Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A change in temperature

Yesterday was hot!! But thankfully Tico's love their ice cream so finding a cone of your favorite flavor is never a challenge. San Jose has been an average of 75 degrees each day, peaking midday when everyone's out for lunch. 12:30/1 usually lands me right in the heart of the city to switch busses and seeing 60% of population holding ice creams cones is a beautiful site, in an alternate universe type of way.

I've only really felt the heat on the weekends when visiting the coasts. My first weekend a group of us visited Puerto Viejo, a small Rasta town on the south east coast. Best time I've had in a long time. After riding the bus for 5 hours we walked a dirt road for 20 minutes along the beach to our hostel. Rocking J's: pot-smoking, hammock-sleeping hostel and 5-Star resort for hippies worldwide. Mosaics on the ground, walls and pillars, paintings covering the tin bathrooms, and lost&found belongings of travelers past glued into the tables: photos, lighters, necklaces, ID's...I shared a spacious 3-person tent with my friends Kayla, and Lindsay. The sand was black and the water was salty, the people a blend from the Caribbean, North and South American areas. Saw some great live music both nights and relaxed near the water in the sweltering sun during the day. Saturday we hiked Cahuita National park and I found a great piece of Bamboo I can only hope makes it through customs. The animal sightings were a tad sparse compared to what we'd been told to expect but, at one point, when I noticed tiny monkey less than a foot away from me I was satisfied.

Saturday night we found ourselves at Johnnie's Place, a club on the beach with indoor dancing, outdoor tables and street food vendors everywhere. I bought a meatstick and some pot from an old skinny Rasta who kissed Lindsay and I goodbye after making our purchase. Even though she bartered with him we probably could have gotten it for cheaper but enjoying it on the shoreline with water at my feet after a few beers was more than good enough. We shared it with two guys from the band we saw earlier. An old Italian keyboardist with amazing stories that made for an enlightening yet frustrating one-way conversation. And a guest vocalist originally from New York who's been living in CR for 8 years. I found myself on the beach with him late that night and he told about the 3 acres of land he owned which he was currently building his house on. A tree fell on the first one because even though all his friends told him to cut them down to begin with he "didn't move here to cut down trees". He also described the garden on this land where he's planted 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables...I strongly considered staying at the end of the weekend.

Sunday afternoon I bought ice cream, cookies, an apple, and some bread and boarded our bus with my new walking stick. I slept like a baby although my body was aching. I should have packed thinner socks, and applied more sunscreen but I really can't complain. When your first meal at a new place is a giant basket lined with cheesey french fries, topped with a fried egg, avocado slices, thick bacon, and fried plantains with a side of fresh squeezed Mango juice for 3 bucks you know you've arrived.

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