Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 60 - The Key to My Heart

Date: 8/29/12
Location: Costa de Oro, Costa Rica

Word of the day: Llave inglesa- Wrench
Turtle Fact:
In the north-central Gulf of California, black sea turtles return each year to specific areas. They bury themselves in sand or mud under water and may remain dormant from November to March.

3AM wake up for early morning Patrol. I ride the bike (solo) as Court and Matt walk north. Nada. I return back the house with sun about to rise. I grab a little bite to eat and work on some updates. Real Breakfast. Clean up trash from dogs - dang mutts.

A while back we acquired a couple pieces of drift wood. This drift would was very large, but had been clearly been cut by a saw as it was flat on 2 sides like a pancake. Matt had cleaned and painted the tops of these in order to use them for signs around the Hatchery and Costa de Oro House. We head over to the hatchery in the back yard and attempt to nail the larger of the two on to the hatchery posts. We soon find out the nails we are using are just too small for the task we are using them for. To be continued. Siesta.

Lunch. Today Courtney made red pepper hummus and home made bread. I love being a Costa Rican vegan sometimes. updates.

Today's project for me was finally get to the bottom of this bike. It has been having issues with the back tire being deflated. I go to take off the back tire and remember I do not have wrench. I head next door with Courtney as my interpreter (if I needed it) to some Ticos that are working on a building an addition to the neighbors house. (Prior to this, Courtney had helped me learn the words/phrases I need to ask for the wrench). I successfully asked for the wrench solo in Spanish (big step for me - learning multiple sentences).

SIDENOTE: In Spanish a wrench is called Llave inglesa = English Key. However is Costa Rica they call it Llave francés = French Key. Weird (to me).

We head back to house. I take off the tire and discover a needle like piece in the inner-tube from a shell, from the beach. Since it punctured through both side of the tire (most likely from riding it on a flat tire at some point), I had to patch both holes with repair Kit that Eric got for us earlier in the week. After it was all fixed, I ride the bike into town... On my way, the chain keeps popping off - most likely as the chain was not tight enough. As I fix the chain on the side of the road one of these times, Eric drives by with the Pretoma truck. I'M SAVED! I get a ride into town and we head to the bicycle/hardware/motorcycle shop to get a new tire, pump adapter and a Llave francés. FIXED. I head back to house (5K away) during dusk and in the rain. The chain still frequently popped off after a series of small bumps on the road and I would stop to fix them... after the bike came to a stop of coarse.

SIDE-NOTE: I love efficiencies. I believe in working smarter not harder as well. When the chain would pop off, I would wait till I was at the bottom of a hill, or slightly up the next before stopping the bike to fix it. Most the times when the chained popped I was gaining speed going down a hill. Keeping in mind this one a single speed bicycle, and the brakes consist of peddling backwards (which only work when the chain is on the "tracks"), I open my eyes as wide as possible to see any dips/rocks/animals/large obstructions in the dark. While doing this I am RACING down a dirt road with absolutely no way of breaking without sliding my flipped-flop foot on the ground - which was not going to happen. At this point in time I fully accept that what happens happens. Even if that mean hitting a divot and projecting me forward off the bike. Thankfully each time this happened I just enjoy an intense adrenaline rush. Don't worry I'll look into fixing the chain...

Dinner. Since everyone was off on our own this evening we had all decided to do dinner on our own. Tonight I enjoy some Ramen Noodles. Not just a college favorite, but a lifetime favorite. Being fortunate to grow up with two Asian (Vietnamese) brothers, I have more than acquired a taste for the the packets of noodles. Thanks Quang, Linh and Kids for the noodles and hot sauxe (among other things).

Patrol. 9pm I ride solo on the bike heading north on the beach. As we start to patrol a NASTY storms sets in. Needless to say, I literally peddle 5 times the whole time heading north. The wind was so intense (not "in tents" as we were outside) that it pushed me all the way down the beach. I even rode higher on the beach thinking the softer sand would slow me down. Nope. During my 2.3K ride north on the beach, I often thought how much it was going to SUCK riding back (south) as the wind would become my new enemy. However, still being an adrenaline junkie from earlier in the day, I ignore these thoughts and enjoy the kinetic energy mother nature was providing. Once I get down to the end of the beach, I take the "poacher's path" to the main road and ride back on the rain filled dirt road. I get back to the house drenched. Ohh yeah no turtle tracks found - Confirmed by Courtney who walked the beach with Alvero behind me, on foot. Early to bed for a change. Sleep.

    • Adrenaline; Natures drug and hard word to spell without using spell check.
    • Old men are just so peaceful when they smile
    • All you have to do is ask a question (in order to solve an issue)
    • Practice makes perfect
    • Better judgement is easily set aside when you can accept the consequences before hand. 

    Food:  Lobster Flavored Ramen Noodles, flavored with a little garlic sriracha sauce - is just happiness to me.
    Animals: Birds, Frogs, Dogs, Crabs

    Something I am thankful for:
    Thanking People - When Eric picked me up in his truck, brought me into town, bought a new tire and parts, I thanked him over a can of beer. Simple gestures like this go a long way and are noticed.
    Something I don't want to admit: For those of you that are actually reading this, I sent some postcards in the mail today while I was in town. I hate writing in this section as I really do feel I give away info I REALLY don't want to admit for one reason or another. Today's reason is that I want these cards to be a surprise for those getting one. And by those getting one, I am referring to those who have donated. Speaking of which you can get one too... Trust me, I'll make it worth your while! Promise. Donation information is HERE

    Total Nest I have saved: 19
    Total Nests Poached on my Patrol: 13
    Total Turtle Eggs I saved: 2,449
    Total Baby Turtles I Released: 40
    Days of Rain: 38/55

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