May 15:  San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca


I officially got up at 8:30am, but per tradition I couldn't fall asleep.  I think it had to do with that situation that I'm supposed to call a doctor about if it lasts more than 4 hours.

We took taxis at 9:30am to the bus terminal.  Here's another of the Hotel Rincon taxis that was in front of ours:

I don't know what mantoss is, and why it needs to be stopped, unless Costa Rica has a shortage of dwarves, and they have to stage man-tossing contests in lieu of dwarf-tossing.  Or maybe I should have rubbed out a mantoss or two last night, and then I'd've been able to sleep.

We were on the bus 10am-3:30pm with a stop, and arrived at the Escape Caribeo in Puerto Viejo.

A very pleasant setting.  That's my room on the right.  Every room had a hammock.  Mine had 2 beds, both of which had mosquito nets.  One of the nets had a spider and a web on it, so I didn't dare.

Check it out!  Darth Maul locusts.  There were tons of these in the grass and bushes in the courtyard.

These things look TOTALLY evil.

We had a group meeting to discuss optional activities over the next two days.  There was an opportunity to see turtle-nesting but only Sarah and I were into it and it would have been $80 apiece for just two people, and we were supposed to see it anyway in Tortuguero.  I asked Fabi how many turtle eggs we'd get to take home for the price of the walk.  She said none, a few group members got it and laughed, and Fabi grumbled "Ai Chris!"  I would have preferred "Ai papi!", and less of a grumble.

Sandy, the sisters and I walked to the beach.  Along the way a crab startled Sarah and put up its dukes:

Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous.  (Identify that quote!)

I think Fabi walked with us to the beach, because at some point she said the 1990 earthquake raised the reef ONE HUNDRED METERS.  I believe this was an error.  Also this was when I told Sarah to stop saying "gnarly" already.  Someone (Sandy?) said the conflicts were already starting to come out, but that was just my East Coastness.  We went through a pink gate to get to the beach, and I think I convinced a few people that a pink gate is the sign of a gay beach in Greece.  They're not getting me yet.

There were holes all over the beach and every one had a crab in it.  I laid down my towel and likely trapped a few for the duration.  I walked in the Carribean [sic] for the first time, but didn't swim right away...the sisters swam with some random people, while Sandy and I laid on the beach and I read.  Couldn't tan much because the sun was already behind the trees.

Phil and Tara showed up on the beach.  I warned Tara that there was a crab in every hole.  And I didn't say that's what she said!  That didn't really kick in until Rara Avis.

I finally swam a bit.  The Dutch girls had shown up at some point so it was the whole group in there except Sandy.  I nicked up my feet and legs on the reef...the waves kept lifting me up off soft spots and dropping me on the reef.

We all had dinner at Chile Rojo (recommended by Let's Go, and also by Fabi...it's like when American and Soviet scientists would discover the same element at the same time...did I use this joke in a previous travelogue?).  I had a chipotle cheeseburger, just to say that I went to a Thai restaurant in Costa Rica and had a Mexican hamburger.  The place was eerily similar to a bar I went to in Phnom Penh, which Sandy reminded me was the Foreign Correspondents Club (she'd been there too and knew what I meant).  I had 4 2-for-1 sangrias.  A guitar player did a song that Fabi sang along to and said is popular at Costa Rican karaoke joints, but she said she doesn't sing.  Me:  "Evidently."  She struck me for that.

Leaving the restaurant we encountered a big blue crab in the road.  I decided to assert my dominance with a double-biceps pose.  He raised his claws.  I did the Hogan two-arms-to-the-side pose.  He sidled away in defeat!  He's a real sidler.

Sandy, Fabi, the sisters and I went to Discoteca Stanford.  Other G.A.P groups were there so we had a whole scene going on at our table out on the patio.  The sisters went inside to dance, and I thought watching sisters dance would be hot, but it wasn't.  Sweet Fancy Moses!  Then they went and "danced" in the Caribbean, knowing that everyone on the premises assumed they were drunk, but they'd had nary a drink.  I had one Imperial (4.6%) and didn't dance.

As we were leaving, the above crab (above) made its way onto the dance floor as a techno version of "Eye of the Tiger" played.

Back at the hotel (10:30pm), we encountered this big blue crab, which menaced us before disappearing into the bushes like the Wicked Witch of the East's feet.

Bedtime 11pm.  Leaving 7am tomorrow for a hike.


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