August 4th, 2004

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(no subject)

35 class 3-4 rapids over 30 kilometers. rio pacuare was the perfect climax to the trip. alternately floating and paddling like mad through primary growth forests and past beautiful waterfalls, broken only by a sumptuous lunch on a beach in the heart of it all. it was exhilarating, inspiring, and exhausting. now i am ready to come home. today i have visited the museo de jade, an immense collection of artifacts from the region that also featured spectacular 11th floor views of san jose. an added attraction was a neat, state of the art elevator. you punch in the floor you want, instead of just up or down, and then the elevator arrives already programmed to stop there. i also stoppedat costa rica's first photography museum, small, but with an impressive collection. now lunch and then maybe some shopping. tomorrow i get up painfully early to go to the airport.

ciao!
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random thoughts,memories, and observations that may not have made it into earlier posts

walking in san jose reminded me of new york. everyone faster than everyone else, except the tourists. walking against the light when there is an opening. street vendors and newsstands everywhere.

the gentle, warm rain that fell during the raft trip.

muchas ticas muy bonitas. (en costa rica, los caballeros y damas se llaman ticos y ticas)

one of the capuchin monkeys in the group i saw in cahuita was somehow diseased, with scabs on its mouth. sad and a bit gruesome.

the extreme poverty of cahuita and other parts of costa rica virtually unmarred by desperation. people seemed content and happy except to a small degree in san jose. there was none of the frenetic rush to sell you something, anything that i have seen so often in mexico.

the evidence of the former wealth of the country in its architecture.

vultures are the pigeons of cahuita, bouncing ungainly around from scrap to scrap.

crabs everywhere on the beaches,scurrying to their holes at the slightest movement.

advertisements for the upcoming election on nearly every telephone pole.

internet services everywhere, no matter how rural.

when it rains in san jose, everyone crowds under the overhangs on each side of the street and watches until it stops, except the occasional turisto loco such as myself.

the burger king internacionale, which is a whopper with a tostada between the meat and the lettuce. no i didn't.

almost everyone who asked me for money on the street was american.

it is considered rude in costa rica to bring the check without being asked. i just found this out today.
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and...

the excited squeals of children feeding pigeons in the park. thousands of the birds carpet the ground every lunch hour, and vendors sell popcorn to feed them. they are even more fearless than our own, landing on arms, heads, and hands to get their share.

a jade and turquoise colored cicada with heiroglyphic swirls on its head joining the deafening chorus of flirtation along the pacuare river.

brief friendships with people from canada, holland, sweden, the US of course, and england, as well as the many articulate and humorous guides who made me feel a bit less lost in an alien land.

sleeping under a mosquito net for the first time.

learning to type on a keyboard designed for english, but programmed for spanish. (nothing is where you expect)

the rest, i think, will be in the photos when i get back. i´m ready for dry air again, as well as the beautiful woman who will be meeting me at the airport.