Saturday, March 24, 2012 – Transfer to Brigitte Cahuita

Once again woke up to the circadian rhythms of Costa Rica before the alarm even went off, down to breakfast by 6:30, back up to the room and packed up, ready to go by the time our van arrived about 10 minutes late for our 7:30 pickup time. The driver took us to another hotel in downtown San Jose and left us, telling us there was a connection that would be there in about 20 minutes, and true to his word, Guillermo arrived in another van full of people to take us to Cahuita. One family was from near where I was born, the other was two women from Arizona on their way to a Yoga/guru conference. We chatted comfortably, and at times I did my best to engage Guillermo, who I think thought I understood Spanish much better than I did, though I did feel like I was getting 20-30 percent of what he was saying. I kept asking carefully planned questions, which I think he appreciated, then did my best to listen carefully to as much of the answer as I could understand. It was a good exercise for me, and I think he was pleased to be able to show his pride for his country, so it worked out despite the fact I didn’t understand everything. The terrain completely changed as we crossed over the mountains. Suddenly everything was a verdant green, with large foliage everywhere, rain forest style. We stopped once for about 20 minutes halfway through the trip for coffee and snacks before heading out again. We passed millions and millions of bananas and pineapples in plantations, and there is a major port at Limon with stacks and stacks of containers waiting to be shipped, and caught a glimpse of a huge cruise ship sitting in port. It was there we caught first sight of the Mer Caribe, or Caribbean Sea, which we followed for some time afterward. We finally arrived at Brigitte Cahuita around 12:30, and were met by Brigitte herself, who escorted us to our cabin and gave us a tour of the place. The cabin was small, with no furniture other than the bed, which was fairly comfortable, and covered by mosquito netting, as the windows had no screens. The bathroom was fully tiled and the shower good-sized, but the towels were old and thin and had a sort of dank smell to them, that was really the most unpleasant thing. Well, that and the fact that there is no real sewer system here, so we’re not allowed to put paper of any kind in the toilet, so there is a wastebasket next to it for used paper, which is taken away daily (well, almost daily, as the maid had the day off our first night there.) That took a little getting used to. But there was a nice tiled patio with some plastic chairs and a table, as well as a hammock, so it was reasonably pleasant, certainly no hotter than the west coast, and the coolness of the large vegetation of the jungle kept is feeling cooler. It turns out the horses are just outside our cabina window, though at night they are taken to a large pasture somewhere, then brought back in the morning. These seem to be the most fit horses we have seen so far. There were only two in the paddock (the rest were out on a tour), and they were bright-eyed and attentive, and seemed to respond immediately to the attention we gave them, unlike many of the previous horses we’ve seen, which seemed dull-eyed and disinterested. Shortly thereafter, the tour returned, and we found the same to be true of those horses, small but not as skinny as some we’ve seen, and bright-eyed and interested in what was going on, a refreshing change! Can’t wait to see how they respond under saddle tomorrow! Once we greeted the horses, we walked into town, about a 15 minute walk, where we bought a couple of T-shirts for Roy and some other trinkets we needed, then stopped at a local tavern for a fresh mango margarita, which was delicious! As we sat on the deck, a vaquero came by leading a small pack of horses, including one baby colt trailing behind. We thought they might be going to Brigitte’s but we later learned they were her competition, which surprised us that this tiny town had room for two horse trail competitors. She was generous enough to say that there was enough business for everyone and we left it at that. After having a drink on our little patio, we walked down the short street to the Reggae bar for dinner (there are two clubs at the end of Brigitte’s road, so the sound of music is omnipresent until closing time). Though they screwed up my order (they gave me rice instead of pasta with my shrimp), Hubby’s fish (still on the bone) was delicious, and I helped him with it a bit. Back to the cabina, off the bed early under a spray of mosquito netting… Hey, it’s dark, what else is there to do? (pix to come)

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