Thursday, January 29, 2009

Costa Rica - Day 6

Stepping out of the hotel and looking left, I saw nothing but black sand, blue water and swaying palms. I looked right and was tickled to see more of the same. Straight ahead, only two shades of blue- one for the Pacific Ocean and one for the sky. The sun was hot and ocean wasn’t far behind. Locals have warned us that the rip tide is worst here in front of our hotel and that we should walk down the beach a few hundred meters.

Janie and Ty have rented boogie-boards to help us pass the time. It’s been a long time since I felt the glee of being a child, but being pushed along the shore with sand in my suit and sun on my back, I felt like I had finally gotten that pony I had been asking for. My smile only faded long enough to spit out the salty and sometimes sandy water. My amigos share this joy, as we trade taking turns on the boards for napping on the beach.

Still unable to eat solid food, we ordered a fresh coconut. At least the juice would give me a little blood sugar. The coconut slinging team said it would cost about 500 colones or about $1 USD. We handed them a 10,000 colones bill and the guy without the machete said he would be right back with cambio or change. Change never came and we were out about $20- our only cash on the beach without going back the hotel. Broke, tired and nowhere to go, I decided to just to nap and people watch until my last turn on the boogie board. Being on a beautiful beach in Costa Rica: $2,000, drinking a coconut: $1, getting ripped off by the dude selling something that grows on every tree around: priceless.

In the water, my skin stung as if I had been slapped with something. Around my feet and belly felt like they were on fire. Getting out to return the boards, I noticed the first sign that I was finally on vacation. I had forgotten my sun screen applying techniques, and applied while wearing clothes. So now my clothes mostly off, I looked like a white and red candy-cane thing of a human. Some how, since I have traveled last, I have gone from being an experienced world traveler to being a first timer gringo. I have the clear stamps across my belly and feet, an empty wallet and still a touch a bad chicken to prove it.

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