Our Adventure to Cahuita-Rastas, Monkeys and Beaches!

25 08 2010

This past weekend Vanessa and I ventured out into the depths of Costa Rica.  As the first week of school started to come to a close we decided, along with a number of other teachers, that we needed to get out of Escazu.  For me the goal of the trip was to get away from the city and remind ourselves another reason why we moved here.

We had previously talked with Andrea and Brandon, our neighbors, about visiting the Caribbean coast and a small town by the name of Cahuita.  We had heard and read wonderful things about this sleepy town.  There was talk of dreadlocked Rastafarians casually smoking pot along the street and the dirt road (the only road) lined with beautiful bungalows.  Lucky for us…these myths were a reality.

We started our adventure around Wednesday by sending a flurry of emails amongst the people that had expressed interest in going.  Seven people ended up deciding they would venture east with us.  The question now was how in the world are we going to get 7 people to Cahuita.  The answer was either take the bus or rent a large vehicle.  After countless “I don’t care what we do” emails someone stepped up and decided that we would rent an SUV from a place here in town.

So, Friday afternoon the seven of us (Me, V, Andrea, Brandon, Joanne, Katie and Tedd) met at a Soda (small store) just up the street from the school.  All of us hustled out into the rainy afternoon to catch the taxi van that was to take us to Dollar Rental.  Upon arriving I promptly sat on a chair and let Andrea and Tedd do all the work.  I chatted excitedly with the others about what adventures and relaxation awaited us.  By the time we loaded the 7 person Montero with NO luggage room, stuffed our things between our legs and got everything sorted out, made a quick stop by the grocery store to get snacks and beer and visit the ATM (which ate my card because I forgot to press return…more on this later) we headed out around 5.

The 4 or so hour trip awaited us and everyone was excited.  Getting out of Escazu and San Jose was an adventure.  It was rush hour and it seemed like everyone in the entire city was out driving, on top of that is was dumping rain.  Lucky for us Tedd had volunteered to drive so we were just along for the ride.  After winding through the stop and go traffic we finally broke free and started east…and promptly stopped for a bathroom break at a very nice truck stop/restaurant.

Our excitement of being out of school and heading to a new place was so overwhelming that when we stopped a second time at little bar we couldn’t help but take a shot of tequila!

After a couple more hours of driving we came to Limon, which is the name of the area on the east side of the country.  Limon is known for shipping.  We past a number of HUGE storage facilities and ports.  However, the most exciting site, even in the dark, was the endless ocean.  A short time later we worked our way into Cahuita.  We had made plans to rent a small house in town and were instructed to find a place called Bungalows Ache.  However, as we had previously learned, in Costa Rica there are not street signs and finding any place, let alone at night in an unknown town, was impossible.  So we made a group decision to stop at one of the many places along the main dirt road.  Fortunately, we picked a beautiful bed and breakfast and rented two small bungalows for the weekend.

*click the play button on the slideshows and then move the mouse off of it to view the pictures*

*you can also close the advertisement that comes up by clicking the X in the upper corner of it*

We called it an early night.  It had been a long day at work and a long drive.  However, the anxiety of waking up early and exploring the beach that continually echoed the sound of waves kept me from sleeping well.  I was up early staring at Vanessa willing her to wake up.  Vanessa, never the one to get up early, slowly opened her eyes after I had been trying to telepathically wake her and finally resorted to nudging her with my knee.  It was time to explore!

As it turns out everyone else was already awake and checking out the beach that kept me from sleeping.  Vanessa and I sauntered toward the sound of crashing waves making our way along an enchanting little path.  I will let the pictures describe what awaited us…

After walking around a bit we met up with the rest of the group to eat breakfast.  Since we have been here I have not seen or had very good breakfast.  That changed with this meal!  Breakfast started with fresh fruit (pineapple, mango, star fruit, papaya, and banana) and coffee.  Just as we were taking the last bites of our fruit, we were brought fresh Cas.  For those who don’t know, Cas is a type of fruit that apparently turns into a fantastic juice mixture.  I had tasted Cas before but this Cas had to be made from some special place called heaven because it was AMAZING.  I tried to savor as much of the drink as I could and soon enough eggs and bacon were sitting in front of me.  I hungrily shoveled it down and enjoyed making plans for the day with everyone.

The plan was simple.  We were going to go to the national park near by and visit the beach there.  But as we got ready to go for the day and I was gathering my things I realized that I did not have my ATM card.  I am very responsible with my ATM card, I have never lost it, never.  So wasn’t it great that the frist time I do is in  Costa Rica while on a trip, where there are no phones and no internet.  I broke the news to Vanessa and we informed the rest of the group that we needed to find an internet cafe and a phone so I could make sure to put a stop on my account.  After a little bit of work on my part and I got in touch with the bank and sorted everything out.

After I apologized to everyone, we headed out to find the national park.  The park was easy enough to find.  We scrambled out of the car and started  the day by laying on the beach and playing in the ocean.  Around lunch time we took the short walk back to town and ate lunch at the terrible place that I think Ben Arp my have owned.  Why do I think that?  Because it had a poster of Kim Jong Il hanging above the kitchen and Ben is the only communist friend that I have.

We decided over lunch that we would venture back into the park but this time walk along the path in the forest to look for animals.  I was excited by this because since being in Costa Rica we have not seen much wildlife and I really enjoy looking at Sloths.  Our walk did not disappoint!  We saw white faced monkeys, howler monkeys, leaf cutter ants, blue crabs, all sorts of bugs, a vine to swing from and finally a sloth!

As the day wound down we went for a drink at a Rastafarian bar with pot smoke wafting in the air followed by  a pretty good dinner at a place that had been highly recommended called Cha Cha Cha.  With full stomachs and after such a long day no one could muster the energy to do anything but go to bed.

Sunday, our final day, we awoke to the sun shining through the cracks in the curtain and  rolled out of bed. We knew the day was going to be simple because we were planning on taking off around 11.  We casually ate another amazing breakfast, played at the beach near the bed and breakfast and swam in the pool before making the drive home.  Overall, it was a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend that helped V and I remember why we made such a dramatic leap in our lives!

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-M

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5 responses

25 08 2010
Mom

I better not have nightmares tonight. You’re right V, Dad & I can hardly wait till Dec. so we can expierence Cahuita too, and we all know what Chico is thinking. LOL Wow pics are awesome!!!

26 08 2010
Katie

I LOVE your stories, your pictures, and your body. Ummm… anywho, my fave pic so far is probably the dog swimming in the pool with you guys! And, you should have known better than to walk into one of Ben’s establishments. Tsk Tsk. Miss you guys like it’s my job… wish I got paid for doing that.

p.s. Miguel – I would never expect you to be undecisive… weird. (RE: After countless “I don’t care what we do” emails)

26 08 2010
Guy McPherson

Thanks for a great description–sounds like a lot of fun!

26 08 2010
mvgonzo

Thanks guys! What do you think of the new slideshows? I am not a big fan of the ad that pops up but I don’t know how else to add multiple shows in a post.

28 08 2010
Ben Arp

M&V, glad to hear you finally found my restaurant on the Carrib. I don’t like to talk business much with friends so that is why I’ve never mentioned it. And yes, KJI has helped a fellow commi from time to time. I am a little disappointed that you didn’t write more about the food. Hope all is well and that CR and the pura vida is treating you with ‘great success’ (KJI voice)!!!
Cheers Gubna,
Ben

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