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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Cahuita

COSTA RICA | Thursday, 4 November 2010 | Views [560]

Four days of rain have passed, and for the past couple of days there've been no buses to Panama via Paso Canoas or Rio Sereno since the road is washed out. Rain and thunder have wreaked havoc all over the Land of Pura Vida; all last night I listened to the sound of rain batter the roof of Mario and Andres' flat. The route along the Pacific Coast is washed out but the road along the Caribbean coast is open. Last year on the scenic boat ride through the channels of Tortuguero I met a couple who were headed to Cahuita, so I thought I'd head there today. Hopefully I can go to San Vito and Corcovado on the way back from Panama. The various bus stations are scattered across San Jose but the bus to Cahuita is conveniently located on the bus route from Heredia at the northern edge of downtown San Jose. There I am with enough bananas, crackers, and water for the four hour bus ride: some for me and some to share. Just as we turned out of the bus station I threw my banana peel out the window and a Canadian bloke gave me a dirty look. Whilst I won't throw plastic and paper out the window, I will throw out biodegradable stuff like banana peels. He replied firmly "they don't biodegrade on concrete." A girl sitting next to me put a bag out so we can throw our banana peels and other rubbish. When we stopped in Puerto Limon I was chatting up and got a photo with a gorgeous Spanish lady named Marivi. For some reason I'm attracted to Spanish women. As the bus pulled into Cahuita I'd say I was slightly astonished. There aren't 50 touts or taxi drivers breathing down your back and it's a rather quiet Caribbean backwater. Most travellers head for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca with its nightlife and surfing but Cahuita is much quieter. There are no CouchSurfers in Cahuita although there's one living about 15 km away. He offered to let me stay but it was already like 5 PM and I wasn't sure if I wanted to make the journey. As I drifted slowly on the empty road north, a few dozen metres or so away I stroll slowly up the stepping stones to the Shangri-La Hostel. The Italian expat owner greets me, shows me my space, gives me a locker key, and I set my bag down. Various travellers are staying here tonight and I laze in the hammock as I chat them up. Cahuita is a great place to just chill and kick back for a few days but I might head to Panama tomorrow after doing a walk through Parque Nacional Cahuita. As a light meal tonight I got some Caribbean-style coconut rice with a hint of spice. It was all I needed after feasting on bananas for the bulk of the day.

The next morning I had thought of staying another night but decided I'd make a run for Panama. First I wanted to go to Parque Nacional Cahuita and to see what I can see. Luck is never really with me in seeing wlidlife, and when it is I often don't have my camera. Would today be different. If you enter the park from the Cahuita end there is no fee but if you enter from the far end you have to pay a $3 fee. As I strolled through it was cloudy with a light drizzle. It's a really nice walk of about two hours or so although I didn't see any toucans or any spectacular wildlife.

What I find interesting when all else fails is fungi. The various mycology you see in the tropics is often vastly overlooked by travellers yet I kind it fascinating because fungi comes in all different shapes, sizes, and colours. Butterflies made their presence as well as I strolled along the trail.

The park is also home to some colourful plants, and giant leaves the size of three of my hands. A blue heron flew by me as well.

Along the coastline I walked until I was out at the other end of the park 6 km from Cahuita. As I listened to some mysterious birds in the canopy above I stood in awe as I saw an odd-looking house across the road; looks out of place for the area. Thumbing a lift in a truck, it was my first hitchhiking experience in Costa Rica. And then I was back in Cahuita. At the end of the road heading toward Panama I tried to thumb a ride but I ended up getting the bus. Along the way I saw smiling locals, banana plantations, and futbol (soccer) fields, and then I was off to another country...

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