the first 3 days…
We gathered at Portones, the fellowship. A moldy pink backpack pressed against my chest and an oversized duffle bag strapped to my back. I waved goodbye to my Tico family, wondering if they understood I was never to return. The others were ahead of me in the game of drink so I quickly ordered a Pilsen. Heidi and Lee regretfully informed me that they were no longer joining us on today’s journey and were opting to stay and therefore be less of an asshole by giving some (key word is some) notice at the center. I was a little put off because only an hour previous to this I had given Heidi a detailed tutorial on accepting the fact that on certain occasions being an asshole was necessary if not detrimental to one’s health. With the blessing of my mother I not only accepted my status as puta but felt the need to appease the other jerks in my party. Fail. Zeke, surprisingly, knew not only what bus we needed to take but the time as well. As I savored the third sip of my second beer he instinctively suggested we gather our possessions and hop over to the “stop” (stops in Chilamate are typically unmarked, like a cryptic speakeasy in the days of prohibition). Hugo appeared to be suffering from a severe case of melancholy and so I politely asked if he was depressed. He replied, “No, I’m high.” Well that’s settled. Just then Zeke yelled, “bus” and I managed to gulp a fourth sip of beer as we mumbled our goodbyes, in the hopes this parting was solely momentary. Dominating the back seats (agreed it was reserved for the “cool”) we fist pounded and yelled “pura vida” as the scenery of Chilamate passed by at a quickening pace. Goodbye, I’m sorry to leave so quickly but thank you for allowing me the do some good for the last two months. Chilamate, you are amazing, I will miss you all. At La Virgen we tapped into the flask-like Bicardi bottle stored in the small zipper pouch of my moldy Eastpack. Emotions were clouded by a sudden tipsiness and I said a final prayer for those left behind; “Don’t be putas, see you at the volcano!” Amen.
Day 2 at the volcano: slight hangover and an amazing breakfast at Café Vienna. Nuts, fruits, cereal and milk with a fresh fruit smoothie drink and cafe Merange! Ambitions high we ventured out into the day. We ended up going to a river, oh the irony of leaving our river town only to find myself in an effing river! But it was incredibly beautiful and Zeke guided Casey and I down a ways avoiding any potential human interaction. We crossed at a shallow spot and I thought I would possibly die, my fanny pack around my neck and my flip flops on my hands. Slippery rocks under feet, jagged edges forced under my flesh. We made it to a “spot” and decided it was time to take a break. We managed to get back across the river and up over the pasture to the other side where the Tarzan swing was. The Tarzan swing was amazing! In this beautiful lagoon like spot with big rocky boulders and a small waterfall. This rope had a few knots and was secured to a large tree limb. I watched a few locals do it first and then I went. Flying in the air and letting go, feeling the water suck me down. I did it four or five times and wanted to do it more but the boys were impatient and wanted to go.
Day 3- The big day! Will Heidi, Lee and Jon Mark show up!?? Yes, and no. I felt sick most of the morning and prayed I would feel better by the time of their arrival since our plan was to go to the volcano soon after. We waited for what seemed like forever and then, like magic, Heidi and Lee showed up! Jon Mark didn’t come. His loss. Puta. I was so excited to see them! We went to our new hotel, ditched our bags and then tried to organize our trip to the volcano. We took them to the Tarzan swing although neither of them did it and then we grabbed some dinner at the Volcano shaped tourist restaurant. We were advised to wait for night time to go up to see Dante’s Peak because then we might see lava. This was true as it turned out. But really we didn’t get close to her at all and it was slightly disappointing. Seeing the lava was pretty awesome, however. The free hotsprings spot was easily a 9 on the fun/amazing scale. We saw a sloth cross a road!!!! and slid down a slippery hot springs sewer bridge. Bizarre and yet poetic. Someone had brought candles for the spot which made it all seem quite magical. Tomorrow is Guanacaste, and I am so ready to get out of this damn volcano town and see the ocean and thank you Heidi for coming because as it turns out.. you are my best friend in this country!