- Actual pic from this morning (and I wasn't holding the camera). Our group immediately began singing a song by Sir Mix Alot.
- It's how cold in Wise County? Sheesh.
- I dreamed last night that a Wise County Grand Jury was about to indict me for something I didn't do. That's right, I'm still being haunted. They no-billed me, by the way --- after 8 hours of deliberations (I'm losing it.)
- I was in the strongest ocean current ever this morning. Just trying to stand in one place was impossible.
- I just rode a bike down a dirt road to a wifi spot where I can post this.
- I went "zip lining" this afternoon. Translated: You take a long beaten up road to the middle of the jungle and then get strapped into a harness and "zip" over 300 yards of cable to the next station (which is simply a platform 100 feet high in a tree.) Then you go to the next one and the next. Probably 15 stations in all. Absolutely incredible. At times, the ground seems miles below.
- I woke up again this morning to the sound of howler monkeys.
- If I see another toddler on the back of a motorized scooter I'm gonna ..... oh .....something.
- My lunch consisted of some meat baked into bread. I have no idea.
- I ate a homemade peanut butter cup. That wasn't healthy. I no longer cared.
- Everything is so laid back. You rent a boogie board by going up and handing the guy some money. No forms to fill out. No liability waivers. No deposit. The transaction takes 5 seconds.
- This is a bustling town with absolutely no jerks. No fights. No loud tables. And it's full of mostly young people.
- Pearl Jam is on in the background of this place.
- Now I'm off on a bike in this town which is no bigger than Boyd to try and find The Evil Empire meet its demise. Even down here, I have my priorities.
at 6:51 PM
- I went on a "jungle hike" today in some place named "Manzillo". There were only four people in the group. The other two were from Italy.
- The female Italian had a T-shirt on with the dog from "The Family Guy" on it.
- I've had a howler monkey on my head. Not sure they have spider monkeys down here.
- The roads are full of potholes, people walking, and people bicycling. Have I said that? But everyone drives slow and is very courteous.
- One major regret: That I never learned Spanish.
- There are two dogs that hang around the place I'm staying at and they follow me everywhere! But they are crazy -- they run constantly and end up wrestling each other in the sand. Happiest dogs ever.
- I do feel guilty taking the first week of January off, but I suggest you do it if you can. I know that depression that can set in.
- Yep, that's an actual photo up there.
- I fell asleep in a hammock last night while people played Uno around me.
- Due to my money issues, I'm walking around with a ton of cash in my pockets every day. I'm constantly checking to make sure it is still there.
- I've used The Jerk line of "If you flash a load of cash like this in front of some people, they'll kill you for it." Nobody got it.
- Even white guys have dreadlocks down here.
- I may pull that off.
at 5:24 PM
- Remember how I always talk about walking away from it all? I've found my destination.
- For the first time in my life, I don't have one single American franchise restaurant within 50 miles of me (maybe more.)
- Everyone here has a very modest home with a tin roof. Maybe that's the way it should be.
- I haven't seen anything other than a vehicle that can provide transportation. Maybe that's the way life should be?
- Absolutely pristine beaches and water. It's like a postcard.
- My temporary landlords took us to an even MORE desolate stretch of beach that is less than a quarter mile from their house.
- I awake every morning to some retarded rooster. And then Howler Monkeys can be heard after that. I just lie (lay?) there and take it all in.
- It is truly the jungle.
- I met a guy today who was the subject of a book called, I think, Searching For Captain Zero. Google it. (Although he was quick to tell me his story is on YouTube.) Funny bit: He was wearing an OU cap and he rode down the gravel road on his bike with two dogs following him.
- Sidenote: The weather in Wise County looks insane! I actually was mad when I left on Friday because the weather was good. I wanted to be away from bad weather. Wish: Granted. Hang tight my bruthers!
- I'm typing this in an outdoor restaurant, after dark, in shorts and t-shirt, with the temperature (I would guess), in the low 70s.
- I've gone body surfing two mornings in a row before 6:00 a.m. Yep, you read that right.
- This place, for some reason, plays 80s "slow rock" everywhere.
- This town (Puerto Viejo) has only one paved bicycle. And people walk, scooter, and dirt bike everywhere. This morning I saw a girl on a bike, with a surfboard, and with a toddler. (I'm not making this up.)
- My mom told me before I left to look out for the six foot iguanas (she lived with dad while dad was stationed in Panama during the Korean War.) I thought she was crazy. Mom, I want to apologize: I came across a six foot iguana.
- I didn't find out TCU lost until 6:00 p.m. the next day. TVs are no where.
- There's not a single building in this town over two stories tall. There are no chain hotels. There are some "nice hotels" but they look like 20 room units built off gravel roads into the jungle. I went to one last night to sign up for a hiking trip in a national forest. Isolated and great.
- An ocean side lot (cut into the jungle) will run you about $250,000.
at 6:29 PM
at 7:00 PM
- I'm typing this from a restaurant in a $5 hostel in Puerto Veijo. I'm surrounded by Bohemians. I'm almost jealous. Heck, I am jealous.
- I walked out to the water a second ago and took the above pic.
- Yesterday we did a rafting trip that took four hours. It may be one of the greatest four hours of my life. Imagine a beautiful river, sides that rise 500 feet or more on both sides of you, those sides are covered by jungle terrain, and waterfalls appear periodically.
- It was the closest I've felt to being a kid again in my life.
- I'll update this afternoon ....
- Didn't see the kid in the picture. That's funny.
- Money problem solved. I have never been so happy to have a cash machine spit out cash.
- There is only one ATM in this town. Incredible.
- Every restaurant and bar is the open air. Every one. They don't believe in walls around here.
- I swam in the ocean this morning at 6:30 a.m. And it was the closest thing to a deserted beach I've ever seen.
- The marijuana laws, if there are any, are loosely enforced.
- It's a long story as to where I'm staying. It's in a rented home, two story, no air conditioning, jungle nearby.
- I've seen a sloth but no monkeys. That must change. Soon.
- This place seems very "authentic".
- There are the happiest dogs in the world here and they are loose all over the place. Oddly, most have colors.
- The Cowboys won? I'm in a land where no one cares.
at 11:06 AM
- What a beating. But how green and beautiful.
- Left on Friday. Everything went very well up until the moment I checked into the hotel. The problem? I lost my last credit/debit card at a restaurant in Terminal D in DFW. For about 10 seconds, I had a huge panic attack that I was stuck in a foreign country and $90 cash. My genius back up plan is in action. Fortunately, most of the trip is pre-paid.
- That plan better work. I'm down to $5.00.
- Am I losing stuff like nobody's business.
- Stayed the first two days in downtown San Jose. Nice? Not so much. The main street is shut off to pedestrian traffic to make it tourist friendly but it looks like a New York City street -- not a good one.
- The first night we tried to find dinner at 10:30 p.m. but the whole city is basically shut down. There was a taxi that was pretty much assigned to the hotel and the driver was very friendly as we spoke in the lobby. He said he would drop us off at nearby restaurant, talk to the owner about calling him when we were ready to come back, and refused payment for the trip saying we could pay him once he returned.
- One hour later he couldn't be reached by the phone.
- I learned that if you tip a Costa Rican waiter 25% he will go stand in the street for four minutes to hail a cab for you. Incredible.
- I woke up for Day Two, which was a Saturday, and hit that main street at 7:30 a.m. for my generic walking around. It was packed. But not with tourists -- folks going to work.
- Does it mean I look like a tourist if someone immediately offers me a map?
- The second day was a planned trip to the Arenal Volcano and Baldi Hot Springs. The driver showed up at the hotel at 8:00 although I thought he was to arrive at at 10:00. That was not-a-good. A mad scramble ensued.
- That trip which would eventually take two hours to return would take six hours to get there. The six hours included a great lunch and a wonderful stop at a church made out of steel (yep) but also included an hour stop at the cheapest souvenir shop in the history of ever. I almost didn't get out of the van in protest. I thought the stop would never end. Ever.
- The great outdoor restaurant for lunch had a TV going. It was showing Hannah Montana.
- Oddest moment: During that hour of tourist hell at the souvenir shop, three girls from our van got in a car with a guy I had not seen and then left for 15 minutes. What the heck was that about?
- I've heard Dionne Warwick's "That's What Friends Are For" twice. Once at the late night restaurant and once when our volcano tour guide started singing it.
- One hour into the tour (I know I'm jumping around but I'm typing this at 1:30 a.m.), the guide announces that "If the top of the volcano can't be seen due to the clouds, which is probable, we won't even try to see it." Say what? This is a volcano tour!
- We didn't get to see an erupting volcano.
- The "hot springs", which is allegedly heated by the volcano, was a tad too commercial. There were about six different pools, all beautifully designed, but shouldn't it be "natural" bodies of water?
- Our group was composed of four young girls from Argentina, two couples from Guatemala, and a couple from Mexico City. I felt very international (but also stupid since they were all bilingual).
- On the way back, someone in authority made a decision to play a stand up Spanish speaking comic routine over the vans speakers. Loudly. And with a bad laugh track.
- Strangest moment: As we got back to San Jose, I noticed the street seemed to have quite a few hookers on the corner. We drive by a hot one in a sparkling white dress, but the tour guide announces, "She's really a man." And he was serious. The van almost tumped over as everyone jumped back to take a second look.
- Off to Puerto Veijo tomorrow. This is gonna be different. Developing . . .
at 12:10 AM