Belated Honeymoon: Costa Rica Dispatch 2

Walkway

Tuesday proved to surpass Monday in terms of excitability. This one is a long one, so apologies in advance. This is all pretty much stream of consciousness.

The day began with the usual. I sat and read among the local insects while the lone employee (330 their time, after all) hummed unrecognizable melodies and shuffled a ream of receipts into various patterns. Giant crickets and cicadas congregated happily until 5, when The Sweepers arrived. Within minutes, coffee was out, insects were shooed, and receipts were filed.

Andrea and I ate breakfast and went to yoga, snapping pictures of pretty much anything that moved. There are SO many insects and birds and frogs. At any given moment, the noises you hear range from standard hoots and howls to what sounds like cranky wind-up toys. Oh yea, and the unnervingly human sqwaking of the parrot(s). I’ve been trying to hunt him down ever since catching a glimpse of him our first morning here. I’m not alone in this Mellvillesque drama. I’ve seen a number of tourists chasing him around the resort with cameras fixed to the sky. As luck would have it, we stumbled upon him later in the afternoon while crossing a bridge to a restaurant. We did not have our camera, of course. But there he was, perched a foot away from us. I said, ‘hello,’ and he responded in kind. The bird mimics some human speech pretty well. So Andrea and I stood there in front of him, repeating words and phrases to see which ones worked. Crazy.

Bird

The big event of the day was the zip line. I’ve done a zip line before, but it was at an APA team building retreat. Although it was pretty scary, I figured I could handle it. This was before we took a sky tram high above the tree line of the rain forest. Reread that last sentence. A fearless group of locals (with nicknames like ‘Spicey Nacho’ etched into their helmets) led the six of us (three American couples ranging in age) down a series of eight zip lines. Imagine zipping across a wire hundreds of feet in the air and hundreds of feet across. Again, this is happening above the tree line. They strapped you in, cracked a few jokes about falling, then told you to Go with God and shoved you on your way. It was terrifying. The others were hooting, twisting and turning and gazing at the forest floor above them. I on the other hand managed to survive by keeping my eyes focused on a single fixed position directly in front of me and refusing to deviate from that point. By the last couple, your brain is pretty worn out from pumping adrenaline non-stop through your system.

Zip

That brings me to my next point: friendliness. Every single person we’ve met here, from the wait staff to the zip line guys to the naturalist to the locals in the street has been unnervingly friendly. Not just friendly, jocular. Pretty much everyone jokes around. Normally you might say they’re just reading the customer and following their lead. But here, even a first conversation is filled with playful banter. For instance, when I tell the wait staff, “no alcohol in the fruit punch, please,” they always bring my drink and say something like, “here you go, my friend! Extra rum, just the way you like it!” They also shout out, “Pura Vida!” all the time. They do this so often I looked it up in Wikipedia. Sure enough, it’s some sort of Costa Rican catch phrase meaning good health, congratulations, celebrate life, etc. But they recite this bromide with such enthusiasm. Today I’m going to ask around and see if they say it when tourists aren’t around.

Hot Springs

We ended the day with a meal at one of the many restaurants at the resort. Resort doesn’t seem like the right word, though, but I guess it is. This is a highly rated Eco-resort. Everything is recycled, natural, from the land, etc. Barriers and partitions are made from local flora and fauna, not concrete made to look like local flora and fauna. Since today is Earth Day, the entire resort is switching over to candles and natural light. The respect for nature is amazing.

Today we’re going to visit one of the many hot springs and then go to a wine pairing dinner.

Restaurant

Here you go amigo, a double shot, just like you asked, right?

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