Costa Rica :: Part 9

This story is being told as a series. Here’s a link to Part 1

Part 9

The sky opened up in another torrential downpour as we waited for transport back to the bus. We were all soaked when we finally made it, and then, just as abruptly, it stopped raining. When one of our number was inclined to complain about our luck I noted, as cheerfully as can be, that we were, after all, getting the full Costa Rican experience.

And so we were.

We continued heading east toward the coast, finally turning off the pavement onto the uneven bumpiness of well-traveled, packed and pocked dirt roads. Outside the bus window, we looked at farms go past; dogs, chickens, horses, cows, oxen, water buffalo, monkeys. At home the mental pictures of “farm” and of “jungle” are as different as night and day, but there they existed side by side and hand in hand.

We went as far east as the bus could take us, then were boarded on a boat to take us up the river to Tortuguero. There was a man selling cold coconuts at the dock. In the sticky heat of the day, a cold drink sounded wonderful, but on recalling the line from “Castaway” about the natural effects of coconut milk, it seemed like a bad idea. Off to the side, there was a dark black beetle as large as my fist — so large in fact that had it not been moving I would have sworn it was just an intricate carving.

We sailed away, leaving Chucho behind at the dock to guard our bus. I wondered what he would be doing for the next few days, out there in the middle of nowhere.

We puttered up the river for a couple of hours, making our slow way to our lodging for the night. I sat with a kind man from India — the odd man in his family’s party-of-five. The water lapped murky and brown at the sides of the boat. The awning provided only meager shade against the fierceness of the sun, but even as I felt my face wanting to sunburn, I was thankful that we weren’t getting the kind of rain that was forecast for this time of year, when it should have been pouring for days or weeks on end. Along the way, we slowed to get glimpses of aquatic birds, brightly colored lizards, and troops of monkeys in the trees.

It was wild, diverse and beautiful, but certainly not quiet.

Copyright © 2010

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~ by lorakceel on May 6, 2010.

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