I got on the boat at 2pm yesterday and staked out a shady spot on the top deck. I was totally surprised by the ferry. Honestly, I thought it was going to be a 10foot launcha with an outboard motor. In fact, it was a very large, three deck vessel that carried cars and buses! There was even a bar and a very comfy seats with glass tables of varying heights and designs.
I started chatting with some Argentinean girls and two Norwegian girls who were talking about Playa Santa Lucia, a beach not far from Playa Montezuma. They ended up offering me a ride from the ferry terminal (they had rented a car), and after chatting about our journeys for a bit, settled in for a nap in the sun. I awoke just as we were docking at Paqera.
Driving to Montezuma was fun. The roads were scarred and potholed when paved, and dusty and bumpy when not. Ida and I made good humored fun of Marianne's attempt at navigating Costa Rican roads. We stopped at an ATM on the way.
We arrived in Montezuma and the Norwegian girls kept on to their hotel in Santa Lucia. I checked into the first hostel I could find for $10 and threw on my trunks to check out the town and the waves. Boy, was it ever hot. I don't think my shirt stayed on for more than those first five minutes. The town is small, 3 or four roads along a hillside, nothin but restaurants and little bars. Everybody here is a tourist, but mostly Costa Rican, I think, and a lot of Costa Rican rednecks too--vacationing on the cheap by camping out along the beach in tents and easy-ups.
I set out for a walk down the beach. Crushed shell down by my hostel gave way to sharp rocks and boulders, eventually turning into coves of rather fine salt and pepper sand. Jungle just 50meters from the crashing black waves.
About 15 minutes into my walk I happened upon a small crowd of people, all staring at what looked like a clump of seaweed in the sand. I nearly kept walking, but somehow it seemed familiar, so I went in for a closer look. Baby sea-turtle! Just hatched, it was making its way from its nest to the sea, and everyone seemed to know better than to help it out. It was about two inches long from the tips of its fins, another two inches from head to tail. A leathery walnut for a shell and two little leaves for fins. It's black eyes and pointy beak screaming in silent exhaustion. I watched for twenty minutes as it inched forward, side, forward, side, forward, side, all the way to the water where it was finally scooped up by the waves and pulled out to sea. Everyone applauded.
I took a shower and went to find dinner: white rice, beet salad, cabbage, beans, a few macaroni, and a chicken wing was what 3000 colones got me. I sat next to a couple from Indiana, they were between family vacations, his family last week, her family two weeks from now. We chatted about his landscaping business, storm chasing, and of course, travel.
I took a long walk down the beach after dinner--with no moon, I was glad I brought my headlamp, because it was surely dark, only the stars in the sky lit the beach. I had never seen this before; walking near the water's edge, but not so close that the waves wash up, where the sand is saturated to the point where a thin film of water sits on the ground's surface, the sky is reflected like in a mirror. It seemed as if I was walking in space, stars above, and stars below. Beautiful. I found some soft dry sand and laid down to count the stars and listen to the roar of the crashing waves.
Later on, I went back town and bumped into a friend from Monteverde, we chatted in the street with the rest of the "too cheap to go to a bar" crowd, then went to his hostel which had hammocks on the beach. After a while he went to bed, and I hung around (pun intended) listening to Spanish music drifting in the breeze.
It's been a beach morning for me so far today. I'll see some waterfalls later and Kim, the biking swiss guy, is getting into town this afternoon.
Now I think it's time for breakfast...mmm.