Goodbye La Selva!
As much as I (and I think everyone else) enjoyed La Selva, we were all very excited to get to the beach. The morning that we left there was definitely excitement in the air despite the early hour. Alonzo the driver had returned which made everyone happy and whats more, he would be staying on with us through our time in Playa Grande!
We stopped for lunch at a very nice cafe in Tilaran which served delicious buffet style albeit traditional Costa Rican food. It was too bad my appetite still wasn’t 100 percent after being sick, but I did sample a bottled Ginger Ale to discover (or rediscover really) that soda in other countries is really much different from what I am used too back at home, much more “ginger-ey”. Caroline got a “Coca-Cola-Lite” and being the nerd that I am, I asked for the bottle to take home to my growing collection (it’s really my evidence that Coke is slowly taking over the world along with Disney and Wal-Mart but I won’t get into that…for now..)
After what seemed like such a long ride on the bus (I didn’t really mind though since we saw so much pretty scenery – Mount Arenal-Volcano primarily, and a much-needed rest!) we finally pulled into an area that I swear could have been any grouping of stores, anywhere in beach-town U.S.A. As I looked around out my window, I saw women pushing baby carriages down sidewalks, people carrying groceries to their minivans, men chatting on street-corners…it was like being in Brunswick, GA…even the smell…the hint of salt water in the air said hey, you’re in a beach town, but nothing just stood up and declared that this was any different, that this was a town in Costa Rica. Well that is until I stepped into the grocery store (the reason we had stopped was to buy supplies for our weeks at the beach).
What was really funny (to me anyway) was how 3/4 of the class made such a spectacle of themselves ogling the liquor aisle. (Most of my classmates were not quite old enough to drink by American standards, but plenty old enough in Costa Rica.) saw my old stand-by (Coors Lite) was only ~$4.30 a six-pack (cheap!) but that wasn’t why I was there, and who goes to Costa Rica to buy cheap American beer anyway right? I did make a mental note of though so I could share it with my husband once I returned home. I figured we’d get a good laugh out of it
Scott, Rose and Anna were off buying groceries for the class for the next couple weeks, and I had my fingers crossed they wouldn’t come back with too much sugar. I think after La Selva we are all on sugar overload! The class, or I should say my younger counter-parts ended up buying a crap-load of every kind of liquor imaginable, mostly stuff I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. There are times when I am glad I skipped over that phase of my life by having my son early…Anyway, when Scott saw their purchases he looked more than a little disappointed but didn’t say anything. (which now looking back on everything, seems really ironic, but I digress). I won’t act as if I am a total weenie or anything, Andrew and I split a twelve-pack of Imperial so I could say I had tried the local flavor and also because I really couldn’t see myself sitting around drinking any more Imperial than that anyway. I’m not exactly a big beer drinker anymore after more than eight months without it.
The kids in my class were so funny though, and I just have to relate this, even though they will probably call me an old fart. They were all standing around in that aisle, whispering and pointing, looking longingly at the alcohol products, giggling and looking over their shoulders like they were about to be caught doing something wrong, but not actually doing anything… then Andrew and I walked over and agreed on our purchase, picked it up and walked off to pay for it. Only then, did they start to load up…It was pretty amusing. I relayed this to Alonso, the bus driver, and he laughed and shook his head, getting it even though English isn’t his strongest.
After leaving the store, when we were almost to the beach he pulled over so we could all see the monkeys in the trees…finally! I didn’t get the best picture, but I could finally cross one thing off my list, I had seen a monkey, wild and just hanging out in a tree in Costa Rica.
Hotel Las Tortuga
When we first saw the Beach…with the HUGE waves crashing…we were all squealing like little kids, like people who had never seen a beach before. I don’t think most of us even heard Scott’s instructions, we just ran for our rooms, threw our stuff down and then headed back to the beach to watch the sunset. The waves were so huge, it was like nothing I had ever seen before. There were a few surfers, but mostly the beach was empty. The water was so warm when I ran to get my feet wet. It was so good to touch the ocean again.
Okay – I will stop here for the moment, but next time I will fill you in on the best old soul of a dog I’ve ever met, and canoeing through the mangroves…