Friday, November 9, 2007

Out of the woods and onto the beach

Hello all!

First of all, I apologize for the lack of entries. My internet connections have been spotty at best, and I have been loathe to go to internet cafes that charge by the minute. Luckily, tonight is a good night and there is connectivity! So to sum up since my last entry, San José was largely forgettable and the highlights for the capital were the anti-Bush graffitti and a stroll through a butterfly preserve. There were an amazing few the size of small dinner plates, slowly fluttering to and fro, wings drenched in iridescent blue. Most were smaller and of every hue you could imagine. The scene was reminiscent of something out of a tropical Secret Garden, with lush native flowering plants providing homes for the thousands of butterflies lazily winging about.

One of the denizens of the preserve, stopping for a photo-op.

The Halloween party consisted of me navigating a bumping discotech for yet another whiskey-coke. Sorry there aren´t pictures, but the camera was safely stowed as we stumbled around in the rain... Fun, but mostly expenisve and exhausting. Anyhow, right now I´m in a town called Tamarindo, in Guanacaste on the Nicoya Peninsula. It is beautiful and touristy, and totally relaxed.

So I have been here for about a week, and will be here for another 2 to brush up on my surfing skills. To that end, Cash and I have purchased two surfboards:

Exhibit A: Our funboards in our dorm. Cash rides the banana to the left and I´m on whitie.

We are staying in a hostel named, La Botella de Leche, or "The Bottle of Milk." The entire hostel has a cow motif, complete with cow utensils in the community kitchen, and white boulders with black spots lining the hostel walkways. The space is airy and colorful, and everyone who´s here is super chill. Cash and I got a special rate since we are staying 3 weeks here, so it is only costing both of us 12 bucks a night. Internet and community kitchen and t.v. included! The hostel is run by a fabulous Argentinian family, and the matriarch´s name is Mariella. She´s kind and goodhearted and makes the place feel as close to home as you could hope for out here in the world. Here´s a pic of the commons:

The girl to the left is Gunilla, a Swedish surfing pal and to the right is Wenses--the son of the hostel mother and a great guy to bullshit with.

Here´s the sign for the hostel, shaped after its namesake.

Upon closer inspection, you can see the cow here is tokin´a doob. My kinda bovine.

As you can see--totally relaxed and be-beanbagged to boot. So far Cash and I have been surfing the various playas together-- Tamarindo, and a little place called La Casita on Playa Grande. To get out to La Casita, you have to paddle out across a river that runs out of the rainforest and that is infested with caiman alligators. No shit--it makes for an exciting morning.

Other than that, I walk the beach a lot, practice my Spanish, relax during the amazing Tamarindo sunsets, drink copious amounts of beer, and I do a lot of cooking. A couple of times I have been to local discotechs to check out the nightlife. Amazing! The music here is so pumping. At this one place, the pianist was incredible. He sounded right out of Buena Vista Social Club. The percussionist was also amazing, and the whole place writhed as if it was an independent organism. Here, the music drives like a heartbeat: blue light, bongo rhythms, mambo steps, and bass hitting. The only downside is the premium price on drinks, so this kind of entertainent is necessairly limited.

Relaxing here at the beach has been a fulltime job for me. It is actually surprisingly hard to let go of the constant nagging your mind is used to enduring... It almost seems that my mind is encouraging that kind of mindset. I wake, with literally nothing to do but catch some waves, nap, and cook--but I am still finding that worry creeps in to harsh my mellow. Don´t get me wrong, it is a challenge that I feel totally blessed to take on, but then again, it is what it is.

So anyhow, here at the hostel my new found friends and I have been having a great time, and we´ve even started a dinner club of sorts, so in the evenings we are throwing together community barbeques. I am usually on cooking duty for these, so on any given night you can find me whipping up Spanish rice (thanks ma), or marinating chicken and fish. Also, thanks Sarah for your help in the kitchen--it has certainly proved to be useful here!

Here´s the dinner and surfing crew from the left to the right: Dave, a northern Cali contractor here for the surf, me, Cash, and a German couple named Christopher and Stephanie.

Believe it or not, I have also been brushing up on my trigonometry and have been having candid conversations about quantum physics and technological singularity with some hostel mates. Soon my friend Gunilla and I will also start training tai chi and sparring together on the beach--I look forward to that. So here´s to 2 more weeks on the Pacific!

A typical sunset here: just another day in paradise!

Okay all, I better get back to my tallboy of Pilsen and the sea of random conversation that only an international hostel can provide. Con gusto!

--dave out.

1 comment:

Kitsune said...

The pictures of the Hostel you are in totally blew away my preconcieved notion that they were all dirty and full of vegabonds. That place looks awesome to say the very, very least!