Chillin´ on the Carribean

Trip Start Aug 01, 2007
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Trip End Oct 04, 2007


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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Thursday, August 23, 2007

From Tortoguero, we set off for a 3 hour boat ride along the river and canals heading south to the beach towns of Cahuita and Puerto Viejo. The ride was long and the engine was loud, but it was fun to go such a long way on the water with beautiful scenery all around us and to be serenaded by the group of Italians on our boat singing extra loud to be heard over the engine noise. When we got in to the port at Moin, some taxis were waiting to take us to Cahuita and Puerto Viejo. We decided on Cahuita since it cost less to get there and it was closer. We had also heard that Cahuita was more chill than PV, so we went to check it out. In the tiny town we found a nice room for only $16 (compared to 20 or 25 for the rest). Then we went to get some Caribbean food. Miss Edithīs was recommended as the best place in town, and it didnīt disappoint. Ido had a giant fish done with ginger sauce and it was deeee-licious. Phoenix had a fish filet done in Carribean sauce that had some scary looking bright yellow things on it (upon closer inspection, she thinks that they were some kind of organs). Despite them, however, the fish was delicious, as were the rice and beans cooked in coconut milk.
The town is right next to a beautiful white sand beach which is actually the beginning of the National Park. It was incredibly hot and humid there so we jumped in the water first thing and had fun playing in the waves. That night we went out to the townīs seemingly only spot, the Cocos Bar.  Since it was Monday, there was live music, playing some Carribean and reggae tunes. The people watching was interesting. We saw this striking Tico rasta guy who was covered in tattoos - he was actually really nice and told us that itīs always the same music, but different people. We also saw a gringa sex tourist who had found herself a local playmate and was drunkenly groping him right there at the table. After the band finished, they started playng some very danceable reggae music, and after the several beers we had each drunk, we couldnīt help but get on the dance floor with other tourists, funny dancing Italians, and honest-to goodness rasta men.
We also hung out with the same Italians who had been on our boat. They told us a hilarious story about what had happened to them while they were looking for the internet place. They saw something in a tree that looked kind of furry, but it wasnīt moving at all. They thought that perhaps it was a fake sloth that had been put in the tree for the tourists benefit. So, just to make sure, they started throwing small stones at it. It started moving (of course) and then a local came out and yelled at them to stop what they were doing. Apparently there are a bunch of sloths living in that neighborhood.
The next day we went off to explore the park and found ourselves once again in a rainforest next to the beach. We saw plenty of monkeys, mainly howlers who were jumping around right above our path. They seem to travel in families - we saw two really cute baby monkeys.
The beach was amazing. Perfectly calm like a swimming pool and the water was perfect temperature. Even though it was cloudy we really enjoyed swimming and Phoenix gave Ido a swimming lesson for the freestyle (crawl) stroke.
In the afternoon we headed out to Puerto Viejo, the more happening party town on this coast. We headed immediately to Rocking Jīs, the Ļbackpacker meccaĻ with options for camping, a hammock hotel, or rooms. We opted for the hammock hotel, since it was only $5 a night and we wanted to see what it was like to sleep in a hammock. It turned out to be great, we slept 2 nights there cradled in the hammocks. At the hostel, we met a few people we had met earlier, and a few we hadnīt: 2 Brits, one Scottish and one English (Tom and Will) and two American girls, Cassie and Claire, who were in Costa Rica for a university course on sustainable development. We went to dinner at a place down the road (the town was a 10 minute walk away) and got caught in a serious rainstorm. While we were sitting outside under a corrugated tin roof, a branch fell from the tree nearby. We also saw some huge blue crabs sneaking around back to their burrows right next to the tables.
When the rain lessened, we headed back to the hostel where it was just about time to go out with the gang. We went to a bar and commenced playing drinking games, along with a few more Canadians and Australians. A few beers later, we were introduced to the art of Geckoing. Itīs basically a game in which one person is the Gecko Master and they can decide at any time, to suddenly go and attach themselves, gecko-like to any object in the room. Everyone else must promptly follow suit, causing a pile of people also attached gecko like to the object and each other. The first person to arrive after the Gecko Master becomes the new Gecko Master, and the last person has to have a drink. Itīs a fun way to make a fool of oneīs self in public places.
On the way to the bar we had learned a beautiful Scottish song from Tom:
I want my hole, I want my hole, I want my hol-i-day
To see the cont, to see the cont, to see the coun-ter-y
Foīcu, fo īcu, for cur-i-os-i-ty
I want my hole, I want my hole, I want my hol-i-day

Letīs just say when you sing it it sounds just a bit vulgar. We were like an obnoxious parade heading into town. Our next destination was the Reggae Party. It was hoppinī with many people crowded in to a tiny club and many more spilled out into the street outside. We danced and danced and met some more cool people, and had fun watching the drunken goings-on among our group. Outside, we inquired about if anyone had something to smoke and met a very friendly Argentinian guy who hooked us up - it seemed like a good trade - a handful of stuff for a bottle of beer. We also flirted a bit with Cassie, who seemed to be interested in both of us (although sheīs a lesbian). Eventually people got tired and decided to go back to the hostel, where we sat around and heard and told some good stories. We heard a sad tale of Tom going home with an ugly fellow schoolteacher after a staff night out and getting locked out of her parentīs house, and Ido told his excellent story of getting arrested in Paraguay. We finally go to bed around 3 ish. By the way, Ido  became the Gecko Master.
The next day we didnīt do much. It was rainy and we spent most of our time doing errands and just chilling out. We went to the beach briefly and in the evening went out to dinner with some friends. We were really tired from the night before so we didnīt really go out.
The next day most of our friends left in the morning, but we were all headed to the same hostel in San Jose, so we knew we would see them later on. It was a beautiful sunny day so we headed to the beach, hitchiking to Punta Uva where we saw some cool fish while snorkelling.  After a while at that beach, we went back to Playa Cocles where we just chilled and read our books and where Phoenix made the amazing discovery of Spider Manīs leg in the sand (it seemed amazing at the time, anyway).
In the afternoon we took the bus to San Jose, arriving around 8 PM. The hostel a bar and club within it, saving us the trouble of wandering around a not-so-safe city in the middle of the night.
We headed up to the pub and saw our crew inside through the plastic window. It was time for Ido to be the Gecko Master. We ran up to the window right where our friends were sitting inside and Ido stuck to it, shoutingĻGecko Master!Ļ Our friends saw us and immediately jumped up and ran over to throw themselves onto the pile. It was a nice reunion (although we kind of cracked the window in the process - it was Tomīs fault). The rest of the evening we hung out with our friends and had a few more Geckoings, including one right next to a couple who were making out, and another one right in the middle of the dance floor. It was a good ending to our time in Costa Rica and a nice farewell to our friends, who were all flying out the next day.
In the morning we got the Ticabus to Nicaragua. More to come in our next installment. . .
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