Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mal Pais, Costa Rica #1

After meeting Bob and Mary at the San Jose airport around 2 PM yesterday, we drove to Puntarenas where we missed the 4 PM ferry to Paquera by a few minutes and settled into a local eatery for fresh fish, beans and rice, then caught the 5:30 ferry and enjoyed a lovely sunset while aboard. My guess is that because we’re near the equator, viewing the sunset from the 5:30 is a regular sunset cruise. The ride from Paquera west was the typical shoulderless washboard dirt road, and we were incased in a never-ending cloud of light brown dust created by the cars ahead of us as we snaked through the semi jungle along the bottom of the Nicoya Peninsula.

Upon arriving dusty and hungry, we settled at the bar at The Place for a nightcap, which expanded into nachos, pasta, and an omlet, and chatted with some young folks from New York who are staying here for a few days before driving up to Tamarindo (Lord help them). Amid stars a plenty in the the black night sky came the steady roar of the surf -- ironically loud enough to be a portentous omen for surfing -- and went to sleep.

John and I woke early this morning and walked down to the beach where our concerns regarding the surf came true. The waves weren’t prohibitively large, but were coming in so rapidly that a mist of pulverized ocean water hung over the beach and ocean, and we deduced that the amount of effort required to paddle through the surf to the rideable waves 200 yards off shore would leave us illequipped to enjoy whatever rides we might be able to catch.

Back at The Place, John returned to bed and I set off down the beach in search of exercise and shells, and was rewarded on both accounts. At 7 AM the sun was already strong and I quickly worked up a sweat while finding a very nice orange cone shell, a good-size purple cowry, a barracuda mandible complete with half a dozen pointy teeth, and the rare pink plastic baby doll leg.

Back at The Place I joined the group for breakfast, serenaded by various birds including two gorgeous green parrots with bright red patches on their wings. In attendance are John, Marni, Bob, Mary, Geoff and myself.

This post will be sent if and when CRSTC (Costa Rica Sporadic Telecom) provides the requisite daily dose of connectivitity.

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