Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Costa Rica pt. 5: I thought she was 18, officer

[01/28/09; transcribed from trip journal]

This morning, I was awakened by a sound that made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. It sounded like a cross between a lion, a burp, and the Silent Hill demon babies, and it was deafening. I later found out that it was howler monkeys greeting the day.

After showering, drying my hair in the pool bathroom, shaking out all of my stuff to get rid of any trespassers, and eating breakfast, I checked out and settled my bar tab ($14 for my Nutti Colada and three bottles of Coke). We took the boat back down the river and met up with Marco and our bus. We drove for about two hours, and then we stopped for lunch. I only had noodles since the main dish was loaded with onions. For our entertainment, they brought out dancing girls. Their first routine was set to “Day-O”.

 This isn’t a very good picture because I was facing away from them, and I was sort of crammed in between the table leg and another tourist so it was difficult to get up.

After they finished, they excused themselves for five minutes and returned in these costumes:

Pedobear approved!

I have to admit, I felt a little weird watching them because I’m pretty sure at least two of them were underage. I kept waiting for Chris Hansen to pop out and say, “Why don’t you have a seat over there?” My uneasiness increased when the youngest looking one took my hand and pulled me into, yup, another conga line. Rather than grab her jailbait hips, I sort of let them hover around her waist instead.

Jose told us that they had a lot of poisonous tree frogs in the garden, so a group of us wandered out to look. We couldn’t find any, but a gardener took pity on the gringos and found one under a leaf. I thought it was a huge ladybug at first!

Would you believe that’s the best picture out of three? Sorry it’s so shitty, but I didn’t want to get too close and scare him off. Besides, I was getting jostled by all of the other tourists trying to get a photo.

Our next stop was a pineapple plantation.

I was astounded to discover that pineapples don’t grow on trees, but on the ground. Am I the only person who didn’t know this? Anyway, a really hot dude…

Not that this is such a great example of his hotness…

…told us about the wonderful world of pineapples, and then he passed out free samples. I’m not a big fruit fan (or a fan of any food that doesn’t include at least three artificial ingredients with multiple syllables), but that pineapple was fucking choice. I also had a glass of pineapple juice and a slice of fruitcake, which was also delicious. (I know, shocking!)

Back on the bus, Jose updated us on one of our fellow travelers, who had to be rushed to the hospital last night with severe dehydration from diarrhea. The doctor thought she needed to stay at least one more night, but she was responding well to antibiotics. I can’t imagine how bad that would suck, losing at least two days of your trip to illness. I hope the hospital was cockroach free, at least!

Our drive to Fortuna was very long. Wrung out by two nights of very little sleep, I snoozed part of the way, but what I did see was beautiful. Jose passed out flowers that he and Marco bought for all of the women.

Our hotel is at the base of Arenal Volcano, and it’s more like a resort---this place is GORGEOUS!

I never was able to get that picture to stay straight.

This was pretty much the greatest shower of all time.

The view from my patio.

Just down the hill from my room

A Jesus Christ lizard just outside my room

A wonderful surprise, but especially after Casa de Cockroach. Forgetting to close the curtains, I danced around the room when I saw it, and was embarrassed to turn around and see the bellhop standing there with my suitcase, smiling. Bonus: the lobby has two computers with free internet, so I was able to write home. G sent me a really sweet e-mail. Even though I’m having a (mostly) great time, I miss him so much.

The lobby also has a gift shop and a small shelf of books that previous guests left behind. I took a paperback copy of Chalktown by Melinda Haynes in hopes of saving my other book for the plane ride home. I also dropped off a big bag of laundry at the desk. It’s going to be expensive, but at the risk of sounding incredibly paranoid, I don’t want the stuff I took to Tortuguero festering in my suitcase. Even though I shook everything out before packing it, I don’t even want to think about what might have hitched a ride!

I had dinner with Jean and Don, the Canadian couple, and then I returned to my room and took a long, glorious shower. I’m going to read for a while and then drift off to la-la land. No bugs here that I can see!