The Urban Wanderer

Crossing Borders ~ Bridging Cultures ~ Traveling Responsibly

Caught in the Twilight Zone

This post is originally from February 19, 2013


So the last you heard from me I was in Antigua, Guatemala. Saying goodbye to the group was totally sad as I’ve made some really great friends over the past few weeks. There was so much to do in Antigua. I went to the market a few times to appease my shopping addiction but unfortunately I don´t think I did as well as past trips. Stalls are filled with brightly coloured figurines that look like you could buy at the dollar store. Ponchos just aren’t my bag and I don’t think a hammock would withstand our winters…alas my backpack won´t be a full 90 litres this time.
On Sunday Michelle and I flew from Guatemala back to Costa Rica. From San Jose we were propositioned by a taxi driver to take us three hours to Quepos near the ocean. This is where we entered the Twilight Zone. This part of Costa Rica is a Mecca for Croc-wearing, Hawaiian print-sporting, beer bellied, bald American men. I feel like I have been transported to a different planet. Getting checked out by old men is just plain gross…although I do fancy a nice set of bright Crocs. Today I took an incognito photo of about 8 men lounging in our pool drinking beer. OH GOD!
The day we arrived we found a spot that must have been frequented by the locals. It was slightly treacherous to get to, but once in the water it was so beautiful. Yesterday we took the local bus about 7km to Manuel Antonio where we befriended a local drunk man named William who had a cart full of coconuts. He would yell out WATER COCONUT FRESH and I think was trying to sell coconut water. He spoke no English.  It was funny because  while we went for lunch and sat at an outdoor cafe we noticed he got comfortable and sat on my sarong so that he could  ‘look after our spot’. After lunch we found him lounging in our chairs. Bless him. We bought him a pack of cookies and he was happy to finish my diet coke. He smelled like booze galore as he told us he would make himself a ‘coco-loco’ -which he would generously pour rum into the coconut. Little William was convinced that my name was Catherine and his toothless smile was one only a mother could love.
Today we trekked through Manuel Antonio National Park. Most people in there had guides but Michelle and I were on a mission to bypass all the wildlife observers and get our asses to the beach. We were told that there is the most beautiful beach inside the national park. Groups of Americans would be huddled together looking high into the treetops trying to spot sloths, and monkeys. We just kept on full throttle to our oasis until deep in the jungle we found it. The water was clear and warm and the beach was so beautiful. On our way we did see some monkeys –  group of Capuchin – you know the kind Ross had on Friends named Marcel. On the beach I couldn’t help but laugh when a raccoon like thing crawled next to a sleeping beer bellied man. The wife was clapping her hands trying to get it to leave while the poor man had a startled wakening. Swimming in the ocean is my absolute fave. Nothing can compare and I wish I could bottle that feeling forever.
Tomorrow we will spend our last afternoon at the beach, possibly with drunk William, and then we are taking the bus back to San Jose. It will be an early rise to get our flight back to reality the next morning.
I just want to thank you for joining me in my adventure. It has been a great month and one that I will never forget. Travel not only teaches me so much about others, but also about myself.
Until next time…Adios!426402_10152649333265434_319520550_n

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