This morning I woke up at 7:00, made some amazing coffee in my room (the popular brand around here is called Britt, which I love), and then went and sat on my private patio to soak up this view, while eating a bowl of locally made granola:
Then I picked out this sweet little cruiser from the Cabinas I’m staying at, took a nice long ride around town, and tried to figure out my cash flow problem. Within a couple hours and a few hastily written emails, I was able to open my very own Costa Rican bank account, complete with debit card (!!!) and have my lovely mother wire me some money from Western Union. Score!
During the waiting times between emails and iMessages, I managed to explore the town some more. I met lots of spunky dogs, one attention-starved orange tabby, and a macaw that seemed to want to interact from his perch in a tree above me. I did meet some people, too, and had some great meals at some recommended local joints. I went to my first “soda” – the tico term for a small, down-home kind of restaurant that serves the kind of food that the locals make for their own families – and had a fantastic meal including chicken, rice, beans, salad, and fried plantains, with some fresh passion fruit juice on the side. It was amazing, and I’m definitely looking forward to more meals like that! Tonight I had pizza at the local pizza joint, which was highly recommended by pretty much everyone I talked to. Good stuff, and I have a few slices left over for breakfast tomorrow.
Since I was able to get my hands on some cash, I was also able to book a day tour through Corcovado National Park for tomorrow, which will be my last day here. I had already gone back and forth a number of times about whether or not I was up to it, and then the lack of funds seemed to make the decision for me. But knowing I couldn’t go, I realized I was really disappointed to miss the opportunity. I am in the most remote part of Costa Rica, and next to “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity,” according to National Geographic. How could I pass that up?? So as soon as I left Western Union with cash in hand, I raced over to meet the guide and see if he could squeeze me into a group leaving the next day. After a few phone calls, he and his partner got everything squared away, talked to me about the trip, and gave me a packing list to get together before we leave at 5:30 tomorrow morning. Gulp!
I must admit, I’m kind of freaked out. In addition to the 7-8 hrs of hiking we’ll be doing, we’ll be in an area full of all kinds of critters – cute ones like monkeys and sloths and coati and macaws – and scary ones like venomous snakes, poison dart frogs, and pumas. Yes, I said PUMAS. This is why guides are required, though, and I am going to trust that these guys know what they’re doing and will keep us all as safe as possible (there are 5 of us going tomorrow). That’s the right attitude, right? RIGHT?!?!?
I don’t know if walking into an area like this is wise at this point in my trip, after pretty much everything that could go wrong did, but for whatever reason, I feel like I have to. Hiking Corcovado scares the shit out of me, but you know what? I bet I’ll come out of it just fine. Probably very tired, and bitten up by mosquitos and most likely covered in scratches, bumps, and even a few bruises, but something tells me that I’ll also be pretty damn proud of myself, and a little less scared of… a lot of things.
With that said, wish me luck! Send some good vibes! And stay tuned for photos – these should be some of the best of the entire trip 🙂 For a little more info on Corcovado, plus some great pictures, here’s the link to a blog I read the other night about one woman’s journey through the park: