back across a choppy gulf
Sunday, February 10 2019
location: Casa Trogon, Agua Vista Lodging, Montezuma, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
I got up in the night at some point and went into the shower. There I saw a thin stream of large ants (looking just slightly smaller than the typical large black ant we have on the East Coast of North America). I've seen streams of army ants in the past, and that might've been what these were. They were coming over the riverstone wall that defines the backend of the shower (the gap over this wall is large and a jaguar or a human could go from the jungle into the shower if they wanted to). What was odd was the ants were then going down the shower drain. What were they up? I needed the shower for something, but I didn't want to disturb the ants. So I only used a tiny amount of water and left. But the water that I released was enough to disturb whatever plan the ants had developed; later when I returned, I saw the ants massed around the drain, seemingly confused. By dawn there was no sign of the ants at all.
One of the reasons I kept getting up was that strong winds blew all night, causing loud bangs and clunks, making me worry that perhaps a tree had fallen on the SUV or something (though I never found the source of any of these noises).
The original plan was for Gretchen to arrive at the dock in downtown Montezuma at around 11:00am this morning after crossing the Gulf of Nicoya. But last night's strong winds had made the gulf so choppy that the ferry was to be redirected to a more sheltered port further north (up near Tambor Beach), meaning Gretchen wouldn't be getting in until sometime this afternoon, and she'd be arriving by shuttle, which could drop her off on the main road at the Agua Vista access road (and she could walk from there).
Today I happened to notice a long scratch and even a small dent in the fiberglass of the previously-pristine rear bumper of the white Suzuki SUV we're renting. That vehicle had been brand new when we set off with it, already it's showing signs of wear. I don't know if this constitutes normal wear & tear (which, let's be honest, must be more extreme in Costa Rica than in other places) or if we're going to be charged for this. I also don't know how the damage happened. I know I didn't do it and I also know Gretchen has a reputation for backing into things. But it's most likely that some idiot in a four wheeler or on a motorbike ran into it when it was parked along one of Montezuma's narrow streets. You may think me overly anxious about things like driving in congested conditions (I know Gretchen does), but then shit like this happens, and it's hard to not be anxious.
With nothing much scheduled for the day, I watched more movies, mostly most of American Beauty, which I'd last watched a long time ago. My Chris Watts obsession has me fascinated with the menace of suburbia, although American Beauty is something of a comedy in comparison.
When Gretchen came home, she told me all about her adventures across the Gulf of Nicoya. She'd gone on a tour with only four other people of Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, where she'd seen toucans, a baby sloth, squirrel monkeys, a tree frog, a nesting nightjar (not easy to see!) and four or five different species of lizard. The guide had been very helpful, even taking pictures of creatures on peoples' smartphones through his birding telescope. Gretchen said that conditions on that side of the gulf are much more developed, so the beaches aren't as nice. Also, she'd somehow managed to lose her sunglasses on one of the beaches over there. But the hotel where she'd stayed had had a pool, and for dinner she'd had a typical vegetarian casado, which is the meal that comes with plantains, cooked vegetables, beans, rice, and salad (she'd said to please hold the avocado).
This evening a large group of white-faced capuchin monkeys came swinging through the trees of Agua Vista, their little old-man caucasoid faces and spoiled blond rich-kid coifs firmly in the uncanny valley. They were moving too fast for me to get a good picture, but Gretchen and saw some amazing acrobatics.
For whatever reason we didn't even bother making dinner tonight. I was full from a luppertime sandwich and Gretchen wasn't particularly hungry.
A baby sloth, picture taken by Gretchen yesterday in Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.
A nesting nightjar (referred to by the guide as a "parakeet" for some reason), picture taken by Gretchen yesterday in Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.
A huge cricket-like creature that appeared on a rafter today. The antennæ alone are four inches long.
The kitchen's resident gecko, whom we have named Steve. He likes to hide behind a picture and cluck very loudly after the sun goes down and around the time when it comes back up again.
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