Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mosquito Coast

Last week we went to Zancudo Beach for a couple days. For those who don’t speak Spanish, ZANCUDO=MOSQUITO. Thats why our legs now look like we have chicken pox even tho we don’t. HOWEVER, our time at the beach was really sublime.

Zancudo is a very remote village. In order to reach it, a ferry ride across a river on the most ramshackle jalopy of a ferry is required. It was wonderful...driving onto this rusty steel float with no choice but to trust we would slowly float to the other side. We made the voyage with one other passenger; an older white haired Costa Rican man and the barefoot ferry “captain” who steadily poured quarts of oil into the sputtering motor. White egrets flew by our side.

Passing by hundreds of rows of palm, banana and coconut trees, we navigated long muddy roads full of potholes and occasional oxen.

We rented a cabina that had originally housed banana farmers near the border. It was perfect... living right on the beach. Our quarters included a lovely mosquito net around the bed which made sleeping extra dreamy, an indoor and outdoor shower, equipped kitchen, hammock on the porch, and more.

The Golfo Dulce “Sweet Gulf” rolled us gentle waves and it was really ideal for swimming, as well as sea shell collecting, sunbathing, walking and bike riding on the sand. At night we could see the phosphorescent glowing of creatures in the sea and beautiful moonlight reflecting on the water.

We collected lots of driftwood to paint on. Old oars, pieces of boats, soles of shoes, etc. We ended up getting work painting a bunch of signage for the fruit & vegetable delivery truck which we did for trade...we got a couple nights stay free at the cabina. A great deal for everyone.

One night we ate at a tiny authentic Italian joint “PUERTA NEGRA” with with our new friends Edwin & Maureen. The owner/chef “Alberto” had just spent a month renovating after returning from 2 months in Italy to find Mother Nature had moved into the restaurant. Because everything is so open to the elements here, its not hard to imagine this happening. But obviously he did not forsee the bamboo growing several feet and strangling out other vegetation; nor did he expect to find dozens of bats, numerous scorpions, and FOUR BOA CONSTRICTORS living inside his place.

Our time at the beach was really rejuvenating and reinvigorating. So much so that we returned to Ojochal and said "yes" to another job at the school. We’ll proably need another get-away after this...

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