Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 5 & 6 - Travel and Fishing

I hadn't planned on making much of a comment about our travel day because other than driving 6 hours from Cahuita on the Caribbean side to the central area of Nuevo Arenal, I didn't think there'd be much to say. This day however was a test in patience. The drive began at 8:00am but the test began about 1 1/2 hours out of Cahuita on route 32 when the traffic was completely stopped. When I say stopped, I mean that on this little one lane each way, main road between central points of the country, cars were turned off, people were out of their cars, and locals were riding by on their bikes selling hielo (pops) and papas fritas (potato chips). Policia drove by, ambulancia drove by, a tow-truck and a flat bed truck drove by and we sat in the same spot for nearly 90 minutes. When we began moving it was ever so slowly over the last 40km of route 32. Aside from just sitting there, I was also concerned as the arrival time of our destination on the GPS getting creeping later and later. The advice in CR is not drive at night as some roads are not too good and potholes seem to come out of nowhere and the road to our hotel was just washed out a week ago so I knew we would not be attempting that in the dark which quickly comes about 5:30. So what started as a 1:30 arrival was soon at 3:00, then 3:30 then 4:00 and we haven't had a bathroom or food break yet...yikes! Finally off the 32, there is a break from gridlock and we start to move smoother. We never did see a point indicating where there was an accident but we did see the tow-truck and the flat-bed on the side of the road, not assisting any vehicle??? For convenience sake, we spot a Burger King, which doesn't sell burgers but only chicken items and we get something to go, use the bathroom and get back on the road. Our arrival time is now about 4:20 and we feel good about that, until that is, we find ourselves behind the damn slow pineapple truck!!!! While you can pass, you have to pick your spots because the road is curvey and the pass areas are not always frequent. Finally we are past him, smooth sailing for awhile and our destination time is 4:45.........but it is not over yet, there is one more pineapple truck to conquer and then we master the curvey road around Lake Arenal to the Gingerbread Boutique just about 5:00....whew.
We do drive into town which is just a few minutes down the road and have a pizza at Moya's which is very good and just enough. We head back to our room, relax and watch the Sox win game 5.
The next day we wake up just after 5:00 to go fishing on the lake with Captain Ron. The day is nice, there is a cool breeze most of the morning and while it rains slightly in the morning, it is not cold at all. Fishing is a bit tough but I do get a couple of machaca to the boat and one guapote ties me up around a tree stump and we eventually have to cut the line and let him go...damn, he felt like a good one too. Dave has a much tougher time. He has several fish hit at his bait but none of them seem to really take it and hang on so for most of the morning he is playing hit and run with the fish. I do get one small guapote in the boat and I think it is the only picture we got all morning too. Just towards the end Dave gets a couple of really good hits and actually brings in a couple of machaca, one that gets off just at the boat and one that jumps in the boat. While not a ton of fish, it was a great morning to be on the water and Captain Ron is a great guide and person, it was great getting to know him and we loved the banana bread that his neighbor made...yummy.
For lunch we go to Tom's German Bakery and get sandwiches that are as big as our heads and filled with everything from lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots, red peppers and corn. Dave's is ham and cheese while I get the bratwurst, all on freshly baked bread. Good thing it is early or we wouldn't have any room for dinner later!
This afternoon we walked around the small town, went in some stores to see what type of things they have and what the costs are. Trying to get a comparison when I realize that I don't know how much a spigot would cost me at home so how do I know if 5,000 colones is too much? Still, we can tell that some things are comparable, some a bit more and many more are less expensive so one could,d probably get by much cheaper here. Besides, it is obvious that people here are not yet possession obsessed as we are in the states. I wonder if I will be able to change my habits?
Dinner was at our hotel and our host Eyal is known for his cuisine and we are not disappointed. We start with the blackened tuna salad and the mussels appetizers and both were more than enough to sufficiently fill us so we opt to share a dessert and we are done. The salad is a mound of freshness with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, peppers, onions, yucca all topped with the blackened tuna, sesame seeds and an amazing light dressing. I have never had a salad that tasted so good or left me more satisfied. Maybe next time we'll actually get to the entrees which looked amazing as well.
For tonight we need to get some sleep as tomorrow we have a big day planned at he hanging bridges and the hot springs!!!!

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