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In Touch From Ticoland

Our departure for Costa Rica naturally included the one constant among all our trips, my hang over. In spite of my less than ideal condition, though, all went along smoothly until our plane was cruising somewhere high above Regina. Suddenly I started feeling very nauseous and light-headed. I tried fidgeting around, but that didn’t work, and finally I tapped Laynni’s leg and uttered one of my favourite pick-up lines, “I think I’m gonna puke”. Laynni promptly dug out her little paper vomit-holder, but before I could put it to use a glowing, white, other-worldly slice of what appeared to be pineapple appeared in my head. It seemed to beckon me but I fought off its charming embrace long enough to reach the aisle and stagger toward the bathroom. The 1st Class steward, however, had little sympathy for my blue-collar problems, and quickly sent me back from whence I came. With the situation now desperate I rushed toward the back, only to be foiled again, this time by the villainous drink cart. Alas, this final obstacle proved too much. Succumbing to the holy pineapple in my head, my legs gave way and I became just another crumpled heap in the aisle of a plane, although, luckily, the contents of my stomach decided to stay put. A helpful nurse and a female doctor with a sadistic streak were summoned and created a tense moment or two when they were unable to find a pulse. The fact that I was helping them search, however, made it considerably less alarming. To cut it short, though , the final unsure analysis was low blood-sugar (solved by orange juice and sugar water) and improper circulation (I was given my own row at the back so I could put my feet up). A headache that developed soon after and persisted for a couple days had me thinking inoperable brain tumour, but it seems to have gone into remission for the time being.

We spent a night in San Jose before taking a couple buses to Uvita, a sleepy little village on the Pacific Ocean. There was a beautiful beach, good, but not great, snorkelling, cool waterfalls, and a great little hotel (The Toucan Hotel). It was great for hanging out with plenty of hammocks, movies at night, a communal kitchen and some resident scarlet macaws. Downsides: a 1/2 hour hike to the beach, a barking, leg-humping ball of energy called Narone, and a socially psychotic and frighteningly dysfunctional hotel-owner who was friendly enough to treat you to his entire sordid past within minutes of introduction, right down to the last awful detail, including how he was “not having sex with” the 18-year old Costa Rican pretty boy that he had “adopted” and bitched about as though he were a trophy wife who simply couldn’t be trusted. Actually, that wasn’t really a downside since the intriguing speculation created a unifying bond among the guests. Apparently, gossip and sodomy go hand in hand regardless of race or culture.

After several days in Uvita we decided we had exhausted its pursuits and headed north to Manuel Antonio. This national park is famous for both its beaches and wildlife. Neither disappointed. All types of beaches were accessible from huge, popular Mexican-style coasts to sheltered and secluded little bays. As for wildlife, while hiking through the jungles of the park we saw monkeys, massive iguanas, many other lizards, dozens of types of birds, one small snake, an agouti (picture a jackalope without fake horns), as well as several Germans.

During our beach time it did not take us long to establish our “spot”, which consisted mainly of sand, but also featured the overhanging branches of a tree which allowed us to slither out of the heat when necessary, like rats from the light. Ever since one fateful day in Uvita when Laynni severely miscalculated her sun to sun block ratio we had been forced to seek shelter from the hottest of the mid-day rays.

Eventually, I also became too bold and reddened my back pretty good, so that our last day in Manuel Antonio was spent mainly hiding in or near our room (by the way, Mom, that sun block you got us……turns out water-resistant is not the same as waterPROOF). As for our room, we lucked out in finding a nice one with a bathroom, a powerful fan, and even a TV (that worked once in a while) for a price that, while ridiculous in other parts of the country, was actually quite reasonable here. The only real flaw – the missing blind on our picture window overlooking the owner’s family dwelling which provided many glorious glimpses of our nudity from any and all areas of our room. This included me reclining on the bed in nothing but a sarong, with my legs up to catch the breeze. Oh yeah, I know you’re picturing it…..

Next we are off to the cloud forests of Santa Elena and Monteverde, a cold, wet mountainous area that represents an abrupt departure from our days of playing chicken with the sun. However, we are fully prepared to demonstrate our equally cowardly apprehension of rain, so stay in touch.

p.s. Tough break for Team Canada, but I’m glad to see the Thunder are doing just fine without me

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