Pleasantly Surprised in Manuel Antonio
Trip Start Jul 03, 2006
8Trip End Dec 20, 2006
Speaking of the rainy season, I'm really glad that's when we came. Prices are lower and things are generally less crazy. And the mornings have been absolutely glorious--you just have to get your sun-time in before 2pm or so. Luckily, though Gysin doesn't exactly share my love of rain, he's not afraid of it. So on days when we didn't feel like leaving the beach at 2, we didn't. If you're afraid to get wet, what are you doing at the ocean?? So we'd lay out on the sarong under hammering rain, saying stupid things like, "Hmmmm, looks like rain today..." The ocean felt like a warm embrace compared to the chilly drops, and poi practice took on an even more aesthetic quality. The only bummer was the cold showers afterwards--there's nothing like a hot shower after a cool summer rain.
All in all, I think Manuel Antonio is one of the prettiest places I've been. It's the quintessential tropical paradise: Sapphire water, lush rainforest, long crescents of empty beach, crashing waves, the echo of howler monkeys and cicadas, bright sun and warm rain, coconuts, iguanas...and so on and so forth
On Saturday we went diving. Wouldn't it be perfect if, in addition to all those qualities, Manuel Antonio also had great diving? But I guess you can't have it all. Visibility was total crap, probably around 10 feet. Our divemaster was pretty bad, starting with when we asked him what we could expect to see, and he said, "Lots of little fish." What a professional! We actually saw a lot of cool things, but we couldn't appreciate a lot of them because he kept yanking them out of their holes. I refuse to give a DM the satisfaction of looking at wildlife that he's just harassed into submission. None of the park guides go chasing after monkeys so their clients can pet them (at least, I hope not!) Anyway, we saw two tiger snake eels, which was a first for me and way cool, plus a small hawksbill turtle (an amazing spot given the visibility). The surge was bad, but at least it was fun to play flotsam and just move with it back-and-forth over the reef.
So that's the end of Costa Rica, and the end (for now) of the English-teaching adventure. It didn't exactly go as expected! And I don't really know what's coming next, in the broader scheme of things. But I've made a few friends, taught a little English, fled a volcano, seen a few monkeys...Not a bad four months!