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Costa Rica
Monday Jan. 29th 2001
To Montezuma

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My Central & North American Trip 2001
Costa Rica | Los Angeles | Mexico

So we set out early enough, hoping to cath the 11:00 ferry from Puntarena to Paquera in the southern peninsula of Nicoya. Unfortunately by the time we got there (escapes me) there was a long, long queue of vehicles waiting to board. One weathered old guy came along trying to sell a disc to secure our place on the ferry for the price of the ferry ticket itself. We declined and decided to go to the ticket office to check out the score. After queueing to get in the ticket office it turned out that we did need the disc to buy our ticket. I told Sonia that I'd go back to find the hawker to buy our disc but as I got back to him he'd just sold it to a 4X4 full of German tourists.
This turned out to be in our favour because we missed the ferry and decided to wait around for the 2:00 crossing and when that time came some
guy came around handing out the discs for free. What had happened was that the discs are meant to be free, but we hadn't realised this and were going to pay twice the cost that we should have done. Be warned should you take that ferry.
The crossing takes the better part of an hour and is fun just to sit up on deck and soak in the
sun. Seagulls followed the ferry looking for fish in the wake and were just as eager to swoop for snacks thrown up by the passengers. They were as eager to swoop for the snacks I was throwing them but dropped them pretty quickly when they found out was only orange peal. Well if I'd had bread.... nah. I probably would have still eaten it myself.

After docking at Paquera we picked up another Dave (Dave the diver - "Daive, Daive, Daive!", that's how I remember even now) and his girlfriend (doh, forgot again.) What makes it more memorable is that Dave teaches diving in Canada. Pretty cold, eh? Dave had a good supply of the amber nectar as it was apparently more expensive in Mal Pais, so we pulled a can on the way. Those guys were travelling around Costa Rica too and were on their way to Mal Pais. As we were Montezuma-bound we left them at the cross roads between Mal Pais and Montezuma and continued on our way. Sonia hadn't expected to get there so fast because the last time she was in these parts she'd spent a long time manouevering the rocky, pot-holed roads. This time however the roads were pretty well manicured. We got to montezuma sooner than expected but still not, unfortunately, before sundown. It was dark by the time we got there and it took a couple of hotels before we settled on staying at Las Rocas. I forget what we paid but I think we got a few dollars discount. The Swiss owner was nice and the cabins are fine and nicely decorated but over priced for what's available. There's no bathroom within the room and you have to go downstairs and outside for the only bathroom for our rooms. All through the trip I was sleeping really early and getting up early too. There are some advantages to jet lag. I feel really guilty because I know Sonia wanted to go into the town to check out the bars and restaurants but I laid out in a hammock and was dead to the world for a couple of hours. Unfortunately I woke up to find out it was really quite late and I should be going to bed.

However, we didn't go to sleep. We had just enough time to go into town and grab something to eat. We had a bite at a little snackbar run by a Greek guy. It was a popular little place and seemed to have a lot of regulars who are very familiar with the boss.
We had a bevvie at a bar in the main strip in Montezuma. It was actually the first time since leaving San Jose that we'd been out for a drink. It was a happening bar and very busy. Lot's of dancing - Latin styles of course. We stayed a while and had a couple, Sonia took photos of some of the customers having a good time.
I noticed the way this guy was 'hanging' in front of the octopus and suggested to Sonia that it'd be a good photo. Luckily the guy, an Argentinian, agreed to pose one more time.

Tuesday Jan. 30th 2001
For the morning we did a tour of the beach (or the rocks.) As the name 'Las Rocas' suggests, the beach is really quite rocky with large stretches of rock and not much beach. It was while trying to find a way through the rocks that I got hit against the rocks by a huge wave, cutting my foot (a little) and losing my specs. I could've rooted around for them but the waves were pretty vicious against the rocks so I thought again.
The rocks on this stretch of beach are pretty famous for their 'piscinas', swimming pools - natural hollows in the rocks that catch water to form pools. Just like natural hot tubs warmed by
the sun. We spent all day walking around, finding a good place to bathe, hanging in the sun, rubbing sun block in and relaxing. Cool, and for me, after such a hectic time in Taipei the previous four months, well deserved.

Spending the majority of our waking day on the beach, we decided to get out of the heat and walk up to see some of the smaller waterfalls that head out to the sea. We trekked up mud and rock for around ten minutes and decided to hang around one of the smaller waterfalls that acted as a nice shower. After cooling off a little we headed back to the beach to watch the sunset.

We'd checked out of 'Las Rocas' sometime around lunchtime for want of something a little less expensive. The main reason we'd stayed at Las Rocas was that when we'd arrived it was already dark and Sonia had been driving for what seemed an age. After sunning all day we took off to find something and came across Pension Marazul. The Room was fine and came complete with shower, fridge and hot and cold running iguanas on the roof!

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