Learning to dive has been an amazing experience. In five days I have gone from knowing absolutely nothing to being comfortable sixty seven feet under the water. It is fantastic. Really there is not much to it. As long as there is controll in the mind and trust in the instructor there are very few problems that can occour. Both my instructors Michele (a positive and spirited Italian) and David (a very controlled and down to earth man from Argentina) gave me no reason to worry or be unsure of the success of my dives. My first open water dive was at Playa Muerta. (Death Beach) Although the name automatically instills fear there is no reason to be afraid of this place. Right away, under the water, there was a turtle waiting for us at the bottom. It was just sitting in between two rocks as if it was taking a break and let my instructor come up right next to it and grab it by the sides. After a couple seconds it realized it had had enough and diplayed its power under the water by speeding of at a speed that seemed impossible for a turtle. The rest of the dives went swimmingly without problems and I am now certified to dive anywhere in the entire, whole wide world.
The days began to grow more and more lonely. I have been staying at my inxtructor`s casita which is about thirty minutes walk from downtown Montezuma. (I use the word ¨"downtown" but in a place of no more that 250 people the term downtown is a very loose one.) I haven´t stayed at a hostel or anyplace which is conducive to meeting new people and being thirty minutes away doesn´t sound to bad but when it requires walking up a giant hill it lessens the chance making the trip too often. It wasn´t until I the second to last day of training did I finally connect with some people. I was spending my free time that day surfing at Playa Grande and getting totally punished by the ocean. Previously, two middle easternish looking guys had passed me and starting doing something a small distance away in the protected jungle that comes up right next to the beach. I was watching a little while and started to notice some things that they were pulling out of their bag. They had what looked like a sort of webbing you use for climbing and what I thought to be some silver carabineers and were stretching it out a little. I thought to myself, "there is no way that these guys are setting up a slackline." Sure enough, these guys were setting up a slackline.
*Slackline: It is basically strong webbing or straps that you string up between two trees or posts or anything solid. By making it really tight it allows you to walk across. Like a tight rope. Some people consider "slacklining" a friviouls or "hippyish" type thing to do. Those people... are dumb.
I couldn´t believe my eyes. Two Israeli dudes were setting up a slackline for their first time within eyesight. You better believe that I slowly tip-toed over there and asked if I could join. I was able to help them out a little bit and then, because of the power of the line, we became friends. It did become magical at the moment when we were on the slackline and all of a sudden a heard (flock?group?gang?) of monkeys were traveling over our heads. I finally met some people. They invited me to the hostel where they were staying at (Luna Llena) and lo´ and behold there were more people! Some French another Israeli and a girl from San Francisco. It was fun. We all talked and drank and were able to share some culture and poke fun at each others stereotypes. This was a good last night in Costa Rica.
My istructors gave me my diving lisence and I left Montezuma. From Montezuma to Punterenas I ran into a couple from Finland and Sweeden. I realize that the more I travel here the more people I am going to meet. My only regret is that our meetings are so short. We share a quick moment, some distance together and then we part ways. Perhaps we will meet again someday... hopefully.
Well this is it. It seems that my time in Costa Rica is over. Now it is time to head to Nicaragua. To Isla de Ometepe.
(Please forgive any spelling errors for I am writing this on a computer in Central America and these computers recognise only Spanish. They can´t tell that I am a terrible speller in English. Also for pictures refer to my instagram. beautrembly)