Archive | June, 2011

Costa Rica Retroactive Diary 10

22 Jun

Decided to stay until Sunday. Ravens be damned…hung over as in the Iron Maiden….good group here…drank big…slept good….with my head facing east….riding the wave…killer hangover…..the altitude maybe….the beard from Madison…in a Ween cover band…has a website about beards and he knows world champion Jack Passion…a guy I knew from Oakland and the Boy in the Bubble band….shat in the woods today..hot, stinky and messy……right on the path…hoped no one saw it and realized it was human shit as opposed to dog or horse shit….wiped off with my underwear and washed it in the waterfall…..which is why you don’t drink from downstream…..yeah..real badass people staying at the hostel right now……so hungover…worst I’d ever had……..

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Costa Rica Retroactive Diary: Day 9

21 Jun

Just being thankful to not be face down and buried on some kook's land

Had an awesome day. Woke up. Slept in. Took a hike down to the swimming holes on the side of the mountian. Got in and got refreshed–energized. The whole town has a magical feel to it. Evenings remind me of nights spent in Berkeley, waiting for the fog to roll in. Such great energy.

The whole time I’d been here I kept hearing about this cloud bridge area–that immense waterfalls could be seen from a bench. So I decided to check it out. On the way up I ran into two Krauts from Germany who were hiking the same way.

A couple of people at the hostel questioned my desire to leave so late in the day. True there was little daylight, but I had been told that it was barely 1.5 kilometers away. Surely I could make it there and back before daylight left us.

I urged the Germans on away we went. We walked up the mountains as the fog followed us up. The light was slipping away and as we passed a stray calf on the road, the Germans said they thought it’d be safer to go back. “alright pussies.” I thought.  “See ya back at the hostel.”

I picked up a thick branch about five feet long which served as a good hiking stick and kept going.  Things got spookier the higher I ascended.  The jungle was quiet but I could sense things waking up around me.  I found a labyrinth off the path and checked it out. This cost me some more time and by the time I found my way out of it, I realized it was too dark to see a waterfall or a Cloud Bridge and that my best bet was to go back downhill before it got too dark. I had a flashlight but I didn’t want to take any chances.

On my way back I ran into this cat from Santa Cruz who spent time between Costa Rica and California. We rapped for a minute and he invited me to check out his house he and his girlfriend were building.

It was cool to see this dude explain to me where everything was going to be and which room was where. We got high in what was the living room. He was building it all himself with the help of some people around town. I was certainly impressed. After having a toke of some of Cali’s finest, I could tap into the mystical consciousness of the mountain. This was truly a magical place.

We got back on the path and it was now pitch black. It was only 5:30 pm at this point. Santa Cruz’s wife to be met us at the pass and chastised her man for running off without telling her. She was freaked out. The missing hiker had everyone on edge.

I was alone and in the dark. A doberman came to the edge of the grass and snapped at me. I screamed in terror, weilding my stick as a defense weapon. My adrenaline shot up to an incredible amount and soon I was on the alert for anything that could be on the path. I knew the elevation was to high for snakes but I’d heard there were pumas about and other creatures–and who was to say that another dog couldn’t creep up and give me a tussle.

I finally made it back to the hostel and let out a mighty yell. “WHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOO” I’d never been this hype before. Not from watching sports not from playing sports, not from winning PS-2 Madden or College Football.  I was juiced. It was by far my most terrifying experience to date. The jungle takes on a different feel at night and I felt lucky that I wasn’t chow for some animal. I could have easily been the main course with one slip up. Life indeed is very fragile–even more so when you become part of the food chain again. Man was simply a weakling with big brains among all the powerful creatures in the world. How did our species survive so long?

The rest of the night was a breeze after that. Some new people came into the hostel: A guy from Fayeteville, Arkansas, a Czech from Madison with her mother, a little red bearded fellow from Madison, an Asian dude from Brooklyn, and a guy from Santa Rosa. We all went to go and get drinks at the Rocadorro where I narrowly escaped food poisoning.  We watched futbol and dank shots. I was loud and obnoxious and funny (basically a typical Texan).

The walk up was pleasant. We ascended as a big herd and no sense of danger was felt at all. Frontier Bobby had survived another day. I planned to wake up early and check out that waterfall before catchign a ride with Jill (the owner) down to San Isidro to attend the farmer’s market. Before I went to sleep that night I forced myself to embrace the present I had purchased for myself.

Such vast beauty before my eyes. All for me. Again I was glad I had listened to my inner voice. Happy 32nd birthday motherfucker.  This was all for me.

“Paradise but with Mosquitoes” : Retroactive Costa Rica Diary Day 8

8 Jun

Things took on an air of strain up on the mountain. The missing hiker I was told about when I first arrived was believed to be dead. It was pretty surreal. News crews, rescue crews up and down the mountain path day and night. Even the family of the missing had turned up at the hostel next door. They closed off the National park but there was still hiking to be had. I still felt like shit though.  I went down exploring a little bit and couldn’t go as far as I’d wanted. My bites were irritated and I felt naseuated from the heat. Walking back up to the hostel made me feel like Chevy Chase in Family Vacation when he leaves the rest of the Griswald family to find help when they are stranded in the desert.

I ended up sleeping  most of the day. Got a little bit of poetry written (sketches really) Ate some fruit, drank coffee and water (fresh from the springs of course) and considered some serious dietary changes. Needed to lay off the cheese and milk products. They sure loved their dairy here in Costa Rica.

Word on the street was that it was snowing back in my home state of Texas. That was crazy to think about. Had some things to consider changing when I returned back to the United States. The couple who owned this hostel were quite an impressive pair. John the husband, was building his own Tilapia pond in the back. I went back there to help with laying down some cables and tubes. Super smart guy who looked like a leaner version of the dad from NBC’s “Alf” (Willie was his name I think). We talked a bit about ecology and the thought came to mind to send him a copy of Gary Snyder’s Turtle Island as a gift.

I went to bed that night considering a lot of things. I needed to stop being a womanizer. I needed to feel like a better person. I wanted to feel like I was a better person. It was hard to even talk to women anymore because I felt like such a shit. Didn’t have anything to sell about myself. I couldn’t pretend I was this altruistic saint. I had to embrace that bad part of myself and make no bones about who I was.

I fell asleep praying for the family of the missing hiker, and imagined that it must have been a terrible way to die up there, cold and alone, on the Nicaraugan side of the the peninsula.  I was still alive though, and maybe there was still hope I could change.

Retroactive Costa Rica Diary Day 7

8 Jun

*After a hiatus from blogging to concentrate on my latest unpublished book (and a short excursion overseas) I’m relieved to pick up the retroactive series again*

Thought about cutting my trip short and leaving for home that Friday. I was still smarting from my bug bites and wasn’t sure if Montezuma would cure my ails. Plus the Steelers-Ravens AFC playoff showdown was on Sunday.

Luckily for me I got an email from my roommate telling me to stay where I was, Tulsa was bitter ass cold and UNpleasant.

Though I had no interest in sand fleas,chiggers, or more mosquitoes and I was still recovering from my sour experience at the Rio Finca Perla. Whatever it was that had bitten me there must have burrowed because I was experiencing an itch I’d never had before. I bought some alcohol and even considered getting some nail polish remover–I’d heard that stuff could kill things that burrowed.

The trip could be over by Friday and I guess I’d be okay with it. I woke up with no idea of who won the College Football National Championship and though I’d been looking forward to seeing an Oregon-Auburn showdown, it’d seemed trivial now that I was on this immense mountain in this spectacular countryside.

I spent the day email people back home and looking for places to couch surf in San Jose for my return home. Even took a nap. Found out the game was kind of a dud (Auburn won a defensive battle) so nothing was missed after all.  Kept thinking about that upcoming Steelers game. It was sure to be a classic battle. It always was between them. A true rivalry between modern day gladiators. Just thinking about their impending clash gave me goosebumps–aroused me immensely. I absolutely had to see that game.  That’s all there was to it.