Day Three: 05.03.05
Sheets of rain. Blankets of rain. King-sized duvets of rain. Rolling thunder, bright flashes of lightening, and torrents of rain smashing down on the tin roof kept us company all night long. The few moments of short-lived silence were punctuated by the piercing croaks of the toads who preferred the areas right outside the cabin doors to the jungle nearby.
When morning finally came, the air was thick with humidity. You'd have thought that the rain showers during the night would promise a crisp, clear day. You'd be wrong. Breakfast at Blue Marlin consisted of a plate of fruit (sin papaya, por favor), scrambled eggs (with a hefty but unwanted dollop of mayonnaise on the side), gallo pinto (cooked in vegetable oil and not lard), and coffee (the day just got better).
A walk along the beach to observe the waves and gauge the crowdedness of certain sections yielded us (a) an appreciation for the low season turn out of surfer dudes and loud, obnoxious tourists, (b) a reminder to watch where we stepped lest we end up with a foot full of crabbie patties and (c) a sip of the sweet agua de pipa (water of a green coconut) from a beach vendor near the Park's entrance. Note: the dude next to the entrance to the Park charges 500 CRC for lukewarm agua de pipa, but the dude on the beach across from the Restaurant Lobster charges 300 CRC for nicely chilled agua de pipa. See? Now you don't have to bargain hunt for coconut water because we've already done the homework for you.
By 10:00 a.m., we had decided that we should treat ourselves to a break from the heat and humidity by upgrading to the Hotel Espadilla. We paid for our room at the Cabinas, carried our luggage across and slightly up the street, and checked into the air-conditioned, cable tv'ed, second-floor (and therefore toadless) room. Because the hotel's driveway was under construction, the normally discounted low season rate of $101/night was further discounted to a total of $80/night and included breakfast, a private nature reserve, and did I mention the A/C? Sold!
Finally completely unpacked, we returned to the relatively unpopulated beach (well, unpopulated by people anyway; there were many tiny hermit crabs scuttling around) to swim in the incredibly warm ocean. It is quite possible that the water was warmer than the air. We topped off the ocean swim with a swim in the completely deserted hotel's pool. Ain't no season like low season. Gazing placidly at some iguanas who gazed placidly at us in return, TP and I spent the lazy afternoon alone letting the sun slowly melt our brains. Only here for a day, we fell into a routine pretty quickly. Walk to Blue Marlin for lunch and iced mochas. Walk to the room to cool off during the hottest part of the day. Walk to the beach to watch a sandy soccer game. Walk to the agua de pipa man. Walk to the hotel for a nap.
After sunset, we strolled down to the main street and stood for a moment in awe at the cacophony of toady chatter coming from the creek nearby. The wall of sound was nearly deafening. When we came across some gawkers looking up and pointing, we followed suit and saw playful monkeys dangling from the trees! It was too dark to make out any more than their silhouettes, but it was exciting nonetheless.
We checked out the menu of Blue Marlin's rival, Restaurant Lobster, but opted for dinner at the hotel's restaurant: chunky ceviche, tender tenderloins in black bean sauce, and sweet plantains grilled to perfection. We counted the number of stupid toads facing the walls along the sidewalk back to the room (10), caught up on some of the world's news (same old, same old), and basked in the air-conditioner's glory (until the electricity cut out at 1:30 a.m. for an hour).
Next up: Road-Song of the Bandar-Log
Here we go in a flung festoon,
Half-way up to the jealous moon!
Don't you envy our pranceful bands?
Don't you wish you had extra hands?
Would n't you like if your tails were -- so --
Curved in the shape of a Cupid's bow?
Now you're angry, but -- never mind,
Brother, thy tail hangs down behind!