Day 9: Friday, May 20, 2005
I'm at Don Rufino in La Fortuna, Northern Costa Rica. I took a 7 am bus from Puerto Viejo to San Jose, got to an ATM, and took a cab to catch the 11:30 am bus to La Fortuna. 9 hours on a bus today, glad I can only afford to do that once this trip. It also made me realize, Panama and/or Corcovado would've finished my trip. That's what I think I knew deep down when I decided to head north. As it is, I'm surprised how tight my next week will be.Sat, hike around Arenal Sun, to Monteverde, ½ day there Mon, Monteverde Tues, to Tamarindo Wed, Tamarindo Thur, to Santa Theresa/Montezuma Fri, Santa Theresita/Montezuma (day trip to Barra Honda) Sat, Santa Theresa/Montezuma, back to San Jose by afternoon, to buy painting, relax Sun AM, fly home
Yes, I'm trying to do a lot this trip. I should relax a bit, enjoy each moment, let go of the need to do every adventurous thing possible, I just don't have the time. I have to set priorities.
I shall step back and catch up with what happened yesterday. I think it's certainly noteworthy. I, for the most part, spent the day lounging, reading, and listening to music as planned. I believe Alice met Anthony around 11ish at the hammock hut. We ended up going to lunch together with Anthony's younger brother, Neil, and another American, forgot his name, works on DVD extras for MGM in CA. At lunch, I had the Caribbean chicken and mango y agua. Both were good. Lunch was at 3 pm. Beforehand, I returned the bike & surf shirt to Cesar. I asked him for a partial refund and he said he couldn't do it. He offered to give me another lesson if the waves picked up or I stuck around. After lunch, we went for a dip in the sea, a pool right off the hostel beach. We were there 30, 40 minutes or so. It was picture perfect. Alice looked so good in that brown bikini. Geez. Meanwhile, I noticed her and Anthony getting progressively flirty as the day went on. He had a hell of a foul mouth. The things he said reminded me much of my old roommate Alex. He set up a game of ” Asshole”? that we started around 5 pm. I ended up drinking two 12 -ounce Pilsens. I was President about 70% of the time. It was a rout, I was untouchable till the end where I lost twice in a row. The last round though, I won. Like I said, I rocked that game. By this time Jason (hippie guy from Colorado) had joined us.
We went to dinner at a restaurant that did sushi and Thai food. I had beef tenderloins with curry. To my surprise, I got a steak in curry, with rice. In effect, I had to cut it up. Jason's chicken satay looked really good. After dinner, we went to one of the discotheques in town. Johnny's something or other. It was fairly empty when we got there, and the DJ was blaring hip-hop. The building was fairly open, and there was a narrow porch that lead out to the beach. Plastic tables and chairs, and tikki torches were out. The sea was calm and partly cloudy. The toilet was, well, a communal urinal that you pee'd in, and water trickled away the pee. No stall. Alice was drinking a good bit (19 years old), and I saw the body language and flirting escalate to the point where it didn't surprise me to see them kiss. I guess she didn't have a boyfriend after all . Oh well, he made the moves, acted the alpha male, and she went for him. I started well, and then faded quickly by thinking I'd be around her too much. In fact that's what she needed and wanted. I know it all happened as it did for a reason, maybe to show me the suffering caused by clinging. Maybe to show me what basic element it takes to ” hook up.”? Who knows.
” Love Me Two Times”? (The Doors)
As Alice and Anthony's courtship continued, she hit the toilets and Anthony came over to me and said some kind words about me being a cool, kind, and honest guy, something like one of the best guys he's met on his trip (2 months). I shook his hand, and mentioned that I know Americans can be overbearing, however it's best not to stereotype. He had made a few disparaging comments about the lots of us, which annoyed me a bit. Well, more so they just made him look stupid, I thought. We're all the same, humans, on this planet together, all connected, so why cast insults at one specific group. Every country has their share of dicks. I started going outside for a few minutes at a time. It was much nicer, less loud out there. A new DJ had come on by now.Dinner tonight: 2 Imperials 1 house salad, Avocado, corn, bacon, tomatoes, greens with French dressing Chicken ” Island style”? – covered in sesame seeds, over bed of pineapple and mango with coconut sauce Side of mashed potatoes Chocolate mousse on flan Cappuccino
I need to slow down. I'm eating so fast I'll get indigestion. That is not needed. So yeah, whenever I went outside, I got asked for money. When I went inside, Alice would grab me and start dancing and/or have me spin her around. I could tell she was quite drunk. By then I had had three more beers, so was riding 5 for the night. I was now drinking water. Eventually the two Oregonian friends I met at the hostel showed up, Chris and Aaron. They were funny potheads/drunks. Good fun. Earlier in the day, I got the benefit of hearing about the various bar fights they'd been in. Didn't sound pleasant. At any rate, something about Chris seemed to click with me, he was a cool, laid-back guy. So he was dancing, and I started dancing again. Long story short, I left at 2 am. Said goodbye to everyone. Alice gave me a big hug. I walked back , hit the tent, and got like 2, 2.5 hours sleep. I heard Alice and Anthony get back some 30 minutes later and wondered if they went skinny dipping or shagged for that matter. I woke up at 5 am as usual, with plenty of time to get the 7 am bus out of dodge. It kind of felt good to pick up and leave.
My feet are killing me. I dressed my big left toe with gauze, which has helped I think. My right, second biggest toe has lots of blisters on it. I should drain them. The balls of my feet hurt too. Plus, I can put socks on! It becomes unbearably uncomfortable. I think I have either an allergic reaction or Athlete's foot, it's on the tops of my feet though, weird. Looks like I'll need to buy some Teeva type sandals, for use canyoning, ziplining and whatever else. I invested in hiking boots I'm barely going to use. The irony. Sandals killed my feet in Europe too. Damn, tough lesson to learn. I really don't want to finish my second beer. Dinner was great, probably will cost me $15 – $20 bucks. Whatever. I can up things a little; I believe I'm under budget. I took out ¢45000 colones today. It's a little cooler in La Fortuna, still humid. On the bus ride in, I saw the volcano, complete with steam or smoke wafting out of the crater on top. Definitely looked like your classic volcano! I was frazzled once off the buss. It was raining, I set up camp at Hotel Fortuna, $12 a night (own room with bath) for two nights. Later, walking around I saw another Inn that appeared to have a common area, with backpackers. Oh well, I will be fine. I'm excited to have a nice bed with clean sheets, privacy, nicest bathroom (private) yet. Hot water! Bath towel. Yes, good stuff.
Tomorrow, since I couldn't get set up with a ½ day bike tour, I'm going to get a spa treatment, then find new socks or sandals (Tinactin & foot powder), and hit up the 3 pm volcano guided hike. Possibly ending the day in the hot springs. Sunday morning I will do the 8:30 am ground-boat-ground transport to Monteverde, get a crash pad and try and do one activity that afternoon. #1 is canopy tour. Then I can decide to stay another night or leave for Tamarindo.
I do want to get some real surf time in. I'm not sure which is worse, my old Adidas sandals, or these new flip-flops. And to think I'm anticipating the purchase of another pair of sandals which I know ill f'up my just the same.
Tired of writing, think I'll go back, check email and put my feet up and read. Hit the hay (or try) early. Everyday of this vacation feels like an eternity. I think that comes from living in the present moment. And if I'm getting less sleep, it means I'm awake (and doing) more. I should've bought sneakers, the middle ground between boots and sandals. Credit card, paid $16 for dinner.
Last Updated on December 3, 2018 by Dave Lee
Dave is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Go Backpacking and Feastio. He's been to 66 countries and lived in Colombia and Peru. Read the full story of how he became a travel blogger.