Costa Rica: In Which Monkeys Try To Pee On Us

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After a wonderful  night's rest (is there anything better than falling asleep listening to rain on your roof?) we woke up early for breakfast at the lodge. With full bellies, we headed into Malpais to scope out the town. I don't know how that place even has a name, because there is definitely no "town" anywhere. Scattered shanty houses, a church, a cemetery . . . that was just about it. It made Santa Teresa (about 5km to the north) look like a thriving metropolis. A true feat.

Santa Teresa

The beaches near Malpais are rocky, so we headed back up to Santa Teresa to check out the surf.  It was a little overcast and windy, but the waves weren't too bad. Not good enough to convince us to rent boards, in any case. (Besides, there is NO WAY our stuff would've been safe parked at the beach.)  

So Santa Teresa and Malpais were a total bust. Bummer. We headed back to the lodge for a few more rounds of cards, grabbed some ice cream in town, a stash of snacks, and hit the road for Nicoya.

On the way to Nicoya we stopped by the Curu Wildlife Reserve for a few hours. On our way in, we saw a half dozen howler monkeys chilling out in the trees above the road. Sweet!  We stopped the car and got out to look at them closer.

All of a sudden, a trickle of MONKEY PEE hit the ground in front of me. Then to the left of me. Then near Brock! IT WAS A COORDINATED MONKEY PEE ATTACK. I swear I heard one of them yell Leeeeroooooooooy Jennnnnnkiiiiinnns! 

I guess those monkeys didn't want to be bothered, because they've certainly figured out how to get tourists to high-tail it away from them! We parked our car a little farther down the road and set off on some nature hikes.

Fanny pack, map--ULTIMATE TOURIST.


No tourist ensemble is complete without binoculars.

The best hike was to a look-out point that showcased the Curu Reserve's private beach. It was a little bit of a trek, but so worth it!





We went on another hike called the "Monkey Trail", but we didn't see ANY MONKEYS. False advertising. It was still a beautiful walk through the rainforest, though! Ironically, all the monkeys chill out at the administration building--30 feet from where we parked our car--because they know they can get scraps of food from tourists! There were about a dozen white-faced capuchins leaping from tree to tree--they're so funny! I loved seeing a momma monkey with a baby clinging to her back. Didn't slow her down one bit!

Our hike had made us all sweaty, so we headed to the beach to cool down. I've never had the problem of ocean water being too warm  before, but there's a first time for everything! It was like stepping into mild bathwater . . . not the sensation I was looking for after an hour of hiking!

We bid Curu adieu (HEY. That rhymes) and started the drive to Nicoya. Mind you, Nicoya is not very far away--maybe sixty miles or so from the reserve. But the first fifteen miles took a solid hour to drive. When a map indicates an unpaved road in Costa Rica, expect the worst! I can totally see why locals don't even bother with cars--they buy ATVs or dirt bikes. Luckily, our crappy little car made it out of there alive, and when the road finally became paved again, we literally shouted with joy.

Oh, but our driving adventures for the day weren't over yet.



A tree blocking the entire road. That'll stop ya.

When we finally made it into Nicoya, we were so hungry that we literally stopped at the first restaurant we saw. If you've never eaten at an all-in-one Chinese/American/Costa Rican/German dining establishment, lemme tell ya, you're missing out. On some nasty food.

The best part of the restaurant was its background music. We're pretty sure they bought a "Best of the 90s" CD without knowing that they'd purchased the karoake version. For some reason, we got the biggest kick out of this. (Exhaustion + hunger = Mormon drunk)




After dinner, we popped into a grocery store to grab something sweet. Lo and behold, we found nearby BIRTHDAY CAKE OREOS!!! I was so happy! They're a limited edition type of Oreo that I haven't found in America since last year. We stocked up ;)

By this time, it was completely  dark outside and we still had no idea where we were going to sleep that night. On our way into town we'd seen an LDS church, so we went back to see if by chance it was open. It wasn't :( There was a PERFECT grassy area behind it, but everything was locked behind a tall chain-link fence to prevent vandalism.

We started asking passersby and neighbors of the church if they knew any Mormons when I saw a black 4Runner pull up to the front of the church. 

It was the bishop.

What luck! The garbage man had forgotten to come by that day, and dogs had ravaged the sacks of trash outside the church. The bishop rarely stops by the church after 9pm, but he did on this particular day to pick up the mess outside. How is that  for providence?!

Rather than camping in the grassy backyard (where he would literally have to lock us behind a fence) the bishop told us to just stay at his place! He was a divorcee who lived alone, so he was more than happy to have company. Especially when we insisted on buying him a huge two-liter of Coke that night as thanks :) We all kicked back that night and sipped our Cokes while watching TV, and, since it was Monday, ended the night with a Family Home Evening (he hadn't had one in years and was so excited to do it). 

When we set out for Nicoya, we were simply hoping for a  place to sleep. We ended up with a place to sleep that was comfortable and safe as well. God is good.


1 COMMENTS:

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