What to do? Easy! A six-pack of Imperial, a few good books, a magazine or two, a camera and a hammock.
|I am reading about people learning to swing from treetops wihle Bill reads|
about quantifing academic progression in undergraduate writing assessment.
Then it was off to happy hour at the little hotel bar. Then to dinner at the hotel restaurant, attached to the bar. Then Advil. Then bed.
|Peace out. Time for bed.|
|A soccer field near the end of the road.|
|Near the end of the road was windy, abandoned and had |
old boats scattered around.
|The literal end of the road.|
|Bill, a hungry doggie, a boat and our car.|
|Seems to be contemplating where his hat went.|
I was actually pretty impressed. Just two people (the place was run by our guide and her husband) and a few volunteers. Eventually we made our way to a giant cage containing 8 or so monkeys that had either been brought to the center after being injured in the city or after being confiscated as illegal pets.
“Ok, go in there and see the monkeys,” our guide said. “They don’t have rabies or anything you can get. We test them frequently. If you have a cold though, please don’t go in. For you Americans it might seem strange that we let you in because you come from the land of lawsuits.”
Yeah, it did seem a bit strange to be allowed to go hang out with a bunch of monkeys, but it also seemed a bit awesome.
So in we went. The monkeys wanted to be Bill’s BFF. One immediately climbed onto his head, swung around his neck and wiggled its way into his arms. As for me, they seemed perfectly happy to perch on my back for a few seconds before bounding onto someone taller.
|Why do I have to share my baby with a monkey? Why can't he |
set his monkey free?
After monkeys came the sloths, my favorite animal of all time. There were three sloths – one that had to have a shattered arm bone repaired (through Facebook, they finally found a vet who knew how to perform sloth surgery) and two rescued babies. They moved like they were practicing tai chi and seemed to have permanent smiles (which, I think, I would have too if I lived in Costa Rica). I decided to pull a Veruca Salt by demanding a sloth of my own right away.
|Hi. I am a sloth. Be my friend.|
“Bill,” I whispered. “There is a monkey on my head.”
"Yeah, I can see that," he said.
The guide, fortunately, immediately intervened, plucked the monkey off of me and took it back to the cage. Turns out that every day for a few hours, the monkeys with a chance of being released back into the wild get taken a mile or so from the rescue to practice being on their own. Volunteers stay nearby to make sure things are going okay. Apparently, a wild male monkey had a little crush on the monkey that made its way onto my head. He tried to hump, she ran home and jumped on the first person she saw. Nice!
After cleaning the monkey drool off of us we went to Jungle Love for dinner. For about $60 we had shrimp from the ocean we could hear just a few yards away, dressed with lemongrass we saw the chef pick from the garden we were sitting next to, salad, two entrees, four glasses of wine and mousse that made Bill very, very happy. As an added bonus, the owner’s cat, Elmo, joined us for a bit.
The next morning was more beach and then I decided to go for a run. I packed a small pack and headed north. We’d only seen one runner the entire trip so far but the town was friendly and I felt safe.
One thing, however, that I hadn’t considered, was that this part of the country is apparently not used to runners, let alone female runners with a backpack. People literally stopped and stared, a few joined me for a few strides, one offered me a bottle of Gatorade. I wasn’t expecting the attention but it reinforced my perception that most people in Costa Rica are welcoming to tourists and quite friendly.
We awoke to sunshine the next morning and immediately headed to the beach. Bill rented a board and headed out for a bit. I was a bit nervous to try and surf in the chop without a teacher by my side so I wussed out and practiced on land instead. It was a crowded beach day – about 20 surfers and 50 people on the beach, the most crowded we had seen it.
After a few hours we brushed off the sand, packed up the car one last time and headed west to place number three. Not wanting to have to do the entire drive from the coast back to San Jose on the day of departure we decided to go two-thirds of the way back, see another part of the country and go rafting from there.
We backtracked a bit before turning off of the main road into an amazingly beautiful series of mountains. I kept wanting Bill to pull over but, instead of a shoulder on the side of the road, there were cliffs to plummet off of so we kept going.
Next: The end. So sad.