Thursday, June 20, 2013

Unexplained Flying Coconuts

June 16

The visit to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica was interesting due to the seemingly completely different culture. There is a lot more Caribbean and Jamaican influence in the Limón province. We listened to a CD of calypso music as we entered Limón province—I need a copy of it for my own personal collection.

Once into the ciudad of Limón, we stopped in the town park. We saw the island where Kristobal Colon first discovered the Americas, as well as a plaque commemorating him and his young son, who was with him. I didn’t learn about this in my history classes. Or maybe I did and have since forgotten. As we were walking back to the bus, I noticed a strange looking ball of fur in a tree. It was a sloth, and based on how low he was, maybe he had just come to the ground for his every two week release of waste, if you know what I mean. Anyhow, after this brief stop, we continued on for just over an hour to Puerto Viejo, a seemingly quiet little beachside town. Our hotel was just outside of town, across the road from la playa. It was a nice little place to stay, surrounded by much flora and fauna.

Two interesting things happened while staying here. The first was on Friday night. We had a bonfire on the beach and roasted marshmallows. While walking down the driveway, a small group of us heard the strangest, most startling sound. I won’t name names, but two of them ran away faster than I ever saw them move on this trip. Me? I went to the noise with my flashlight in hand. About 10 feet in front of me, a raccoon came out of a tree and ran across the parking lot. So, we heard two raccoons fighting in a tree.

Later, while sitting around the bonfire, I was talking and our guide, Selma, was next to me. I heard a strange sound and about that time she jumped up. Turns out someone/something threw a coconut at us and hit her in the back. We jumped up, shined the light around, but didn’t see anything. Two of us went across the street to tell the guards at the gate to our hotel. Well, we should have sent at least one person with a solid command of Español, because this particular guide didn’t know English (several of the others did). So, we are stumbling around trying to tell him that someone was throwing coconuts at us. I started laughing—this just seemed so ridiculous—I mean, can you picture going up to a policeman somewhere and telling him that while sitting on the beach, someone threw a coconut at you? Geez. Another guy drove up who knew some English, so we told him, and he translated to the guard. We were told they would call the police and they would arrive within about 5 minutes.  So, about 10 minutes later, two policemen ride up (on the same motorcycle). They recognize our guide based on her previous job working for the San Joes Police Department-she was the first female high ranking person. Turns out the message they received was that there was a fight at a bonfire at the beach. Ha! They checked things out, didn’t find anything, and we called it a night shortly thereafter. As to where that coconut came from—who knows? It didn’t come from the direction of the trees, so I don’t see how it could have been a monkey. Never mind that we didn’t see any monkeys in this area, though we did hear them a few times. They weren’t that close to the beach. We finished talking, ate all of our marshmallows, and called it a night. 

The next day we visited a different part of the beach for a short time--this time in Puerto Viejo. It was pretty shallow with a lot of rock - it hurt to walk barefoot. However, this was our first truly sunny day when at the beach and it was beautiful. 

Pura Vida! 

Finally, a blue sky and beautiful water!

Ahhhh. This was the rock that was painful to walk on, but the water was great.

Back to the beach by our hotel--one last time

These flowers look like plastic!

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