Tag Archives: boat

Day 9 – Jaco to Montezuma

We had arranged the night before to take a speed boat taxi from playa jaco to montezuma at 10 am and to be picked up by a taxi at 9:30am to take us to the drop-off point so woke up early, showered, packed, chris made a chicken terriyaki stir-fry mre for breakfast and we drank battery energy drinks. We left the rental car in Jaco – weren’t so sure a/b doing that but had mad faith.

094 [Desktop Resolution]We threw our packs in the taxi and popped in, two tatted girls were already in there sitting up near the front.  Chris and I situated ourselves in the back seat; had a crap night of sleep and bugs bothering us so were in somewhat of a grumpy mood; drove to the shore and taxi driver dropped us off at bus stop; we hung out there for a/b 20 minutes or so and got to know the girls from the taxi a little better; their names were candace and heather from los angeles, california and they ran a travel agency – were traveling for only a week – had just arrived in cr, jaco the night before; we exchanged some travel stories and made friends w/ each other then the boat taxi and driver arrived;

We all had to put our bags/belongings into big trash bags provided 104 [Desktop Resolution]gratis by the captain; carried our crap out to boat drifting off shore, climbed on, situated ourselves chris and I across from the girls in front of boat; chris and I ate sunflower seeds while traveling as usual; decided we’d stay at the same hostel as the girls as we had no lodging arrangements as of yet and that we’d hang out w/the girls while in montezuma; captain drove us past el chorro waterfall on beach a little outside of montezuma which was cool since we prob. weren’t going to go in search of it anyway;

got dropped off on shore of montezuma in crushed shell sand and warm water; ripped trash bags off of packs; ran after captain to tip him; after girls talked to the other tico who’d been on the boat to ask him about hotels in the area we made our way across the sand and various volcanic rocks and boulders to the main dirt road cutting through the small oceanic town headed towards the hostel Hotel Lucy; Hostel was just a short walk over a hilly road parallel to coast; looked at rooms and tried to get a breezier one upstairs but language barrier between chris and I and “Lucy” was insurpassable; ended up w/ a quaint room downstairs which came w/ a fan and bugs that crawled on your face in your sleep but was only $20 a night;

108 [Desktop Resolution]changed clothes then headed into town for lunch w/ the girls (had avocado salad, casados con pollo en salsa, and some of the best fruit drinks in the world – mine was blackberry, chris had guayaba fruit) food was fresh, plentiful, and cheap; chris and I then hit the beach w/ the girls and discovered a pathway to the swanky front beach Ylang-Ylang resort (Hotel Lucy was front beach too, but not that kind of front beach); the tide started to come in and walking was becoming hazardous on the beach littered with heavy driftwood and human refuse so we headed back into town; Chris and I hit up an internet cafe for the rest of the day; I picked up a six pack of Pilsen from a supermarket next door to pass the time and we also had paralyzers made by the friendly bar staff/waiters at the restaurant next door which was run in connection with the internet cafe, nothing like good booze and the ability to facebook stalk;

I attempted talking to a man I imagined to be an ex-patriate, turns out he was but not from the U.S., from Argentina; Kellie's toucanthe girls eventually found us as we finished up gulping the internet and the rest of our drinks; we headed to dinner at hotel restaurant that was featured in our Foddor’s guidebook (Coclones?) and had calamari, rounds of imperial and pilsen, ceviche, shrimp, and possibly the creamiest best fresh bread in the entire world, possibly. Unfortunately a special guest at our table, fernando the fly, drowned in the ceviche oil and was put to rest in an empty imperial bottle – a fitting way for a local to be buried I think.

after a leisurely dinner in the candle-lit and open-air establishment we all began, in a somewhat inebriated state of awe, to explore the little town. Not long after emerging from the restaurant we came across a barefoot firedancer rythmically swinging chained flames to a lively drum beat. we watched, mesmerized, by her seductive feat then headed back to the hotel to clean up for some after dinner activities. Live reggea music was being featured at a local bar/club called Choco’s so we decided to check it out. After changing, a large group of tourists from Hotel Lucy made the decents and ascents of the hilly main road together until we reached the bar. Policia were outside which caused us to hesitate entering, but I shrugged my shoulders and charged in purposefully to get a drink.

117 [Desktop Resolution]The music, loud and inviting, started up shortly after. Chris and I had our first drinks on a porch area attached to the bar. I headed in for another but got sidetracked by the impulse to dance to the rich percusive music and sticky warmth engulfing the crowded dance floor. Candace and Heather were dancing also so I joined them. Free liqeuor candies were given out by barstaff and, after he sauntered in, chris and I savored the creamy coffee treats as we swayed back and forth. after another beer and working up a good sweat chris and I ventured to the lawn outside the bar and listened to the pacific ocean waves break while attempting a bit of a rain dance, we needed to cool off pretty badly.



YouTube

Day 4.5 – Lookin for Turtugas and partying at the disco in Tortuguero

After a few hours of resting and relaxing (i.e. drinking on the black sand beach) it was dinner time. In order to save some moolah Lauren and I opted to rustle up a fresh dish of M.R.E. style spaghetti and sauce. I set up the stove err fuel can and tiny portable burner on the porch outside of the room. Lauren brought her ipod outside and put on Rogdrigo y Gabriela as loud as was tolerable and in the outskirts of Costa Rica that means as loud as mechanically possible. No matter, the downstairs tico neighbors were grilling out and greatly appreciated the acoustic tunes.  While we ate, we greeted a couple passing by on the porch with a warm “hola!” They made a nervous gesture which might have meant hello and kept walking.

We piled on servings of spaghetti to each of our mess kit plates and then ate contentedly with chopsticks, screw forks. The couple who had passed by earlier returned and we again greeted them, but this time with a “hey, what’s up?” The two, named Ronnie and Ashley, took much better to this and we struck up a conversation. It turns out they were from Colorado and commencing a two week journey through Costa Rica. We offered up our high opinions of both the Carribean coast and Cuba Libre and then discussed the prospect of hunting for sea turtles, with Lauren and I planning on taking a guided tour at 9:40 pm (that’s 11:40 pm for you South Carolinians back at home) and Ronnie and Ashley toying with the idea of a solo mission for tortugas on the playa. We got along well and were thankful to have found some friends in the remote region of CR. Ashley announced that the two of them were going for a night swim and asked if we’d like to join so Lauren and I said we’d tag along. We only had about 20 or so minutes before we were supposed to meet up with our guide, Alfonso, but we figured we’d just ditch the tour (since we hadn’t paid for it yet) and go to the beach on our own instead.

Yeah, skipping out on a tour in Torteguero isn’t as easy as you’d think. As we were changing into our bathing suits in our room we heard a knock on the door. Lauren answered it readily expecting Ronnie and Ashley to be on the other side and was stunned to find the guide in their place. “Time to go. Are you ready?” he said in a deep thick carribean accent. Lauren kind of stammered and tried to close the door in his face, then looked to me for reassurance and to make the final decision on whether we were to  ditch the tour or commit to it. We both came to the conclusion that since Alfonso was already there to scoop us up, and since he explained that he’d had to pay for a permit to go on the beach late at night, we’d go. However, I did work out a deal with him that if we could convince our two new pals to come along last minute then they’d only have to pay a discounted fee of $20 or so. They caved and came with the group which was fortunate for Lauren and I because they brought a flask of rum with them too.

We met up with our group on the stairs leading to our room. There were four dudes and four chicks, two of each were cool (that being Ronnie and I, Ashley and Lauren) the other people were too serious and generally sucked (but one of the girls busted her ass on a  shadowy and treacherous log of driftwood so it was all good). The search started up as we all tumbled out onto the beach and circled up around big papa alfonso for instructions, like no smoking, drinking, loud noises, cameras, flashlights, the normal stuff when hanging out with bitchy breeding sea turtles. We started walking down the left side of the pitch black shore and continued on for about 15 or so minutes then caught our first, and only, glimpse of a mama tortuga trying to make her way out of the breakers. She must have known a bunch of tourists were out to snap a pic of her because she flapped up her flippy-flaps, said “F that noise!” in her mind and bounced out back into the sea.

Given we hadn’t been walking all that long we trudged on for about 2 miles, stopping every once in a while for Alfonso to either talk to other guides leading groups around or scan the beach with his little red light (which is the only type of light allowed on beaches where turtles nest). Lauren and I took shots from Ronnie and Ashley’s flask during some of these stops until we emptied that ish : ( but even though the rum was gone the tour kept on. Eventually we came to a stopping point and Alfonso reluctantly gave up the ghost whilst some of the group members began to bitch and moan about how long it was taking. I tried to use my camera and was reprimanded for emitting entirely too much light. It started to rain so Lauren and I took our shirts off (remember, we had on bathing suits pervs) and began shoving important crap like cameras and wallets into a dry bag I had. I offered it to other group members and Ronnie threw his camera in, too.

Alfonso had asked at the beginning of the walk that all the miembres de grupo walk in line but, seeing as how Lauren and I can’t do much we’re told, the two of us walked happily zig zagging in and out of the ocean as the raindrops splashed on our bare skin, very freaking tropical yo. As we neared our hotel Ronnie and Ashley made a break for it but Alfonso was too quick for them and chased after them for his well-deserved payment (he searched longer than any of the other guides seemed to). Lauren and I, along with the rest of the group, kept on looking for about another quarter mile on the right side of the beach but no turtles, those elusive bastards.



YouTube Disco in Tortuguero

Our spirits were down because of our failed search so we thought that we’d lift them with some drinks at a local disco we found chilling on the river. We went back to the hotel to change into our evening wear (clean shorts and shirts with some sandals yeauhhh) and scooped up our American amigos then headed “downtown” via muddy pathways or streets if you like. The disco was bumping with loud latin music and inebriated gyrating ticos and ticas. Lauren commanded her way up to the bar and ordered a couple of beers for me and her to sip on and after our buddies got some beverages all four of us made our way to a table facing the river and sat down to enjoy the atmosphere. At the proposition of dancing I chugged my beer and headed to the bar for another. I got distracted from the bailar con Laura by a local guy and some of his visiting friends from Spain.

The local guy had a lot to offer about the area and the best places to go.  He told me how much he loved his new work since he emigrated from Nicaragua to Tortuguero and how rewarding being a guide was.  His friend, the Spaniard had been traveling for months and was preparing to finish his trip in San Jose.  He gave me some tips on my spanish and I tips on his english.  I even threw in a little duetsch for part of the convo,  just for s & g. We traded travel stories while the salsa music and sea of voices crashed in the background.  While I was meeting new and awesome people Lauren and Ashley were getting hit on by some sloppy drunk tico… no bueno. They got a free drink out of it, though, then it was time to head back.

Can you see lauren's head?I stopped at a Soda and picked up some Pollo Rey for drunk munchies. Basically it was two pieces of the most tasty fried chicken I’ve had in my life tossed in a bag with spicy onions and two tortillas (for the equivalent of $1).  Lauren and I shared a bag, as did Ashley and Ronnie, while lounging in hammocks slung under palm trees on the lawn of the hotel facing the beach. We also passed around a llager bottle filled with rum that Ronnie had gotten to-go from the disco (try that in the states). At about 4 am Lauren and I, in good faith, struck out once more for the beach and the turtles to be seen there. The weather was stormy so the sea churned and was pocked with white caps as we bumbled along next to it. At one point Lauren couldn’t restrain herself any longer and lunged into the ocean fully clothed to enjoy the milky warm water. She reemerged and we continued our trek.



YouTube Tropical Wetness

The “tropical wetness” started up again and we got caught in a downpour with only palm trees to huddle under for shelter. Two videos and no turtles later we turned back and headed to bed. We did see a couple empty nests though, and Lauren spotted one that was still covered up with sand. Sleep came at around 7 am with the boat taxi on the canal back to Moin coming only three hours later.

Day 4 – Moin to Tortuguero by boat

034 - mar azule  breakfast [Desktop Resolution]We woke up around 7:30am, got dressed, packed our stuff, then went to breakfast. I was a bit nervous about the food given the previous night’s experience in the bathroom but it was cooked and ready before I could ask for anything else (and it turned out just fine).

We had cafe and platos con huevos, pan, y jamon (well bacon, but i’m trying damn). During desayuno (breakfast) our guide showed up named Eddie. He was also from Nicaragua but spoke almost perfect english and had an amicable attitude. We boarded the Francesca, an open-air boat we chartered, after slathering on bug spray and the advised sunscreen then headed the four hours towards Tortugeuro. Along the way Eddie stopped to point out howler monkeys, spider monkeys, two-toed sloths, and crocodiles.

Pretty badass if you ask me, and you are because you’re reading this duh! We stopped along the way for a relatively 065 - ol jesus lizard [Desktop Resolution]uneventful 15 minute break at a little store and restaurant. Not much happened there but trash talking and the eating of sunflower seeds. We continued on our canal trip and finally made it to Tortugeuro where Eddie led us to our cabina, La Princesa del Mar. We got a room for the night and had lunch in the restaurant attached to the hotel which consisted of chicken sandwiches and Imperial beers. Eddie left us after making arrangements to return to Puerto Moin the next day at 10 am and after we paid him fully for our round-trip excursion.

Eddie did hook us up with a turtle tracker/guide named Alonzo who I jewed down for a guided tour to see some female turtles laying eggs on the beach here tonight (should be 30 to 40,000 turtles before you scoff at me). Lauren and I then proceeded to laze around the grounds of the hotel. I slept off an overdose of antihistamines in my hammock while Lauren, propped up against a log drinking Imperial, read a book for class. I 058 [Desktop Resolution]woke up, she bummed a cigarette from some spaniards, we drank a beer and watched the waves break and now here we are, in our cabina drinking cuba libre and waiting to see some mo fuggin tortugas!!!!

Lauren is putting our ipod music out the window and sharing oreos with me while we hunker down in our cabina with the fan on oscilate.



YouTube Cranky ol’ crocodile



YouTube 4 hour Boat ride to Tortuguero



YouTube One of the howler monkeys

Two days before the big trip!

Only two days left until I’m off to Costa Rica with Lauren to backpack for 2 weeks. Things are starting to shape up a bit better.

ol laurenThere has however been a slight change. Lauren will be going to Costa Rica on the 16th and I won’t be arriving until the 17th. She’s staying about 5 minutes from the airport in San Jose. I’m guessing she’s just going to hang out and stay relatively close to the airport. I really wish I was going but travelocity is AWFUL. This is definitely the first and last time I will use them for ANYTHING. Good luck getting someone who isn’t an Indian named Tom. I spent 4 hours navigating their maze of automated phone lines and worthless customer support. I may have found a way to get a credit back but a lot of good that does us NOW.

Anyhow, some of you might be wondering how illstreet is going to run while I’m trekking around the hillsides and remote beaches of Costa Rica. Well fortunately, most of Costa Rica has relatively decent TDMA cell service. You can’t do a pay as you go plan or get a temporary phone number in Costa Rica because their systems are overloaded. GSM lines won’t have any space for new numbers for three years!

So as a result I’ve had to rent a TDMA phone from cellphonescr.com. So far they’ve been relatively slow with communication and they haven’t been particularly accommodating but you can get unlimited minutes for about $13 a day. Additionally, they deliver the phone to the airport. I’m a little concerned about the delivery process but hopefully it will be smooth. Additionally, I purchased a phone matrix system and 1-800 number for illstreet that will forward to my cell phone for $.23 a minute in CR. This purchase was probably WELL overdue and I’m pretty psyched to see how it works.

So now you’re probably like well yeah, you can talk to people but how are you going to find your away smart guy? Ha! I’ve got that covered too. We have a 4 wheel drive SUV reserved (with rental insurance of course) so we will be driving the long distances between regions and then we will explore on foot for a couple days. Costa Rica is only a few hundred miles long and a couple hundred wide. For offroad, I downloaded an awesome and FREE TOPO map for my Garmin from http://rwsmaps.griffel.se. Thanks to that dude!

For routing and getting out of San Jose, I bought a map from NAVSAT off ebay. They’re the only company authorized by Garmin for mapping CR. I did however find this and there is a torrent seeded on piratebay as well.

Hopefully tomorrow I can post a little something about all the gear I bought. I have tons to write about still so keep up with the blog! We’re going to see volcanoes, sea turtles, monkeys, rain forests, cloud forests, beaches, awesome surf breaks, awesome wind surfing/kiteboarding areas, etc. Also, I haven’t even written about everything that has changed in the states for me! I just moved into an absolutely massive house on the marsh with a three car garage and awesome dock (plenty of room for a nice home office and my cars). I’m right on the 14th hole of the club’s golf course so I’ll be taking up golf I spose. I also bought a ski boat :) Anyhow, stay tuned for details!