Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Early mornings are for the birds.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure, ahem, of trying to deal with me before 11am, you know I’m not a morning person. So you can imagine how I was on this the second day in a row of getting up at 5am. My ‘super’ mood was compounded by the shampoo explosion I discovered in my bag. Thankfully Adrian came to the rescue and washed everything and packed up. Probably out of fear more than anything (no, really, I am that miserable in the morning). After our breakfast of eggs, rice and beans, we headed off with our bags to meet Fran, Eddie and the boat. We were off for another birdwatching tour. Oh yay (yes that was sarcasm). Actually, the tour was better than the first one. Not only was the boat trip an hour shorter. But we also had binoculars and a bird chart this time so we could actually see what was being pointed out to us. And the route was more picturesque as we passed by the misty peak of an old volcano. This time we managed to see caymens, as well as sloths and birds and a troupe of capuchin monkeys jumping through the trees chasing a howler monkey or two. That was pretty cool, although impossible to photograph so you’ll just have to trust me. The closest we came to an animal was a bunch of river turtles (photo above) who swam right up to me in the boat. I felt like the turtle whisperer but made sure to keep my fingers far from the top of the water in case they liked to bite.
Once we were back in Moin, it was time to settle up our bill. We had to pay with a combination of cash and travelers cheques, reminding me just how over budget the tour was. Because we weren’t going back to San Jose, Fran did knock $40 off the total but it still hurt. We’d have to scrimp at our next stop to try and make up the huge deficit. But first we had to catch a taxi to Limon. I asked the driver how much and for a refreshing change, he put on the metre. He dropped us off at the bus station – wait bus station is a strong word – the cab driver dropped us off at the bus office. And once again we had a pleasant surprise, as the bus fare was only $3 for both of us. Maybe we will recoup our costs after all.
The bus was comfy and the ride along the Caribbean coast was quick. The sea wasn’t the azure colour of Mexico or Cuba due to the grey, almost black, sand but the sky was blue and there was a nice breeze. And soon we were in Cahuita, a small town 2 hours from the Panamanian border. It was another pleasant surprise. Unlike the rest of Costa Rica, it was chilled and laid back and for the first time we saw more locals than tourists. We walked to the middle of town and began our search for a room. Our first choice was booked so we started walking around town before coming full circle and ending up across the street from the first place. The room was basic with a cold shower and a bed with foam mattress but they had wifi and it was only $20.
With all that out of the way, my priority was calling home. With the wifi and no phone offices in view, I decided to finally join the modern era and download Skype. Then of course I felt stupid for not doing it earlier. It was easy and cheap. And it worked. I finally talked to my mom and found out the news was a bit better, not great, but better. At least we had talked which made us both feel good. I started out as grumpy guts but ended up a happy camper.