Monday, July 25, 2011

Quepos to Osa

My stomach behaving a bit better (the chicken soup having worked its magic), and both of us anxious to move on, we headed south to Osa.  The Osa Peninsula is one of the least developed areas of CR, and the national parks here are known for being full of animals and rougher on tourists.  Osa is still on the Pacific, but the entire area is very isolated, and most of the peninsula is national park or wildlife refuge.  This is the southern most area on the Pacific side of CR, and there’s only a bit more land (on the mainland side) before one gets to Panama.

We swung into Puerto Jimenez, the town on the inland Golfo Dulce, in the mid-afternoon.  It took us a while to find a hotel (or cabinas, the Tican word for a rented room I guess) that we liked as well as felt was affordable – apparently there’s some motorcycle rally in town this weekend, and so the hotels and all are very full.  We have no idea if this motorcycle event is only for Osa, or if people came from all around for this – given the state of the road, half of which is unpaved rutted washboard gravel mess, it’s difficult to imagine a great many motorcyclists working their way over to Puerto Jimenez – but entirely possible.  There isn’t much to do here – Puerto Jimenez is a very small town on a muddy beach on a greenish gulf, the Golfo Dulce.  People fish, kayak, swim, hike, and ride around on motorcycles or ATVs – at least, that’s what we’ve seen.

But the coolest thing (as far as I’m concerned) are the macaws – big giant red (with yellow and blue accents), the macaws fly in from the forest, cawing and squawking and carrying on, to eat the almonds in the trees which are ripening up and down the shore.  So as we drove all around town, searching out an affordable and available room, we heard and saw scarlet macaws flying overhead, sitting in trees, chasing each other and eating almonds off the tree.  Wow!  They are huge, noisy, magnificent animals.  And of course they ignore all the people, and just seem focused on keeping each other from getting the best tree with the best almonds!
So – we’ve been in town for maybe 7 hours, and we already know the American daughter-in-law of our landlady; a Swiss couple we kept running into; and one (or the only?) town homeless guy drunk, who actually speaks English very well and who helped translate for us, and then asked us for spare change for coffee – we’ve run into him all over town, we say hi, he recognizes us.  Yup, we really have fit right in to Puerto Jimenez!

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