May 27:  Quepos/Manuel Antonio National Park

I was out of bed at 10am but was sort of up since 5:11am.  I know I slept in short spurts after that because I remember a few dreams.  One involved Cowboy Bob Orton, and another involved a tourmate.  Not Phil.

I'd decided in advance that I was going to sleep and not even go to the beach at Manuel Antonio, which is actually the primary tourist draw around Quepos.  My main reason to go to the beach is tanning, and with this weather I thought it would be far more efficient to stay in the vicinity of the hotel so I could quickly go lay out by the pool if and when the sun started to burn through.

While it was still overcast (and occasionally drizzling) I walked around town a bit, and at 11am had lunch at Chicken Bros, which Fabi had recommended.

It seems like Chicken Bros should be an international fast-food chain, but this is the only one as far as I know.

Here's an observation:  Ticas (Costa Rican girls) were avoiding eye contact with me.  Fabi's an exception, but I'm paying her so she doesn't count (sorry, there's no way to make that sound right).  Seriously, it was like that day in Buenos Aires, or any night at Maloney's in Westwood.  Every single one that I walked by in Quepos just started straight ahead.  It's probably true all over Costa Rica, but this was the first day I was walking around a town/city by myself, so I wouldn't have noticed it before.  In LA this happens in for weeks girls will avert their eyes, then all of a sudden they start checking me out left and right, like I have the kavorka.  But in this case the behavior was exclusive to ticas, because tourist girls were indeed checking me out.  I caught some doing it more than once, on different days.

After lunch I thought about hanging out at a bar, but the sun started to burn through, so I went back to the hotel to tan.  Along the way I couldn't cut through the alley between the school and the soccer field because there was some event going on in which a couple students dressed up in those tall Mardi-Gras-style character suits with the scary Punch & Judy faces.  Those things are scarier than clowns.  So I used a different street to cut over.

I tanned by the pool 12:30pm-3:20pm.  I finally got my bronze on, with some color on my chest and arms.  I later noticed that the scar on my nose from the St. Patty's Day drunken fall was darkening.  The clouds came back for the last 20 minutes and then it rained so I went inside, showered, and used the Internet.  I had a beer during the shower (before and after, not actually in the shower) and 3 more on the Internet.  Merkle's Boners by this point had lost 19.5 points from the start of the trip and had fallen from 3rd to 8th place, mostly because my pitchers were getting hammered.  And then going out and pitching poorly.

We left the hotel around 7pm for dinner, which would be our final one as a complete group, because the Dutch girls were staying 5 more days in Quepos instead of going back to San Jose with us.  Waiting for the public bus I felt weird, like I was off and disconnected from the group.  Don't know why.

The restaurant, El Avion, is so named because there's a plane outside that was involved in the Iran-Contra Affair that they turned into a bar.  The history of the plane is described below, if you can read it.  I can send anyone a larger version of this or any of my photos if requested.

I had nachos and two beers at dinner.  The girls were talking about going topless at the beach earlier, which I'd obviously missed.  I still stand by the pool vs. beach decision.  I had two more beers in the airplane bar:

One the right are Tara, Fabi, Sandy and Sarah.  I could have spent more time here.

Rian and Marieke in the cockpit.  Seems like it should be easy to do a cockpit-related TWSS, but it's harder than it seems.  That's what she said.

Without the flash...just the green cockpit light.  This reminds me of when Jerry and Gwen went into the tunnel.  I'm really taking a lot of bad photos of people.

This exists only because Rian was obscured in the previous one.

The Lakers game was on in the bar!

Crazy Dutch Girls.

I took a beer with me and drank it on the bus ride back (10pm-10:15pm).  I told Fabi I was worried that drinking a beer on a public bus would make me look low-class, and this seemed to rub her the wrong way.  Maybe just a cultural difference.  In the US it would be frowned upon.  Despite the prior interest in a long night of partying, everyone wanted to retire.  There really wasn't much in the way of nightlife, here or in any of the others towns we stayed in.  Maybe just one good place in each place.  And we were generally getting up earlier than on my previous 8 tours.  So I'm not really blaming the group for their teetotalling (except the one person who quit drinking completely and gave us vague reasons for it instead of the true painful story I knew was behind it).  Bed 10:45pm.