Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 5 - The Wheels on the Bus

Date: 5/5/12
Start: Tibás
End: Playa Blanca, Puerto Jimenez

Word of the day: Como se dice __  en espanol – How do you say __ in Spanish?

Turtle Fact:  For turtle researchers, there is something called the lost years. This is the time, right after hatching out of the shell to the time they are about 3-5 years old, that researchers and scientists have little to no data. The reason behind this is due to the fact that baby turtles can not be rigged with tracking equipment nor tagged due to not having enough muscle/energy to support additional weight or non vital areas to be tagged.

Don’t you just hate when you wake up 3 minutes before your alarm goes off? I usually do, but this morning at 6:57am, I was almost as excited as Christmas morning. I jump in the shower, dress and greet Cristina at the Office gates.

After some home brewed café, we continued our journey to find a Sim card. This time we took a cab to a larger city. Two stores and 45 mins later, we were still out of luck. As is appears, my Verizon device (Motorola Droid Pro) will not work with foreign Sim cards. FML. Plan B is to just a Sim card and USB adapter when we are in Osa.

We head back to the office and meet Yolanda (Widecast’s Veterinary). She is also making the trek to Osa with Paula and I. Around 11am, we head to the bus station (which is nothing more than a large garage with chairs facing a small TV playing pseudo MTV channel – American pop-music) and wait until noon to load the bus. We sit all the way in the back and enjoy our space. Right before we take off a rasta-like individual greets us. ENTER David (Widecast Coordinator who manages the volunteers at the project site in Osa). We begin our journey to the southwest peninsula.

Our Bus ride takes about 8 hours. We stop twice along the way. After the second stop, it really started raining. First it was light rain – I thought was attributed from the higher altitude as we were passing through the mountains. Then came the noise. For the next solid 3. 5 hours there was a lightning show that could be described as a pissed off Zeus. I tried to capture this on video – we shall see what comes of that.

The bus drops the four of us (David, Yolanda, Paula and myself) off the side of the road, in the middle of no where (or at least to me it is). We continue to walk in the rain (with my 2 bags and 1 backpack – heavy) about 1/2 mile before a car driving down the road (towards us) stopped, and we jumped in. The car took us down the same dirt, potholed, bumpy road for another 5 mins. During our ride, I sat in the back seat of a small pickup truck. Looking in front of me, I see a black mop-top being shaken vigorously- needless to say David’s dreads were bouncing around everyone.

VOILA, WideCast Project site. I can’t see much, but from the looks of it, it looks like Cole Canoe Base all over again (Boy Scout Camp that my cousins used to work at and we would attend on a yearly basis). Essentially it’s small rustic wooden cabins dusted with shells, driftwood and turtleness.

I meet a couple of the volunteers and we all exchange our stories briefly and I head back to my cabin (of whom I am now sharing with Yolanda) and prepare for bed. Sleep.

  • Eat when everyone else eats, even if you’re not hungry
  • Investing in a neck pillow really pays off
  • The best way to learn a new language is start off by learning how to say the questions you are already asking
  • No matter how much you prepare you still pack too much crap
  • Providing/Offering food is the best way to make new friends

Food:  Plantain Chips – This large banana in appearance, but potato like flavor makes for some awesome snacking chips

Something I don't want to admit: I think I brought way to much stuff. I keep telling myself “Vic you are spending 4MONTHS in Costa Rica. Pack for all your adventures. However everyone else I see is packing SOOO lite. We will see what extra curricular activities they end up doing.

Days of Rain: 2/2 – AWESOME thunderstorm

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