22 February 2008

dominical, costa rica

i hadn't planned on staying so long in dominical. i had hoped to head down to the peninsula de osa, but if i did so, flights back were going to be crazy. i ended up spending more time in this fantastic town, and loving every minute of it. it was jam packed full of fun and eating lots of mangoes, and flew back, yet i did a lot!
i'll start with a later discovery--my love for surfing!!! i didn't discover this until after i met shaun. he offered to teach me surfing--and i have had offers before but for some reason, i accepted. the next day, super nervous (but knowing to at least wear a tank top while surfing--just swimming in dominical pulled my bikini top sideways and too many people saw my boobs!), i arrived at shaun's room. he showed me how to wax the board, and then i carried it down to the beach. he showed me techniques, told me when to paddle, showed me how to paddle, when to jump. i did it repeatedly and kept falling off and finally, he said, "one more time."

and then i surfed! i was standing up! of course it wasn't for long, but it was awesome!

we kept going for a longer time after that. it was super fun and i couldn't believe how much i loved it!

my final day, i decided to look for a surf school. i mentioned it to my rad friend brett, and this guy he was talking to turned out to teach surfing...we hit it off really well. i went back to his place (where i had chilled the first night) and i read a book he wrote abt surfing. then we surfed for about two hours and i was MUCH better! he was super impressed and said with practice, i could be an average surfer in six months--"and i don't tell that to anyone! you are one of my top five beginners." i was shocked. i had tons of fun, stood up only a few times, but it was SUCH a blast and such a high. it's amazing. i'm looking for a board now.

but i did other things! i swam, i relaxed on the beach. i talked with locals--surfers, ticos, others. i hiked at hacienda baru with forest, sharing special moments like you can see below.

one day, brett and i also hiked down to a waterfall on a trail covered with muck and mud and horse poop. it was worth it when we got to the waterfall--absolutely amazing.
i also took a day trip to corcovado national park which was totally awesome and amazing. the mangroves were really beautiful (on the boat ride there) and we saw monkeys and coatie (i am spelling that wrong). it was awesome.

i also met a lot of beautiful people--hippies, surfers, travelers, ticos. i met this amazing man below on our hike back up from the waterfall. brett and i chatted with him and he gave me bananas. he was so sweet and i miss him. he made the poopy trail totally worth it.

manuel antonio

next stop--manuel antonio! after an outrageous bus ride including a stop in puntarenjas (dirty beaches, friendly people, though it's supposedly super dangerous), i arrived in manuel antonio. got my dorm bed sorted out, then immediately donned my bikini and headed to the beach. i swam, walked alone, chatted with people, including a rather persistent tico who wanted to practice his poor english (and also take me out to dinner, which i politely consistently refused). after the beach, i headed back to my hostel, went running on this amazing hill with an awesome sunset view. i showered, ate with two american girls from my hostel, and then the entire hostel piled into this surfmobile (a pickup truck with a metal box above the back of the truck where we piled!) and headed out for drinks. yummy strawberry coladas and musica and dancing and fun...
the next morning i woke up early and ran down to manuel antonio park. a stream makes entrance a little difficult, and while i was pondering the choices, a middle-aged german-speaking man pointed to his back. i hopped on, he took me to the other side, while all of his friends laughed hysterically, as did i.

the park was empty just after it opened. manuel antonio park is famous for its wildlife, but all of its trails lead to beaches. i swam alone at various beaches (no one else around) in calm, calm water. i took photos, admired scenery, examined flora and fauna, scanned the treetops for wildlife, saw more insects than ever. a really lovely morning.

monteverde, costa rica

i started off my trip in monteverde, which is the center towards the northern part of costa rica. as it's in the mountains, it's rather colder than the rest of the country (which i discovered, and i was quite cold at many points!). i had a blast, despite the nighttime temperatures necessitating two blankets on my bed!

in monteverde, i started off by doing a bridge walk. in santa elena preserve, bridges and trails are built high up so you are at the treetops--with amazing views and a unique experience in the park. i met up with some rad boys--these three argentinian boys--pablo, carlito and federico

i also went on a dusk hike, where i saw a white-faced monkey, a sloth (woohooo! it was actually moving too!!!), a tarantula, various insects, birds, and learned a lot about nature.

after, we went to a bar, los amigos, which was filled with ticos, dancing and smoke. i was tired so i left early.

the next day, i awoke early, did a long run (getting lost in the mountains, and practiced my spanish by asking for directions many times!), and then ate a quick breakfast of mangoes and yogurt. i lost 4 pounds in costa rica, simply by eating lots of fruit and less heavy things. oh yum, i LOVE the food!

after, we did ziplining. it was SO fun! you fly through the air on wires. it was absolutely brilliant--i felt so free and amazing! after ziplining, i explored monteverde a little more, and then made a kickass hostel dinner--pasta with tons of veggies, inc avocados! the avocs in costa rica are absolutely delicious!the next day was super crammed--i woke up early, caught the 615 bus to monteverde, went on a guided nature walk which was awesome--i saw the beautiful quetzals!!! also saw tons of birds, learned lots. my guide was super knowledgeable and passionate and spoke about global warming. we stopped by the hummingbird gardens which were really beautiful, as they were filled wtih the fluttering birds. after, i hiked alone which was an amazing and spiritual experience. i was completely alone, hiking, seeing beautiful animals and creatures (not even sure what a lot of it was). after, i went to the cheese factory (to get kickass coconut ice cream!), then got a terrific lunch at stella's (yum yum!), then went on a tour at the butterfly gardens (super interesting and beautiful), followed by a tour at the orchid gardens. it's amazing i still had energy to go out that night to hear michael play and drink pina coladas!

12 February 2008


hikes alone
guided tours
transport hell
meeting new people
laughing at things that will only be funny tonight

11 February 2008

costa rica, continued

wake up 530 am. eat yogurt and fruit.
take 615 bus to monteverde cloud forest reserve.
guided tour
go to hummingbird garden
walk around on own, in middle of nowhere
walk back, thinking
monteverde cheese factory for homemade coconut ice cream
stella's for lunch, one of the best sandwiches of my life
butterfly gardens--amazing
orchid gardens tour
run 90 minutes in the hills and beauty of costa rica--great views of penninsula de nicoya
eat more vegetariano casado--yum
going out with hostel friends to see band

life is good. life is exploring. life is learning about myself. life is learning about others. life is about experiencing and exploring and observing new cultures.

i can never stop traveling. i just wish luna was in my backpack, and t holding the toiletries in his bag. ;)

10 February 2008

costa rica thus fa

transport hell
san jose prison

pura vida en monteverde
swinging through a line 200 meters above the ground
too much fun
being reminded who i am

07 February 2008

04 February 2008

another reason to hate the superbowl

the commercials. i never get people who watch the superbowl for the commercials. what?!?! you good american consumer, you.

now did a really interesting examination of the images of women in superbowl ads. check it out.

01 February 2008

there is no mr. cherie

i am on the mailing list for cabot cheese.

this is the point in the blog in which the vegans turn away, disgusted, and others think, "weird that she's on the mailing list for cabot cheese." i didn't mean to be, but am on it, and every so often, i get invited to cabot cheese events. i got invited to one at the end of the month at the marriott in brooklyn. free cheese, free brooklyn brewery (though i don't like beer; i'll just eat extra cheese), why not? so i'm rsvp'ing, and say, "there will be three of us."

the guy on the phone--who sounds as if he lives somewhere in the middle of the country says something about "your husband, mr. cherie." he uses my last name, but uses it as if it were not my own but some copy i adopted from my "husband" so i could show everyone that i'm property of someone else. wtf is up with women STILL doing that?!?! we are no longer property; we are our own people. and um, hate to break it to ya, but 50% of marriages end in divorce. anyway, i like my last name. i wish it didn't start with the letter Y (this means i'm one of the last people to leave the nyc marathon b/c my baggage truck is always the last) but it's unique and it's part of me.

i tried to nicely tell him, "you shouldn't assume that everyone takes their husband's name to demonstrate that they are property. i am not."

also, he was assuming that i was bringing my husband--what if it was my girlfriend? or my sister? or my best friend? i guess the crowd at cheese events would tend to be families, but have an open mind, people!

i have no cheese right now, so instead, i'll think about how rad my freedom is.