Paradise by any other name would…

Hallo from Pookaverse.  As an antidote to the slush and ice. As services prolapse and the British way of life is further burdened by meteorological zealots. Take up arms fellow citizens of Albion. Drag them from their podiums. twist the clouds, lightening bolts and snowfall out of their palms. Spill their auto-cues over. Slap their faces. And where possible. Split their fecundity with a bright kick to their danglies. So that they will not breed. They must not breed. It is in your hands. Expiation. Expiation. EXPIATION!!!

The boat is boarded, cameras stowed and soon we will be flipping well off

The boat is boarded, cameras stowed and hopefully bloody-soon we will be flipping-well off

In this post.  Some photographs taken last weekend when Pookaverse visited Montezuma. It is on the Southernmost tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. And what could at best be described as a tropical beach side paradise. And at worst a gringo faux-enclave populated by crusty jugglers, deadbeat surfers, greasy dreadlocks by the pound and lives so charmed that only Satan herself could have granted.

Candidates for the location of IN-GEN's headquarters and principal dinosaur-boffing fun palace line up for a group photo

Candidates for the location of IN-GEN’s headquarters and principal dinosaur-boffing fun palace line up for a group photo

And tea. Yes that’s right. A box of 25 Twining’s tea bags imported all the way from blighty for £4.20.  Judging by the triple-dip recession that will be greeting Pookaverse on our return. A bargain. We will save you one or two.

The trip to Montezuma entails approximately 5 hours of travel from our home stay base in San Ramon where we go to work each morning on the 08:00 bus to Hilberto’s emerging pad.

...leaving the 'big bit' of Costa Rica behind...

…leaving the ‘big bit’ of Costa Rica behind…

First it is a bus to the coast. A journey of approximately 90 minutes winding down from this temperate mountain town to the seaside town of Puntarenas. Like Rhyll, North Wales with sun with the same loose collection of very unsavoury individuals, ne-er do-wells and swivel-eyed loiterers.

Don't let anyone ever tell you that being jiggled around like a big nancy for 5 hours isn't worth this view...

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that being jiggled around like a big nancy for 5 hours isn’t worth this view…

There was a temperature display on the coach. Westarted at 22 degrees and  gained 2 degrees for each 8km travelled – all 44 of them. Until it was 32 degrees. I

Observing bus station protocol (watch yourself) , Pookaverse, Ann and Jacob took the taxi to the ferry terminal for £2. And then boarded this car transporter for the 70 minute journey across the Gulf of Nicoya. The stretch of water that separates the Nicoya peninsular from the rest of Costa Rica. It’s either this or a 5-6 hour journey around the peninsular itself to St Theresa – another popular gringo resort – and then on to Montezuma.

Fortuitously a rather distasteful exercise regime had just ended and the view wobbled back into focus

Fortuitously a rather distasteful exercise regime had just ended and the view wobbled back into focus

From the ship it is possible to see islands and islets including San Lucas Island and about a dozen or so candidates for the fictional location of Isla Sorna – the fictional island setting of Michael Crichton’s ‘Jurassic Park’. Later substantiated by Steven Spielberg’s film of the same name.

Disembark at Paquera. Then another grueling 90-minute journey by over-crowded coach to Montezuma with the last 20km on dry dirt roads. For accommodation, Pookaverse splashed out a bit. Partly due to the availability of accommodation and the rueful acceptance that the hosteling days are long behind both hooms. Choosing to stay at the Hotel Luz de Mono or ‘Monkeyshine’.  The hotel is called this for good reason. Initially quiet as we went up the concrete ramp to our room set back into jungle and  after the temperature touched a bracing 34 degress at 2pm.

Alison braves the 'urbanised ' jungle and the surrogate aim of the Capuchin monkeys above...

Alison braves the ‘urbanised ‘ jungle and the surrogate aim of the Capuchin monkeys above…

Then at about 6pm as it starts to get dark here the smaller white-faced- Capuchin monkeys start to make their way out of the trees. Playing, sometimes fighting and occasionally pooing on the unwary. Though not much evidence of the infamous poo-flinging reserved for terrified visitors to the monkey house’s of the world’s zoos. An act with a universal translation.

The howler monkeys kicked off shortly afterwards. Invisible amongst the higher branches. What to describe? Not so much a howl as a long, loud baying grunt. Not really simian. More human in origin. Almost as if Andy Serkis himself was loping up and down the high branches. A human interpretation of a monkey grunt at maximum volume. Maybe he had a PA? Maybe some poo. Something to be investigated later. Or just left well alone.

Where Pookaverse went to hide from Andy Serkis and his 'accomplished' baying...

Where Pookaverse went to hide from Andy Serkis and his ‘accomplished’ baying…

Central Montezuma itself can be walked in under two minutes. It does appear to be idyllic in most respects. If you want the beach by day and a choice of three bars and 8 restaurants by night. A supermarket. A gourmet ice-cream parlour that was breathtakingly air-conditioned and breathtakingly priced.

2 supermarkets and numerous ‘high-end’ shops to seperate dollars from the American and Canadian travellers in the majority who were based in and around Montezuma. One such Canadian couple gave Pookaverse the MO on Cuba where Pookaverse will be visiting from 07 February for 14 days. Tales of impoverishment and improvisation. However. That’s in two weeks and not for now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On the way to Montezuma Falls…could be the opening verse of a song….

Perhaps Canadians are the nicest people in the world? Except for French Canadians who have proven both touchy and foul on this trip. Our Canadian friends whispered in agreement. Cuba, or at least Valadero in Cuba is a magnet for them apparently. We either stand corrected on this point or will take pictures. You can’t have both.

On Sunday we laboured over a rocky river bed in flip-flops with Ann and Jacob to go to Momtezuma’s premier attraction – Montezuma Falls. A three-tiered natural waterfall that promised a spectacle and a cool dip. The promise was kept on arrival. Before 10am. Before the ‘crowds’ of Gringos and Ticos that descended on the site shortly after we arrived. A jungle dip? Nothing quite like it.

The splendid bottom tier of the Montezuma Falls... the water is as good as it looks when it is 30 degrees

The splendid bottom tier of the Montezuma Falls… the water is as good as it looks when it is 30 degrees

Then back to the main beach to take on the slightly tall and scary waves. Simple fun costs nothing. Just as watching the large flock of brown pelicans in formation overhead, diving like kamikazes for fish or skimming the surface of the water in line formation with such agile, nonchalant grace that seems impossible for such an ungainly and ,well ‘prehistoric-looking’ bird. Montezuma also has a leatherback turtle sanctuary where periodically the staff and volunteers place a baby turtle at the top of the beach for the tourists.

Ann takes a picture before taking a dip at Montezuma Falls

Ann takes a picture before taking a dip at Montezuma Falls

We learnt that this dash to the ocean must be recreated for nature’s sake. Even thought for this fortunate soul, none of the usual predators stood by. And if they did would probably be killed on sight. Such would be the outrage. The will of the assembled to see justice done.

Pookaverse stood for 45 minutes watching this struggle in miniature as the volunteers raked the sand in front of the creature to encourage the right texture. As it flailed its way to the ocean. Between the 40-strong honour-guard of tanned walking cameras, ipads and mobile phones.

The red-headed water sprite of the forgotten oubliette attempts to lure another unfortunate to their solitary dismemberment

The red-headed water sprite of the forgotten oubliette attempts to lure another unfortunate to their solitary dismemberment

 

It seemed a private moment made somehow vulgar. And a relief when at the surf-line. Knocked back twice. This tiny, floundering creature disappeared in a wash of glistening foam and out into a vastness difficult beyond sound or sight.

Last week at the building site this week. Pictures to follow. And. Pookaverse will of course let you know what happens next.

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5 Responses to “Paradise by any other name would…”

  1. Terri and Andrew Says:

    Seeing those pictures I feel a song coming on, ‘From the shores of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli … Looks really lovely, I’m sure the weekend away was worth all your hard labours!! Love to you both. Andrew, and an at work Terri!!

    • pookaverse Says:

      Ah Yes. The first two lines from the US Marine Core’s Anthem. Incidently when I have had a bit of time on my hands, that second line …”the shore of Tripoli” always baffled me.

      After a little research that line relates to the 1st (1801-1805) and 2nd (1814) Barbary War between the USA and ..(drum roll)…Islam.

      Or more specifically the former Barbary States of North Africa that included Libya. It was the first war that America fought following the American War of Independence by then President Thomas Jefferson.

      An attempt to stop raids on American shipping and the enforced slavery of over 500,000 Europeans under the tenets of the Qur’an by the Caliphate of this former Muslim Empire.

      Check it out on Wiki. Keep warm, rohan

  2. jose Says:

    What a fantastic part of the world, paradise indeed plus the leather back turtles, a well deserved break for the four of you xxx

  3. Rach Says:

    Wow what a beautiful part of the world – absolute paradise. BTW Extra Kudos for the “Expiation” outburst – I LOVE the MIST – definitely our lord Stephen Kings most frightening Movie adaptation.
    Missing you both very much.
    Mum mentioned that you would like to stay with us when you get back – thats absolutely fine we would love to have you over. Charlotte stays on a Friday and Saturday night, but thats no problem as we have sorted the Office out to accommodate a Lux Double AirBed that we have. So if you don’t mind moving rooms on Fri and Sat we’re sorted.Very excited about having you home!!!!!!
    Charlotte will love having you around and getting to know you properly – she such a lovely girl and my little pickle 🙂
    Let me know the day you’re coming home and I will collect you from airport/Station/Teleport Pod or wherever you emerge from.
    Massive love and hugs to you both
    Rach & Brian

  4. Anne Says:

    Hello – just touching base – last effort was rejected by the computer (a couple of weeks ago) so I have been grumping about in high dudgeon ever since!!! We are still thinking of you – Hilary, Jan & I met up for squash & chocolate only yesterday and were looking forward to your return. Will post this and then will try a longer one later (I think I whittered on too much last time and it timed me out!!)

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