A million sights to see in CR

Trip Start Jan 09, 2008
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Trip End Feb 06, 2008


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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Itīs been a beautiful couple of days.  Travis flew in on Monday and we spent a few days with the friends in Nicoya, Grethel came to visit also.  We had the opportunity to go to Playa Ostional.  It is about 3 hours away on bus through crazy dirt roads and 3 rivers, but well worth the trip.  Playa Ostional is known to be one of the very few beaches in the world that turtle "arribadas" occur, where all the turtles come to lay their eggs on the beach.  We went out at 9:30 pm to see this spectacular event.  We couldnīt take a single step without running into another huge turtle.  We saw them dig the holes with their fins and lay their eggs.  The next morning we went out at 6:30 to see them go back to sea and some of the turtles that had hatched as well (they take about 3 weeks to hatch).  Definitely another National Geographic experience.

Friday we went preaching in a small beach town close to Ostional called San Juanillo.  It was a nice experience and after we finished the territory we changed our clothes and hit the beach.  Awesome beach!!  Super blue water and just spectacular in all ways.  That was cool and relaxing.

Saturday we got on the 7am bus from Ostional to Santa Cruz, then a 12:30 pm bus from Santa Cruz to San Jose.  Everything was great, a nice new bus with cold A/C (imagine that!!).  We were about halfway through the trip when the bus starts to go "putt... putt... putt........." and finally stops cold in the road.  The driver tries to start it again without success.  Eventually everyone piles out onto the side of the road trying to figure out what to do.  They say theyīll get another bus in to rescue us and take us the rest of the way.  Great... but everyones bags that were underneath were locked away for good because the door wouldnīt open without the bus running.  We all had our bags but Gre put hers underneath... with the key to the house... and her flat iron.  So even if a bus came, we couldnīt do anything because we couldnīt really just leave her bag there.

Eventually, after about an hour the driver tries to turn the bus on and... it starts!!  They get the bags out and the bus speeds off, leaving everyone in the dust (literally).  So after a little while we decide hop in a taxi to the next town down the road... where we wait to catch the next bus to San Jose.  Eventually we made it, a few hours late, but all good.

Sunday morning we went to the visit of the Zone Overseer in the National Stadium in downtown San Jose.  11,000 people were there, including 80 deaf and 20 Chinese.  Also were 4,000 others in the other assembly halls throughout the country, tied into the program with audio and video.  First was a talk by a brother from the Costa Rican Bethel branch, then a Watchtower summary, and finally the talk by the Zone Overseer visiting from the branch in Peru.  We thoroughly enjoyed all of the experiences and illustrations that were used, and seeing the Lesco interpretation as well.  Got to see lots of friends from last year, and even though we didn't have much time to catch up, it was nice to see them and know that all are doing well in their current assignments throughout different parts of the country.

After the zone visit we hopped on a 3pm bus to Monteverde... this is a long story I am going to have to type it in a separate blog with photos.  Adios for now!

K




Some interesting sea turtle facts that we learned:

1. They always return to the exact beach where they were born to lay their eggs also.
2.  It is only in a very specific area of the beach where they go.  5 feet to either side and you won't find a single turtle.  Within the area there are so many, you can't take a single step without seeing another one.
3.  The "arribada" only lasts for three days, once a month.  The youngest turtles come first, later the older turtles arrive.
4.  Each turtle travels alone until they all reach the beach.  They don't travel in groups.
5.  Most of the turtles we saw were about 70 or 80 years old.
6.  For some reason they don't like white light.  When you go at night to see them you have to bring a red light, and no camera flashes are allowed.
7.  In Ostional, the locals are allowed to collect the first eggs and sell them.  The reason for this is that each of the following nights, more turtles will come, dig up the same holes, and lay eggs on top of the other ones.  To prevent this from happening, the locals are allowed to dig them up and take them, so that the next turtles that come have fresh sand to lay on.  The last eggs that are laid must be left there, and those are the ones that will hatch and have the small chance of surviving and making it to the sea.
8.  Their soft, dull white, ping pong sized eggs are a local delicacy.  Most often eaten with a sauce.  Average price?  About $1/each.
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