I struggle to think of titles for my posts…

October 23, 2009

I’ll start by clarifying my last blog.  Based on emails that I’ve been getting from people, I think I came across as sad or disappointed or something.  But, we aren’t really feeling either of those things right now.  We are having a good time and a great adventure. We are seeing amazing things. We are learning a lot and laughing a lot. So, if my last post made you think that things were really hard or really bad, then forget that I ever wrote it…

We have discovered a new fruit that I LOVE. I am actually a little obsessed with it. It is a small, red fruit…about the size and shape of a golf ball, with spikey hairs all over it. It does not look appealing at all. In fact, it kind of looks like the balls that fall from sweet gum trees (I call them “gumballs”), only it is a deep red color instead of brown, and the spikes are not quite as hard as those of a gumball. Despite their appearance, they taste delicious. You cut them open and squeeze out this cloudy white gelatin-like substance, and you just kind of suck the juice out and then spit it back out. Well, we’re not sure if this is the right way to eat the fruit…we’ve never seen someone eat it. But, whether or not we are eating it the correct way, I love how it tastes. Very sweet and refreshing. The only problem is that we’re not sure what the fruit is called. We haven’t been able to find it for a few days, and I am having withdrawals without it, but we don’t know how to ask where we can find it because we don’t know what it is….

IMG_4647

Yesterday morning, before we caught the bus to our current location (Quepos), I was walking through town (Montezuma) to a used book store.  It was raining, so I had my hood up, meaning  most of my peripheral vision was blocked. I can only see straight in front of me when I’ve got my hood on: not left, not right, not up- just straight ahead.  As I was walking past a store, the owner was standing outside and he said “mira!” (which means “look”) and pointed to the tree that I was walking under. I looked up and there was a monkey eating his breakfast right above my head! My silly hood (I’ve had the coat for over a year and Scott still laughs at me everytime I wear it because it looks so ridiculous) had completely blocked him from view. We have seen a lot of monkeys since we’ve been here, but never one this close! I stood and watched for a while, and then continued on the bookstore. On my way back, I saw several more monkeys in the same spot. I went back to the hostel, grabbed Scott and we went monkey scouting. We found several leaping throught the trees, but we zeroed in on one and followed him all the way through the sidestreets of town. Along fences, across power wires, jumping from tree branch to tree branch. He made his way from one side of town to the other, just like any of the other humans below him were doing, only he did it in a much more interesting way.

So, we knew we were coming to Costa Rica during the rainy season. We knew this. But, we didn’t really know what that meant. For the first week or so that we were here, it rained everyday. But, it was usually only for about an hour or two, in the afternoon, and then it would clear up and we could get on with our day. For the past 4 or 5 days, this has not been the case. It has rained and rained and rained. We are consistently wet…we don’t even really dry out at night because none of the hostels that we stay at have air conditioning and they get very hot, so we sleep with the windows open, meaning the damp air surrounds us even as we sleep. It’s really humurous to see the difference in how the tourists respond to the rain versuses how the Ticos respond. The Ticos are used to this rain. Some of them use umbrellas, but a lot of them don’t. I haven’t seen one single Tico wearing a rain jacket or poncho. They just try to stay inside, and if they can’t, they get wet. Tourists, on the other hand, do not do as well in the rain. We wear rain coats and ponchos and hats and plastics bags…some people have enormous ponchos that cover their heads and their packs, making them look like they have a huge growth coming out of their backs. But, backpackers have a reason to try to stay dry. Staying in hostels, you have no way to dry your wet clothes. And the air is so damp that nothing dries on its own, even over night. So, whatever gets wet, stays wet. We hang up our wet clothes at night, and in the morning, we stuff them in our packs…wet. We walk to the bus station, hop on a bus for 3 or 4 hours, wait at a bus station in a connecting city for an hour, hop on another bus for 3 or 4 hours, get to a new town, find a hostel, open up our packs….and gag. Everything in our pack reeks. Scott and I have a pretty disgusting game that entails finding the smelliest things in our bags and making each other smell them. Today, his Tom’s won the contest…hands down.

The rain has also brought on some interesting health issues. I have blisters all over my feet from my chacos, which normally don’t give me blisters, but apparently do give me blisters when worn wet for hours. With the wet weather comes misquotes, and between the bug bites and the lingering posion ivy, my legs look like a connect-the-dot picture. Scott has scabs on his nipples (which aren’t actually from the rain but from surfing) and a rash in an unmentional place from constantly being wet. We are a bit of a mess! Luckily, none of our ailments have been debilitating by any means. It’s mostly humurous, especially at night when we are slathering on the posion ivy cream, and hydrocortizone cream, and neosporin….

Actually, I’d say that even though our bodies might not be holding up so well in the rain, and our clothes are pretty smelly, we are dealing with the rain really well. We are still doing the things we want to do. We both have good rain jackets. And when the rain does let up for a few hour or so, we celebrate and cram as much into that time as we can. And when the rain is really coming down, we hang around the hostel. For us, this isn’t a bad option because we love meeting other travelers and hostels are a great place for this.

As for what we are actually doing, right now we are in a town called Quepos on the Pacific coast. We got here last night and are leaving in the morning. There’s not really much here, but it’s near a National Park that we wanted to visit, and it is cheaper than the town that the park is in, so we decided to stay here. We went to the park today (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio) and it was amazing. We hiked through the rainforests, and at intervals along the trail, we would come to small clearings where we could look out over beautiful tropical beaches. The park is on a small penninsula and the trail goes around the whole penninsula. The trail takes you through the rainforest, and all the while you can hear the sound of the Pacific ocean. After we finished our hike, the trail spit us out on the beach and we played in the ocean. It was great. And the rain held out for our entire hike, which was about 3 hours. It started up just as we boarded the bus back to Quepos. We ducked into a pizza place near our hostel that we’ve been to twice in the 24 hours that we’ve been in Quepos. The pizza is cheap and very good, so we’ve eaten it two nights in a row. Neither of us get sick of pizza, so it’s something we can always agree on.

We’re still not sure where we’re going tomorrow. We’re trying to decide whether to hit a few more stops in Costa Rica, or to head north to Nicaragua…

Cassie

 

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5 Responses to “I struggle to think of titles for my posts…”

  1. Laurie Says:

    Another great update, sweetie. I get so excited when I get on here and you have a new update. I was with “the girls” and told them about the wonderful adventure you two are on. They were all so amazed and impressed that you are doing this. I told them I would send them the link to your blog. They were all very excited to be able to keep up with you through your blog. I took the wedding album you made me to girls’ night and they all really enjoyed looking at it. They all said how much fun they had and how they loved your wedding. The family is all enjoying the blog a lot. Jen, or someone, is printing it out for mom and dad, so they can keep up as well. They really enjoy reading it. Everyone thinks it is so wonderful that you guys are doing this!! Love you!! Mom

  2. Laurie Says:

    p.s. Love the picture.

  3. Peter Drochelman Says:

    I don’t know if this website answers your spiky, hairy, fruit question but thought it was worth a shot.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090907163757AALFjPM

  4. Laurie Says:

    I am really glad that you write really long updates, because I know you can’t write everyday, but I get on everyday and reread your posts. Since my memory is so bad, it’s like I am reading a new post everyday! I love you. Mom

  5. Charlie Says:

    Lovin the blog. You disappeared for the last week though, and my life hasn’t been reaching its full potential without new blogs from you guys. That being said, I dream of living your life every night. If you’re still down there in February, I am coming.


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