Montezuma. A beautiful place where the days begin and end at six. Cascading waves are greeted by beaches with thick, vine covered trees. Parakeets and seagulls share the forest with squirrels, howler monkeys and lizards and at night armies of sand crabs march from the ocean to their cliff side dwellings. The sights are as foreign as any California boy could hope for but when it comes down to, it the first sensation is one of tremendous heat. Man this place is hot!
My first few days in Costa Rica were spent traveling. I left LAX on a plan to San Salvador, El Salvador. This airport seems more like a giant Duty Free with some space for planes to move in and out of. After about an hour layover at San Duty Free I was on my way to San Jose, Costa Rica. I arrived just in time to find my bag, catch a Taxi downtown and find a hotel before it became dark. After a one night stay at the El Dorado hotel, I spent the next morning looking for the bus station. I'm sure I had the same clueless look on my face that every gringo has when hopelessly wondering the streets of downtown San Jose because I was quickly approached by a small local named Oscar. Oscar quickly informed me that I as on the wrong side of town and we began to briskly walk together in the opposite direction to where my desired bus was. The walk was long enough for us to learn a little bit about each other. It was good to begin to hear some stories about a real person living in Costa Rica. Our walk ended I tipped my new found companion and I hopped on the bus to Puntarenas.
It must just work this way, but on the Punteranas bus I ended up sitting next to a fellow traveler. She is a French Canadian named Annik. As it turned out we were both headed toward Montezuma so we ended up taking this bus the next ferry and the following bus together. It was a pleasant thing, having someone to travel with. I'm not sure how many days in the future I will spend alone, but the days in which I spend traveling with another person seem to feel a little bit better. Together we made the journey alive. Even after the bus ride from the ferry to Montezuma. Which was over two hours.... standing room only. It was made a little more bearable because someone turned up their MP3 player and blasted the slow jams for everyone to hear. I never knew I would appreciate George Michael's "Wicked Games" so much.
At Montezuma I changed paths with my fellow traveler and found myself staying at a small dorm style hostel called "Hotel Lucy." Hotel Lucy was beautiful little place where I made camp for two nights as I surveyed the town and looked for my diving instructors. The first night was fine. I found some food and went to bed, tired from the all the travel. The next day felt fine too. I took the down time to explore up and down the coast. I rented a surf board and surfed a little a Playa Grande, a large white sand beach with a fairly easy beach break. But after dinner as I was walking back to Hotel Lucy the great emperor Montezuma came to greet me. Now I know that Emperor Montezuma was an emperor of Mexico in the 1500's and probably would care little about the comings and goings of one person in Montezuma more than 600 years later; but he surely cared about me that night. I couldn't sleep and ended up making the sickness all over the beach late into the small hours of the night. It was awful actually. Even if my body was done being sick I couldn't sleep because of the heat and humidity. It felt like that somehow this was my initiation. I suffered for one night and now Central America will allow me to stay. Hopefully She doesn't ask too much more of me as I begin to learn to dive and explore this magical place.