan my day. Hmmm Shower, swim, tan, read, eat, nap? Or is it swim, tan, shower, eat, read, nap? Oh, I forgot beach combing! So much to do, so little time!
Back in Seattle, people are starting to get up to go to work. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Suckers! Ahem. Sorry.
maid) picked up the trash earlier. Santos the gardener
has trimmed up the very full, very full tree next to my
cabin. He trimmed all the leaves up about 6 feet or so.
Speaking of trees, someone over at the Sol y Mar cabins has knocked down 3 trees this morning, probably to build another cabin or something. That bothers me. Sigh .
I have a few bug bites, not many at a quick count, 20 or so. All on the legs, all pretty small. Jen has a shitload! And they are bigguns! I told her to watch her sugar intake, but did she listen? Of course not! Stubborn goober. :) Most of mine have been by little gnats. I sit out here with a fan to keep them away, which works, because I have very few on the side that gets the most breeze. The right leg on the underside & outside contain 16. I mentioned to Jen that she should use the fan, but, but you know the rest. :)
The tide is in. Later when it goes out Im gonna go tan. Why not!? The tan line on the back of my leg from the brace I wore when hiking is getting more noticeable.
So, I laid out for a bit. A short bit. The sun is way hot, and Im gonna fry if I stay out too long. Burn like a white boy. I came in and showered off, when Elizabeth came by. I grabbed a shirt and put it on, then felt a sting of sorts on my back. Maybe a bug had my shirt a home. It doesnt hurt now, (new shirt) but my muscle feels weird. But that may have been from me trying to swat it.
Gotta love the Crabbies!!
I dont know how long this entry will be. Im not really with it. So, lets catch up on the day, shall we? I have a problem. I need a support group. Im addicted to beach combing. I walked for a mile or so on the beach filling my pockets with goodies. I only had residual sunscreen on from earlier, but no bad burn. I like beach combing! I came back to the cabin to unload, then went to the store for minor stuff, munchies, orange juice, Pepsi. Ive been hungry since I got here, but just dont have the drive to do much about it. So, I figger Id go to Sol y Mar for a burger. Since its the off-season, food is not always there. No bother, I figured Id have a beer and read a bit. Ha! I had one mango for food, at breakfast. Hey! Where can you go to have a drunken game of ping pong with a Frenchman? Why, Costa Rica, of course! Duh! Christophe runs the place, and happily played ping pong while serving me 3 beers and 2 shots of tequila, on an empty stomach. Did that for a couple hours, and stumbled back. Jen was back, and succeeded in getting her tan. We chatted, and she gave me 2 more beers as we bullshitted for a few hours. Sol y Mar had a dinner party at 6, which had great curry, plus 2 more beers and another shot of tequila. I gotta sleep now.
I lost my glasses somewhere in my drunken stupor. My purpose tomorrow: Find em!
Head pounding, must silence it now.
Oh, nice rain earlier. Buckets. Cool!
Damage report: I have lost my glasses. My knee is in pain. I have a very large bruise on the inside of my leg. My head hurts. Flesh slightly burned in places. Ugh. And why am I up so early? Oh well. I already tried finding my glasses. I got attacked by a bat that kept swooping at my head. I threatened to hit it if it did it one more time, and it stopped. Smart bat!
Sitting here reading, and two military choppers filled with people with guns just flew over the beach, very low, south towards Panama. Cool! I always wanted to get stuck in guerilla warfare in Central America Call it a goal. Or insanity. Take yer pick!
Another action packed day here in Zancudo. Ive recovered from my 7 beer/3 shot/1 mango fiasco. I still cant find my glasses, and I've looked 3 times up and down the walk way. Heres how I lost them. It was raining, so I took them off and stuck them in my shirt pocket when we went to Sol y Mar. I was drunk. It was dark. It was raining. ---OOOH! Puddle! Yay! Stomp! SPLASH!!!--- Giggled drunkenly, and proceeded on. Got to the bar & went to get them. Not there. Shit. Doubled back to find them. Nope. I speculate that they flew out of my pocket in the puddle. But they are nowhere. I think they got sucked into the space-time continuum. Or Jen has them to play a large (but funny) joke on me. Doubtful. She knows Id retaliate. But anyway.
Hows this: Irresistible object, meet a movable force! Makes sense to me!
I think when Andrew gets back Im gonna get some post cards and check my mail. Maybe.
iEspera! iSanta Madre de Dios! Estoy cerca de la muerte! Well, not really. Hows about Ahora por favor saque esas maracas de mi cara. Sorry. Brain wandered.
Its gonna storm again. Wind picked up and theres thunder. I think I shall immortalize the clouds on film, then in 1s and 0s. (pictures, dummy)
The bruise on my leg is a nice shade of blue.
Been reading Douglas Adams books. Very good, very funny, but theyve been messing up my sense of reality. I think when I finish the last one, Ill move on to something more based in reality. Red Dwarf springs to mind. :)
I finally managed to get some postcards. Theyll go out on Thursday.
My glasses are gone. Gone. Gone!! I guess I just have to accept that.
No booze today. Ate food. Well, Top Ramen, fruit, Kroff Dinner.
Tomorrow were gonna try to find monkeys! Crocs! Yay!
I think Im also gonna commit myself to a tan of sorts tomorrow.
Monkey plans went tits up. Jen said she was gonna head out round 5am. Cool. I sent my clock for 4:30. No lights in her cabin. Back to sleep. Woke at five. No lights, no outside lock on her door, shes still sleeping. Kay. So I showered, got dressed and made coffee. 5:15. No Jen. Putz around, 5:30, no Jen. I thought about going over there to wake her up, but I have a problem with waking people up on vacation. Besides, the monkeys will be there tomorrow. I thought about going alone, but I couldnt remember whether to go north or south on the road for a mile, then turn left. Oh well.
So, I sit here in the early morning hours, drinking my coffee, Elmore James doing what he did best, and I realized that today is uncharted territory. Its Day 6 of vacation, vacation away from home. Never done that. I think I can handle it.
Ok, so no tan/burn today. Its windy and cloudy. Very cloudy. Storm type clouds. Dark, ominous wet evil looking things over both the Osa and Panama. Nice clouds. Not the dreary, depressed clouds that loom over Seattle. Those clouds move in slowly, hang around and just sorta fart around with getting everything wet. These clouds, these dark evil ones here dont muck about. They fly in quickly, laugh maniacally, and drench everything in moments with huge, warm drops. The kind of drops that make Seattles silly little raindrops scurry to a corner and quiver with fear! :) But no rain yet. The water is very active today. Constant waves. Big waves. Very noisy. Very nice. I have an urge to watch the Weather Channel now. Dammit. ;)
Tried to find Crocs earlier, with no luck. I guess God™ didnt bless us with it. (snort!) Its completely cloudy now. Cooler. No breeze. More bugs.
The loud people who thankfully left days ago are back. The cabin has been cleaned and locked. They must be looking for something. A clue, maybe? Just leave. Now. Go on! Shoo! (Shut up Shut up Shut up Shut up Shut up!)
Saw some interesting signs on the road to the hiding crocs. Despacio Muertes. Die slowly? Slow death in the underbrush by leaf cutter ants and lizards? Slow or die? Also saw signs for real estate for sale. Scary signs. Cheap signs. LA LA LA I cannot read them LA LA LA!
I am now out of beer. Dammit. I still have vodka. I guess Ill go to Riccardos tomorrow. I wonder how many colones I have left. Im gonna need more before I leave Zancudo.
Spent the evening sucking down beers at Sol y Mar again. 6 of them. Stumbled back feeling quite intoxicated, when we noticed the stars! Scrambled to the beach to get a better view. OH. MY. GOD! So bright! So many! I saw THE Milky Way. I sobered up right quick. Very, very cool Brings up all the old, deep internal desires that Ive kicked around since childhood. If the sun wasnt gonna be up in 5 hours, Id write more about it. Need sleep.
Slept in till 7 this morning, but I did wake up at 5:30. I made the mistake of feeding some bread to a dog this morning. Now he wont leave. So, I now have a dog. Pero? I think.
Christophe mentioned to me that a tico was there the other day asking for the "tall gringo". Im the only tall gringo here. Hmmm . I know nothing about his sister! I swear! :) Maybe he found my glasses? There would be no other reason why a tico would be looking for me at the bar.
Dog is sleeping on my porch. Well, he was. Jen tried to get some pictures of him and he was being obstinate. Daaaaawwwwg.
Another beautiful day in Playa Zancudo. Time to burn.
Ok. Burn completed. Not too bad. Worse on my shoulders, as usual. Should be fine in a couple days. Spent most of the day reading Red Dwarf, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers. Almost finished with it, so I think Ill move on to Clive Barker next.
It is raining now. Pretty good clip, too. It was a very nice, hot sunny day earlier, hence how I got burned. Itll be dark in just a bit, and Im wondering where the day went Quickest day yet! Ack!
Oh yeah! I fixed Susans computer today! It wouldnt boot. I cant escape it! :)
It was very rainy last night. It was so loud that it woke me up at 3am, so I humored the storm and stayed up for a few minutes to watch it. My sunburn is not as painful as I thought it would be. That SolarCaine with Aloe is excellent stuff.
Im a little short on cash funds, so Ive been putting off going to Riccardos for stuff. Im outta OJ, and Pepsi, so all I have is water and coffee. So, I spent the morning massacring and pulverizing a mango & got a pitcher of juice. Yay! I have not tried it yet, but there is a cold glass of it right next to me, so hang about, Ill try it. Kinda watery. Oh well. It looks good, and it solves the brains problem of needing to drink colorful stuff. Maybe Ill get some OJ anyway and mix them.
Ive read two of the four books I brought with me. Im now engrossed in Everville by Clive Barker, my hero.
The loud, but nice neighbors are gone. (They bought a round of drinks the other night. They also were not the same ones I thought they were.) They have been replaced by 2 very quiet guys. Much better.
I have only 2 more days here in Zancudo. Then on Monday morning Susan is taking us to Puerto Jimenez, where we will be till Friday morning, then back to San José, leaving for home Saturday. In San José: Shopping! Yay!
I forgot to get money at the airport in San José, so I have to get cash to pay Susan in Puerto Jimenez, and get some cash for me. I think I only have 3,830 colones or so, which is about 14 bucks. Its actually a decent bit. I bought nachos (How do you make nachos without beans?) and 6 beers at Sol y Mar for 2000 colones, 7 bucks or so. Hot damn!
I just realized that as I sit here, Im getting paid. Yay paid vacation time! Score!
Been an uneventful day. Part of me wants to be bored, the other parts shut it up quick. I love this place, it is just what I needed. The days in Puerto Jimenez should be more active, with the hikes. So, 2 more days in Zancudo. Sigh . This week has gone quickly, looking back. Been nice. Still, one more week of vacation, one more week away from my regular life. None of which I really miss, with some exceptions. I need a computer, and thats about it. Well, personal interaction with some folks. Sheila and Chris and others. You know.
I have no power. No running water. The horror. Its too early to bug Andrew or Susan, so oh well. They probably dont control it anyway. :)
Im weak. I checked my email. Most of it was crap, as expected. Were going on Susans boat tour in an hour. Yay!
Just back from the boat tour. It was a wash. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Well, the weather decided to dump buckets on us for the majority, well, 90% of the trip. Still, it was nice despite the rain. Saw 2 gators, barely, and heard the howler monkeys. Lots of very cool plants and flowers. Came back drenched. I wont complain one bit. I liked it!
I realized on the way back, that despite everything on my mind, Im still relaxed. Good. Maybe Ive finally figured out how to be relaxed and mull over deep personal shit at the same time.
Tomorrow is the last day in Zancudo. Dinner at Sol y Mar tomorrow night, and packing up to head over to the Osa.
Last day in Zancudo. It a way, thats good, because I am officially tired of bug bites. They started bothering me last night, and somehow the skeeters found their way into the netting. There is supposed to be fewer bugs in Puerto Jimenez. Good. Maybe the ones that I have can disappear so that my legs dont look like I have a small case of chicken pox. :) Since its the rainforest over there, this is my last day to burn/tan. What I have is not bad, except one weird spot on my back.
Need to find out from Susan what we owe her. I have very much enjoyed my time here in Playa Zancudo. Its been very relaxing and very quiet. Andrew and Susan are excellent hosts, and theyve done a lot of work with this place. I am a little ambivalent about recommending it though. I recommend it highly because it is a great place, and they and the other local businesses need the business. And I want everyone to do well. But then, I dont want to recommend it too loudly, because the more people who know about it, the more people who come here, the less solitary it becomes. But thats selfish. I do recommend it highly. But a few things to note. Especially if its during the green season. 1. There are bugs. Big bugs. Normal bugs. Itty Bitty bugs. They will find you, and they will eat you. They are not really bad, as long as you prepare for them. 2. It is muggy. Very muggy. Your clothes will take forever to dry. No biggie. 3. The sun is hot! I thought it was hot in Arizona! Ha! You will fry quickly. Bring sunscreen. 4. It will rain. Deal with it. Its the rainy season. Whaddya expect? If you cant deal with those things, you have no business going to Central America! However, you do get these good things if you can tough it out.
I can definitely see myself coming back here again someday. But, leaving Zancudo is also bad, because I enjoy relaxing here so much. But, the trade off is viewing wildlife in the rainforest, crocs, monkeys, cool plants, and taking bunches of more pictures, I think I can cope.
Tides in. The waves are bigger louder and more frequent when it comes in. The past couple days have washed a lot more driftwood and stuff onto the beach which has actually blocked the path to beach. Its breezy, the sun pokes out from the clouds here and there, the ocean is very loud, and its not too hot. Very nice day. Very nice. I feel my blood thinning. Yet again, there are storms over the Osa. I think the hikes will have to be early morning, or well get soaked. Its gonna pour everyday. Waaaah. Big smeggin deal! Yay storms!
The flight to San José doesnt leave Puerto Jimenez until noon, so our last day in San José is gonna be short.
Spent the last few, say, 5 hours at Sol y Mar. Blew all the rest of my colones on beer and food. Twas fun, but the bugs showed up and I had no repellent, so I left. Christophe is an excellent cook Good food. Nummy Nummy! Theres an old coot staying at the Sol y Mar cabins who is annoying as hell. Crazy old opinionated bastard. If this was the States, hed be told to fuck off by now. But since its laid back here, he gets away with it. Git.
Tomorrow: Osa! Yay! No more money problems, except getting some. Susan took a personal check (thank you!), so I paid for both Jens and my cabin. So she picks up the Dona Letas and Don Carlos tabs. Jens in charge of setting up the hikes and stuff, so Im just rolling along. I do need some cash though.
You need to continue on! March forward to Part 2 of this epic journey!