Day 16: Friday, May 27, 2005
From yesterday:Visa ¢17456, $34 – shuttle to San Jose (5/28/05) Visa ¢8494, $17 – dinner at El Sano Banano (Mahi Mahi with white wine sauce & shrimp on mashed potatoes, large water, chocolate cake)
From 5/25:Visa ¢20000, $40 – for broken surfboard ¢19000, $38 – for ½ day rental ($8) and lesson ($30)
Yesterday I finished the beach hike back along the shaded jungle path. I parted with the Canadians, Stephanie and (?), I spent some time lying in bed, cooling off with a wet towel. I could hear the waves from my room. I was also on the street, so I could hear lots of people and motorized vehicles. Around 6 pm I had a drink at Restaurant Montezuma, and a Mojito at Chico's Bar next door. I was listening to music . After a bit, I went over and talked to two American girls from Michigan, sisters. Blonde, Sarah, Brunette, Becky. Becky talked a lot. She had a lot of negative things to say, about work as a waitress, the crossing to Bocas del Toro in Panama. Sarah was quieter. I started to get bored. I don't talk much however even if I tried, I couldn't get a word in edgewise. It was draining. By the time I left for dinner at El Sano Banano, I was 4 drinks into the night. I had a delicious piece of Mahi Mahi with white wine cream sauce and shrimp on mashed potatoes. The City of God was playing, though I had come in for only the last 15 minutes. After dinner I took what turned out to be a 2-2.5 hour nap. I woke at 12 am, and got up to check out the DJ and house music at the hotel down the street. It was pretty good, and I was pretty tired. Many of the chicas appeared to be with guys, it was actually less crowded than I expected. I had one more beer and left at 1 am. It took me a long time to get to sleep, and I woke up several times at night. I don't know if it was the sunburn, or noise, or what.
Today I was up early, checked into my swanky cabina with a view, and out of hotel Montezuma. It was too loud down the street, ATV's, motorbikes, people, and trucks, drowned out the ocean waves. My pad tonight has a big deck/porch with view of the Pacific (I can still hear the waves), and is surrounded by nicely manicured gardens. The pool and jacuzzi are closed, unfortunately. I had banana pancakes for breakfast, and am getting 2 t-shirts and 2 boxers washed today. It's bloody hot. There is a small ATM in town. I want to get ¢25000 for the one hour massage today. Other activities include a hike to the local waterfalls and possibly renting a mountain bike. I'm trying to remind myself to take it easy and not get anxious or grasp any one activity. I could benefit just as well by a sitting meditation right here, right now, with the waves of the ocean as my natural metronome. There is a slight breeze. I really have no desire to move. I have four pictures left on my camera. I've lost total track of money spent to date. I've lost any desire to watch TV, get news of current events, and subscribe to the materialistic, consumer-driven American way of life. It's easier to say these on vacation, in a foreign land. The perspective allows you to see how much of what you may have is unnecessary to well being, to happiness. I hope to have strengthened my mindfulness and spiritual practice during this trip. I feel as though I have, and for that, am proud of myself. It is so hot; I do not want to move. I'm really surprised I've worn flip-flops and sandals the majority of this trip. It's just too hot most places for anything else.
By not staying in a hostel in Montezuma, I've really removed myself from meeting other travelers. The accommodation is such a critical meeting point. Followed closely by buses, tours/group activities, restaurants, and bars. I'm okay with it though. I am just as happy now as at other times on my trip. I just stay present, and appreciate all that surrounds me. It's so hot! Sweat drips by the mere act of sitting and writing. Actually, I'd sweat even if I wert to do nothing at all. Hot!
I like wearing a bandana. I left my blue one at Santa Theresa, so I picked up a red one for ¢900. So cheap yet so useful, light, perfect sun protection, sweat rag, all purpose towel cloth. Easy to wash, cheap to replace. And I look like a pirate!
Becky who I met last night said she heard Fat Mike (NOFX) and Henry Rollins and possibly others were currently in Mal Pais. It would've been cool to run into them.
What a fucking rush! I jumped off a 30-ft waterfall, twice! Adrenaline is still pumping. Around noon I headed out on the waterfall trail alone. I got to the first waterfall, about 80 ft. There were two locals selling jewelry. There were only a few other people. I went for a swim, and jumped off a small side outcropping of rocks. Maybe 10 feet high. Then, I climbed a near-vertical root-laden hill up toward the second waterfall. I got up, walked a bit on the path and turned around. I didn't want to be hiking up there alone in case something happened. Back at the first waterfall, I saw Chris (Canadian) from yesterday, and two other Canadians, Iris and Mark. They were going up to the second falls, so I went up with them. Chris took us up on a slightly easier, faster route than I took initially. We walked about 10 minutes, when Chris went back, he had Montezuma's Revenge. That kind of sucked, he was a cool guy. The path diverged, we took the one that went up. Another 10 minutes and we were at waterfalls though you couldn't jump from them. We walked back and ran into a local guiding a group toward the falls we wanted. His name was Armando. We got to the second falls and there were a lot of guys and bikini-clad girls, mostly college age. There was yelling and hollering, kind of like a frat scene however it was all in good fun. Who am I to judge? I took a weak shot at the rope swing before taking the 30 foot plunge.