Thursday, 15 July 2010

Mi Segunda Semana en Costa Ricaaa

Hola amigoss! Wellll I am trying to think of something to write because I know I should be writing something... it's peeing it down outside, being the devoted beach bum that I am I still went to the beach this morning for my Spanish lesson only for the skies to open on us as soon as we sat down. I didn{t give up hope though and went to lie down on the beach after my lesson, this 'sunbathing' lasted about 45mins before I decided that it really was raining hard enough to put my rain coat on and head back to the bus. Only trouble is everyone else had the same idea, the first bus was crammed, the second bus I joinded the locals in crossing to the otherside of the road to catch it on its way up the road, because no doubt by the time it had turned around and come back again it would be crammed... I was right, but being savvy to these things I had a seat next to a lady who had been walking up and down the beach selling EmpaƱadas. A really cheery lady, we sat and laughed at everything. "Ahhh, that tall black man, look... he is a giant, he will be from the Dominican, he is so huge and so very very black". She wasn{t wrong, he was absolutely massive, I have never in my life seen anyone so huge, but I certainly didn{t think laughing openly at him, given his size was the most sound approach, sure enough the majority of that bus spoke little if no Spanish but I wasn{t going to be relying on his lack of language skills! After the tall guy it was the rain, "aaahhh, it rains, it always rains here, it is so dangerous, ha ha haaaa" She chuckled away, me pointing out that even if we weren{t so keen on the rain I am sure the trees were to which she said "and the taxis, they will be sooo expensive today, there will be so many customers, ha ha haaaaa" more laughter. While I sat and waited for the laughter to die down I pondered on this and thought, while its rubbish for her business of selling food to the beach bums of Manuel Antonio others will make lots, some lose, others gain. I guess thats how it is. As our heaving bus bounced back into Quepos station I said goodbye and watched her disappear of, empaƱadas under arm chuckling away at nothing inparticular. I decided she was a very happy lady. So here I am back in Quepos, banana cake in hand needing to write something... but what, hmmm.

Well Sunday was the day i cooked roast for my Tico family, having asked mid week last week what was my favourite food I proudly said Sunday roast, not having a clue what this was they asked if I could make it for them... on Sunday... for the final of the World cup. Yes you heard right, the World Cup. I had come half way round the world, relieved that I would be far enough away not to even have to think about it but instead I found myself providing the meal for the match. I did need to laugh at this. I hate football though. Edith, my host proudly showed me her 'oven'. It was the size of a microwave (but not a microwave) with a glass front that didn{t quite cover the edges and the temperature gauge missing, so handing me a pair of pliers to set the temperature (to what temperature I had no idea, it would just be total guess work) and a pyrex dish, bigger than the 'oven' itself to roast the chicken in I decided right then and there this was going to be a miracle if this worked. Asking if she had a pair of scales, she said no, asking if she had some fairy cake tins she disappeared off into the street only to reappear about 20mins later holding an even bigger pyrex dish. Something had been lost in the translation, that was certain. The Yorkshire puddings were doomed. I never even attempted them. I had plenty enough to occupy myself with in the 30degree tropical heat of the kitchen and to add to the To Do list was to somehow make this very impractical dish she had just produced from the house of a local friend look very useful to me, the vital part in someway to the finished meal. I decided I would place the finished roast in the dish and use it to present the thing. To add to the fun no food could be left on the side for even the shortest legnth of time because it would be swarmed by a gang of ormigas (ants). I have to say I think i deserve a michallen star because two hours later, surprised not to have melted into a puddle on the floor myself I produced a perfectly cooked chicken, cauliflower cheese, the best roast potatoes ever, broccoli, carrots and gravy. I literally have no idea how I pulled it off, especially considering the handful of times previous to this that I had offered to cook roast at home Mum had always had to dive in last minute and rescue everything. Mum was most definitely on the other side of the world in the Middle East and definitely not able to pick up the pieces if i went wrong, maybe this helped me to focus my mind. Even still for an oven that didn{t show the temperature the meal was incredible. My host family suggested when i finish university I head back to live in Quepos and open a restaurant. Kind as their complements were that is definitely one thing I will not be doing with my life. Quepos maybe, but chef, no.

In the two weeks I have been here I seem to have managed to get to know a few of the regular faces at the beach. The lifeguard always greating me with a big smile and "¡Holaaaaa Chicaa! ¿Comos estaaasss? Pura vidaaa", today greatly amused by my rain coat I missed my bus to stop and chat as he chuckled away at my hood and said how handsome i looked in such a fabulous coat. The surf dudes have given up trying to sell me surf lessons and instead stop to ask me random questions as I wonder down the beach, calling "Pura Vida" after me when I wonder on to my lie under my tree.

However yesterday, having spent the last two weeks on the same beach and having talked about wanting to swim Tony, my Spanish teacher offered to show me another beach. We wondered down Manuel Anontio beach, which is a fricking long beach, I will say that right now. Tucked away right at the other end was a little jungle path leading straight up a very steep hill. It took us about half an hour to walk to Playa Baisenz, and I don{t think I have ever been so hot in my life. The air was completely still, the hot steamy jungle refusing to offer any breeze I think it is safe to say we nearly melted like a cheese toasty. Once we got to the top of the hill we were greeted with the most incredible views ever, I couldn{t believe what a beautiful place I am living in and how lucky I am to be here. I have worked so hard to be here and I think that just makes me appreciate it even more. At the top we were also met by a gentle breeze, thankful for the air we started down the hill towards the beach. No roads anywhere near meant few tourists knew about this little gem. We wondered down through the dense jungle, the sound of small waves gently lapping the shores I figured we must be nearby, both of us saying we coupldn{t wait to jump in the sea. Suddenly the hill leveled out and the jungle fell away to reveal the most incredible little beach i think i have ever seen. I was frozen to the spot, completely struck by its beauty I know i don{t have the words to recreate that little haven of peace. The deep blue water, with tiny waves lapping the shore, soo inviting I took about 30seconds to get my bikini on. From the sea I looked out to the distant huge mountains densely covered in think broccoli jungle bursting out from the flat horizon skywards, their tips met by the almost purple clouds looming high above. The colours were magical and the quiet sounds so calming, I don{t think I have ever felt that calm or peaceful, I stood for ages. We swam for a while and relaxed in the atmosphere of Playa Beisanz before the sea decided to take back it's beauty and in came the tide. We sat back under the cover of the trees eating avacado and cheese sandwiches (yep... they were interesting, ha ha!) silent and calm mesmorised by the beauty. 4pm was fast approaching and apparently the nearest bus would leave at four, so we gathered our things and wondered back up the hill. While we were down on the beach the most impressive, slightly intimidately noise had sounded out over the beach, Tony explained they were howler monkeys and for their size, made an impressive noise. I asked if we could see them and he explained it was very unlikely, hateing people they tended to hide high in the trees and stay away. However as we quietly walked back up the path to the road Tony spotted them, about6 of them playing in the tree tops, it was awesome to see them and I just couldn{t believe what a day I had had. To me this is paradise, wildlife all around, happy people, the beauty of the jungle. We got to where the bus was meant to go from and waited, and waited... and waited. A local worker wondered by on the deserted road and inquisative as to why we were both randomly stood at the road side, clearly waiting for something he explained there was no bus anymore so we started the very long, very steep climb to the top of the hill. It was so much fun, I loved feeling so hot, climbing out of breath, every now and again turning around to see the beauty of Costa Rica and catch my breath. We eventually found the main road and waited for the Quepos-Manuel Antonio bus. Hot, hair covered in sea salt we sat on the bus, our tired legs happy to be resting, watching the beauty of sunset through the windows as the bus carried us back to Quepos. It really was a beautiful day and definitely a beach i will be visiting again, I loved being able to just wonder and explore, nowhere to be, nothing to be doing, all the time in the world, no work pressure, university pressure, nothing, just pure happiness. ¡Pura Vida Costa Rica!

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