Costa Rica Ambivalence

It took a lot of preparation for me to undertake this trip to Central America. International travel has a lot of red tape involved. It was a gamble to travel to this region at the supposed transition of the rainy season. I have been attracted to Costa Rica for quite a few years. I initially was fascinated by the famous ocean waves, and then by the rich volcanic landscape and wildlife. Thrusting myself into this endeavor I bite the bullet, but it bites me harder.

Day 1 I drive in vain to the gate of Poas National Park to see the crater lake. It was about 3pm and they basically turned me away as it was too late. The Park closes at 3:30pm. What is also frustrating is that all these places open at 8am when the sunrises at 5am. The park hours are more like business hours. It does not consider that the best ambiance happens during sunrise and sunset when these places happen to be closed. In short I estimate that the natural wonders are operated as the epitome of the “Tourist Trap”. You are told the entrance to the park is $10 and the parking is $3. The $13 is not unreasonable, but the packaging is manipulative. You park near a beach, and a self proclaimed security says that there is no charge to park, but that if you want him to protect your car to pay him $2. Again the $2 is not the issue but the manipulation. In one place the attendant told me upon my asking that there is no charge to park the car but it is $10 to enter the trail. As I entered the trail I behold landscape workers on the trail thus killing any feeling of adventure. This was a common theme in the trip. Add the fact that the main feature Arenal Volcano Mountain was being clocked in rain clouds. I left moment’s later feeling ripped off. That feeling would remain thru my travels.

In all the 1500 km that I drove I did not encounter a “scenic drive” in the true sense of the phrase. The country seems rigged to rip off tourist by alluring them to a restaurant or hotel as they advertise that their property affords the best view of the beach or volcano or whatever. I did not see one designated pull out for scenic value that wasn’t attached to some gimmick. There are actually almost no pull outs whatsoever on any road. No rest for the weary traveler that endures the mental strain of the video game. The game while driving is to avoid the pot hole as you swerve to miss hitting the dog that wants to bite the tires of the car. The game intensifies when people come at you from all angles as do the cars of all types. For variety you will see cows on the road or more frequently large tractors going 10 KMPH. All this is to be expected in a Latin American country unfortunately.

The region is naturally phenomenal yet the wonders are usually cheapened into a Side Show attraction. What deforestation, mineral extractions, dams etc did not do to destroy nature, the heavy exploitation aimed at tourist did to minimize its appeal to the lover of blessed wilderness. You are bombarded with advertisements for canopy tours, zip line adventures, hot springs (10 in one town alone), surf schools (10 in one small town), night hiking tour, wild life guides, boat rides, canoe rentals, bike rentals etc. The marriage of natural wonder and commercialization is a bad one. Most of this is done in a distasteful and dishonest way.

It is possible to find isolated spots of beauty on a beach or a forest as I did. This does take considerable effort in most cases though. The region is rigged or set up much better for the resort type vacation than an adventurer. Most of the hotels I stayed on were on great locations in excellent settings and decent rooms for good prices (So Called Low Season).

All these logistics never take up so much space on a travel journal, but these issues tainted the trip. The business affair of a trip should serve the higher purpose of exploration in as a transparent manner as possible, not be the consuming force that it was in Central America for me. I would have probably not harped so much on such topics if the weather related issues did not ruin my essential purposes for going. Add to the fact that clouds blocked views of 2 volcanoes I went to see; the waves were no better than Florida. Costa Rica has great potential for an amazing trip, but I lost badly on my gamble. I was asked to rate my experience from 1 to 10 and I rated it at 3. Tally a traffic ticket to the tune of $600 to the loss. I had a car following me too closely from behind while a work truck abruptly pulled from being parked on the side of the road in front of me. I quickly decided to pass him (double yellow line) as opposed to slam the brakes on a slick road going down hill. Did I prevent an accident? I do not know, but I got fined. This was my most expensive and unfulfilling trip I had been on (and I have been on many). The good moments were few, fleeting and infrequent for a 7 day trek. I would be overlooking the coast from a hill at sea cliffs early in the morning when construction vehicles loudly chug up the road spewing black smoke from the exhaust pipe. Welcome to paradise. I know that one may find a slice a paradise in this region. It will not be easy or cheap to attain it though.

I would have liked to write only of the handiwork of The Creator in this region. That which I saw (apart from bad weather and policy) I totally liked. La Paz Waterfalls and Garden are a worthy visit. The exhibits of native animals are no better than a zoo. The landscape and set up is very good. There are 3 waterfalls consecutive on the river. All of them are impressive and can be visited one after another in short succession. This I found unique. The following day I see the La Fortuna Waterfall under some intermittent rain. At this time (only time in the trip) I venture in the strong currents proceeding from this over 100 ft freefalling waterfall. I could not get very close to where the waterfall was hitting due to this strong current. I ventured to the side of the falls on a slippery rock ledge. It felt like I was in the middle of a tropical storm.

The next day I go to Tenorio / Rio Celeste. I had greatly anticipated visiting this milky blue river and it did not disappoint. The hike to it is difficult at times (steep and slippery) but not overwhelming. There is a stark blue lagoon that I really liked. The water of the lagoon is as clear as milk; meaning the blue color dominates. The place in the river where the clear water becomes blue is unique. The waterfall is found a ways off the main trail down a very steep and slippery (dangerous) stairway of sorts. It is a powerful freefalling waterfall which is also relatively wide. It is dangerous and awesome with the stark blue water at the base of the falls. This place also has hot spring sections. One place (rightly forbidden to enter) one can clearly see the boiling water coming from the river bottom.

For the closing of this day I make it to the Pacific for my first time in the trip. As I was strolling on Playa Ocotal I see tracks of a big dog on the sand. A moment later I hear a guttural howl and expect to see the big dog, but instead I see a group of 3 monkeys above me on the trees. The howler was the Alfa Male. Cool experience. I later find a secluded section at the base of a headland to see a nice sunset. I randomly got a close look at 4 colorful parrots (I am told they are Macaws) I have never seen such colorful birds on the loose. There are a lot of colorful flowers all over, but they are usually road side / farm side and not on the trails or fields. One of the reasons I enjoyed my hotel rooms was because of the garden settings and frequent colorful bird visitors. I saw a lot of humming birds. The country hills and mountains are indeed green with varied plant and tree life, but I prefer the rain forest of the Pacific Northwest or Puerto Rico’s El Yunque. The country is very mountainous all over but there are few impressive peaks. The peaks that do stick out are probably all the classic volcanic cones.

After being directed where to park near the Manuel Antonio National Park I was promptly pressured to hike with a guide for $20 more. He said I would not be able to see much wildlife on my own, but with the guide equipped with scope I would see all kinds of animals. The truth is I would have seen most of the animals on my own, but don’t regret going with my guide Mapacho. He spotted and explained some things that only a guide could. Beyond that it was the fellowship shared with him and a couple of older farmer folk from Kansas that enhanced the hike. I then go to the famous surf spot Jaco and only medium waves (mostly clean) were breaking relatively close to shore. I still enjoyed seeing a couple of local surfers ripping. I spoke with a local after sunset that informed me that I was looking at a Costa Rican Surf Champ ripping. I could easily see that this guy was top notch in his skills. The same kid told me that Jaco gets waves with no swell, and I was looking at a no swell day. He mentioned that waves with a swell will be much larger. Some of the waves I saw were around 4 ft. I wish my local break would be 4ft on a no swell day.

Now I am down to my last full day and ambivalence best describes my frame of mind. I want to see the glories found in the region but I am totally fed up with the systematic exploitation. I travel up a mountain thru thick cloud cover to reach Irazu along with the tourist riding tourist shuttles. For about 30 minutes the weather was interesting. Most of the clouds were below this elevation and only some were passing at ground level. The sun was shinning. I was venturing toward the attraction (the crater). It was windy and chilly but not uncomfortable. I saw a shallow ordinary looking lake called Playa Hermosa thinking it was the crater. I was very unimpressed, but took some mandatory pictures. I meandered to the main path again and found myself at the rim of a huge hole more than 900 ft deep. I was impressed. I then saw to my astonishment the actual crater lake. I was laughing at myself in joy. It was the most stunning site I had seen in the trip. I took it for granted that the sun was illuminating this marvel because a few moments later it was as foggy as a summer morning on the northern Pacific Coast. Soon after came a persistent drizzle that wet my camera equipment. There are no more highlights worth the mention that I can recall.

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Posted in Personal Journal, Travel | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

My Friend Hope

I met my friend Hope when I was 3 years old.
We grew up together. He was a constant and loyal companion.
I saw much less of him by the time I was a teenager.
Sometimes a year or two would pass before I would happen to see him.
In those brief encounters, I had noticed that he had changed much.
He seemed tired and weak. I had other supposed
friends that I relied on in those days so I did not pay him much attention.
 
I was about 20 years old when most of my friends abandoned me.
It was at this time that I reacquainted with Hope.
The more we spent time together the more his vigor increased which
reflected on me. I eventually and thoroughly apologized for my indifference
thus catapulting a new relationship with Hope.
Once again he was my constant
and loyal friend only the circumstances of my life were very different.
 He taught me many things in many ways. I would readily absorb these lessons.
 
When I was about 30 years old Hope moved away.
We would write each other frequently at first. I made some
other supposed friends and gradually forget Hope. These friends also abandoned
me. I then wished to reunite with Hope.
I finally tracked him (he moved several times).
I paid him a visit and we spent some time getting reacquainted.
Something was amiss though. He seemed to be withholding something.
We used to have more mutual friends.
 It seems like few people I know even remember him as he was.
 
It would be many more years before I would see Hope again.
 He paid me an ever so brief visit. He looked preoccupied at times.
I made extra effort to reestablish a connection.
He came across as coy. I did not think him capable of purposely misleading me,
but Iknew he was concealing something.
I received a troubling anonymous call a few days after Hope’s departure.
The caller curtly reports that Hope is dying.
The news was actually not surprising.
I knew that if he were to die I would soon follow.
It has been a month since this report.
I have called Hope but he does not answer.
Strangely I don’t feel betrayed.
I do feel lost and confounded.
 
 
 
Posted in Allegory, Monologue, Personal Journal, Short Story | 1 Comment

Providential Redemption

I beseech, hear me unleash my speech.
I shall commence hence at my immense expense.
Life at a price. Battle many a vice, made several a sacrifice.
Raids against blockades, busting from stockades.
Dismiss what is amiss within, fight to win.
Savor unmerited favor with a clamor of valor.

 

Traveled rough road, unraveled tough code.
Exert much effort to desert the desert.
Stripped in the entirety unto nonentity.
From the ashes risen, tapped into virtue that was hidden.
There is a destiny, invest in integrity.
Redemption in earnest, new zest to pursue life’s crest.

 

There was an explanation for such downright desolation.
Delivered by Providence, Divine evidence of recompense.
Freely receive, liberally give. Fully believe, abundantly live.
Fulfill the will of His Majesty, invest loyalty to His Royalty.
Wonders shown, the Name of the Son made known.
Holy fire increased, captives released. Culmination of Salvation.
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Depreciated

Depreciated, underrated, given no chance past a casual glance.
Not enough this, not enough that, chat falls flat.
Debonair lack, just don’t stack to measure so exact.
Low degree, no pedigree. Pecuniary petty.
Out I’m shut, inside I’m cut, stuck in rut.
Heavy blow taken, confidence shaken, mind is laden.
Mocked and blocked. Sought then dropped.
Match a catch, dispatch intention, more condescension.
 
Ignored, deplored, afford not a moment, consideration not lent.
Communication mistakes, lower the stakes.
Inane game, remain the same.
Conspicuous stigma, lingering enigma.
I dare say that I’m not okay causing dismay.
Determination deterring , flame scarcely stirring.
Supplicate the Divine for a good sign.
Hope is alive. A blessed change will arrive.
 
This is my Matchless Rock Song~
 
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What Are You Thinking

What are you thinking? Are you afraid?
I don’t know what to think, and yes I am troubled.
What is the main thing that worries you?
My problems are ambiguous, therefore I do have a definite plan of attack.
What do you mean by that?
Well that is what I mean. It is an indescribable mess that I am in.
What is the last thing that you tried?
I tried to focus, but my vision blurred.
What caused it?
The familiar distractions I guess.
How do you suppose to get rid of them?
That is a conundrum as these distractions are internal.
Are there any internal virtues that may override those?
The potential is there, but I think I need external positive reinforcement as well.
So you say that there are no virtuous external forces that come to your aid?
Some do arrive, but some how it does not seem sufficient.
What would be an ideal help for you at this time?
I will not even attempt to answer that.
Why not?
I tried to, but it seems I just depress myself when I do.
Why?
The un-fulfillment of these ideals causes me pain.
I see.
I don’t see.
So that is your frustration “you don’t see” a good and bright future.
I use to, and in some ways I faintly still believe.
What would assist your belief?
Some fulfillment even a small though genuine token would do wonders for me.
I wish I could help you.
In you’re your own way you already have to a certain extent.
But I see that you are still full of fear.
I am.
I know this is hard for you.
Perhaps you do.
I understand why you are cynical.
I wish I was different or at least my response to my predicament would be.
But you do believe that your life could be better and make sense right?
… yes, I am sorry for my hesitation.
You are honest.
It is one of my last strongholds.
You have more than you know.
I wish I did in fact know what are my other supports were.
You have been alone for a long time.
It feels like this is all I’ve known and will ever know.
You know that is not true.
I know, but my feelings get the best of me all too often.
You think no one understands you?
I think few make the attempt to even care to know me.
I am sure you are learning a lot of valuable though painful lessons along the way.
I appreciate your recognition of that. Yes I have acquired some good thru this.
Of course you still can not define “this”.
If I can find the definition to “this”, maybe I could overcome “this”.
I will give you a brief repose from these inquiries.
It is okay, I am willing to continue.
Thank you, feel free to pause me as you wish.
I do not want to interrupt any thread we presently have.
Very well indeed, and to this I agree.
You are quite the adequate sounding board.
I have been as much.
I do not believe we have formerly met yet.
Pardon me I thought you knew who it is that speaks with you.
Excuse my oversight.
I am your mind.
I would introduce myself but I do not know who I am.
I am limited in my helping you find your identity.
At least I am not hearing the typical contradictory speech from you.
(nervous laugh) You should know me better than that.
In our present exchange you have been congenial.
I change and I remain unchanged.
Maybe I will start posing the questions now.
You are free to ask, but I am limited to answer.
Do you know who I am?
You are mostly unrecognizable in your present condition.
Is that why I feel so out of sorts?
Yes.
Could you elaborate?
No.
You are limited.
I am mainly limited in communication, not knowledge.
Is it possible for me to further tap into your database?
Yes.
Any clues on how to do it?
Use what you have to obtain what you do not have.
Maybe it would be better if I let you continue your questions.
You are right.
I am ready.
You are not.
I am not ready.
You are right.
How can I prepare myself?
You consented that I (your mind) will conduct the examination.
I get confused, I do not know where I (whom am I?) end and you (who are you?) begin.
You should not enter such circuits as they yield no answers.
Okay proceed, ready or not here you come.
Actually I never sleep and am already here.
I am restless.
So am I.
I think you…
Proceed
I think you rub off on me.
I do more than that.
I am sure you do.
You need a break.
I need to break out.
What holds you back?
You?
I am conducting now, do you not recall?
I do recall, but could only recall because of you.
I will help you find the answers to what perplexes, but you need to go into sleep mode.
Background tasks prevent shut down.
I am partly to blame, but only partly.
Duality?
You answered your own question.
Have I? I still feel clueless.
You do not need a clue, but a direction.
Posted in Mind Clutter, Monologue, That is What I am Saying- | Leave a comment

Try Again

Lack essential, locked potential
Blatant inactivity. Heart cavity.
Seek no find, undergo daily grind.
Yell aloud, blend in crowd.
Resolve fell, Life is a shell.
Try once more, another closed door.
Teased not pleased, mocked and blocked.
Fall to folly, enemy is jolly.
In darkness wallow, soul is fallow.
Whimper in pain, all is vain.
Another attempt, more contempt.
Fight harder, muster ardor.
Hope a tinge, effort singed.
Left undone, depression comes.
Drained again, can’t comprehend.
Give another try, lift up a cry.
Forget the regret, cease the fret.
Seek light, acquire might.
Get a notion, put into motion.
Try again, Die Again and see what comes then…
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Whimsical

I fell well into a whimsical fantastic elastic erratic invention of realms solitary and imaginary contrary to rigid squids amid the malicious grid. I ponder the wonder of concentrating and innovating the elaborating of compositions consisting of conundrums and expandable idioms. The addictive adjectives are indicative of their anatomy dexterously and perilously close proximity to insanity. So it seems that spines on the vine puncture punctuation in conjuncture to the opus’s structure. The oeuvre is back on the attack after a hiatus from the opus in question worth the mention in this whimsical fantastic elastic erratic invention. Conscience of its ability of flexibility, the verse stretches themes beyond means while it sheens. There is no sedition in your ambition thus qualifying for admission to the enigma’s condition.  Say old chap with the baseball cap are you soon ready for your afternoon nap?

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