And the blog marathon continues…hopefully I’ll catch up on everything today
After nine very hectic, chaotic, and adrenaline-fueled days in Guanacaste for the Sin Limites Disabled Scuba Diving event and all the other activities involved, I was exhausted and going on fumes by the time Ernst and Maria Jose dropped me off at my hostel (Costa Rica Backpackers) in San José on the 5th. I also reunited with my Nicaragua travel buddy, Georgina. We shared stories and gossip on all of our goings-on since we saw each other last, and then I crashed for the night.
Feeling run-down, doped up on antibiotics, and trying to heal a very funky toe, I had to prescribe myself a week of total relaxation in a peaceful locale, and San José was not the place for that. Therefore, the next morning, Georgina and I headed west, via taxi-bus-ferry-taxi, to the sleepy Pacific Coast surfer village of Santa Teresa, located on the Nicoya Peninsula. We arrived after dark and checked into a musky, empty guesthouse for the night, and the following morning we hitchhiked down the road to a more lively place, Hostal Brunela, where we got our own room and bathroom for $9 a night each. With plenty of common areas, English-language HBO, a fully-stocked kitchen, clean rooms, hot surfers, and its proximity to the beach, Hostal Brunela was the perfect place for some down time.
I have a “Daily Diary” app in my phone where I record short memos on what I do each day, so that I can refer back to it when I’m writing my blog. Well, pretty much every day that I spent in Santa Teresa has the following note: Chilled. Cooked. Played Cards…what else? Clearly, I was following doctor’s orders and giving my foot a rest. Other than surfing, there really isn’t much to do in Santa Teresa. Each day’s routine was more or less as follows: wake up, read, take shower, wash clothes, make breakfast, eat breakfast, internet, play cards, read, make lunch, eat lunch, internet, read, play cards, watch TV, walk down to the beach for sunset (sometimes with a beer, sometimes to go for a swim), make dinner, eat dinner, play cards, watch TV. Georgina and I were the lucky sole females in the hostel, and the other guys–all surfers–were quite fun to hang out with.
However, after a few days of this slow and uneventful routine, Georgina and I started bickering like an old married couple. For my part, I hadn’t had any “Me Time” in over a month, and when that happens I always get a bit grumpy and on edge. I think it was probably the same for her. Plus, I was quite happy doing absolutely nothing for a while, and Georgina was getting antsy for more excitement. Nevertheless, it was a bittersweet relief when she announced on Sunday, a week after we arrived, that she was moving on by herself. I love that girl, and we have so much fun together, but it was definitely time for us to go our separate ways. At the end of the day (sorry for the cliché) we are both solo travelers, and while it’s always great to meet up with fun people along the way, after a while you start craving being on your own again. I’m sure we’ll meet up again in the near future.
Being on my own again, and now having a private room and bathroom for just $9, I was content staying around in Santa Teresa a bit longer. I had instantly fallen in love with the place, with its laid-back vibe, beautiful sunsets, and the nicest dogs on the planet (strange, but true). From the day I started my trip on July 31st, I was on a schedule, having to make it down to Guanacaste by September 27th for the disabled diving event. Having accomplished that part of my trip, this was the first time I now had no itinerary, no agenda, nowhere to be. It was a fantastic feeling, and I had no guilt about doing nothing.
As a side note, one thing that is so important for me is to let people know that yes, I feel sorry for myself from time to time. For some reason, it makes people really uncomfortable to hear that. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been put onto this pedestal, a gold “I’m an Inspiration!” badge pinned to my shirt, and people look to me to motivate them with my great acts of courage and resiliency. Well, folks, I’m a human, and a slightly crazy one at that, and I have been known to wake up hating every inch of my existence. And you know what I do in these moments of weakness? Do I get out there, head held high, and take on the world? NO! Why, I crack open a bottle of wine (It’s 5:00pm somewhere!), crank up depressing Indie music, take a bubble bath, and put on my ugly cry face and bawl my eyes out all day in my pajamas. Bridget Jones style.
I grieve for the life I once knew and loved, I grieve for my formerly strong legs and bubble butt, I pine for rock climbing and mountain biking and dancing and surfing. I even miss the days when douchebags would hit on me in bars. And when I get in one of these funks, the last thing I want to hear is, “Oh, Tiffany, you’re the strongest person I know! Look how far you’ve come!” Yes, I do realize these things, but by God I just need a pity party every now and then without any interference!! (I try my best to avoid posting anything on Facebook during these times, naturally). And guess what? Voila! A few hours later (and in extreme cases, the next day) my puffy-eyed self rises up, gets out there, head held high, to take on the world!
I only have these extreme pity parties every month or two, if that, so this is not a cry for help; however, for some reason I had a few difficult moments while in Santa Teresa. This trip has been a huge learning experience for me, and I’m putting myself in situations that I usually try to avoid. In my past life, I loved everything about the beach, from surfing in the waves to swimming to jogging along the shore to playing beach volleyball in the sand, but the last few years I’ve stayed away from the beach because it’s a salty sandy reminder of things I can’t do. Watching the surfers = chronic lump in my throat. I can’t even go for a swim without asking someone to piggy-back me into the water. That feeling of being dependent and often left out, added to my poor big toe on the verge of death, sparked more than a few “Woe is meeeee” moments those two weeks.
Despite feeling like I was working through some of my beach issues, after two weeks (and on the heels of two straight days of rain), I left Santa Teresa on the 18th in search of less sadistic scenery.