(January 2014) Montezuma, Costa Rica
After the fun of open mic night, I woke up feeling excited for another day in magical Montezuma. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that I loved so much about this place already; the ease of making new friends, the delicious (and healthy) food, the glorious sunshine? Perhaps it was a combination of all three but I just felt so relaxed and at ease after just 24 hours.
That day, after waking early for breakfast, Jonathan and I headed down to town to Cocozuma tours where we met Douglas’ girlfriend Daniela who would be joining us on the boat tour that day. We’d been told to arrive for 9:15am, although sadly no one told us of the fact that 9:15am in ‘Tico time’ is anything but. So we stood waiting around the shop, glancing around at the others who would be joining us on the trip.
A cute brown-haired boy caught my attention a little more than the others, and I couldn’t help but think that perhaps a little flirtation would be fun for my final week in the sun? But when we finally climbed on board the boat, I spotted the beautiful brunette who was accompanying him and thought better of it.
As the boat took off, I soon forgot about the cute boy as I chatted away to Daniela and the two Italian girls sitting next to us. 45 minutes passed in a blur and soon we were all donning our snorkeling gear, ready to explore the depths below. It was Daniela’s first time snorkeling so I taught her the old ‘spit in your mask’ trick (to stop it getting steamed up – for anyone who doesn’t already know!) and we headed off into the turquoise water.
Once Daniela had got the hang of it, I swam off to explore further afield, hoping the visibility would improve as I edged away from the crowds. Sadly it didn’t and the snorkeling wasn’t really anything to write home about but I enjoyed the swim all the same and, once back on board, I realised I’d worked up quite an appetite.
Earlier on we’d been sat under a canopy to protect us from the sun but now that I’d been for a swim, I edged my way to the top of the boat to dry off in the midday sun. As we cracked open the beers and relaxed on deck, Slavi (the cute Israeli boy I’d spotted earlier) soon appeared and as we began to laugh about some joke he’d made, I started to wonder if the brunette really was his girlfriend.
Soon we’d arrived at Isla Tortuga and it was time to dine on seafood curry, more beers and fresh fruit platters. Once suitably sated, we headed to the beach for some sunbathing. As is typical for me, it took little over 30 minutes to get bored and I was soon eyeing the island across from us, wondering if it would be too far to swim over.
When I mentioned this to Jonathan, he suggested we try and with the afternoon to kill, I figured, why not? and we set off from the beach. Halfway across, feeling breathless and heavy limbed, I quickly regretted my decision but when we eventually hit the shore on the other side, I couldn’t help but feel a strange sense of accomplishment. A quick duck around the caves and we soon realised that our beach was in fact better and set back off on our return swim. Thankfully the current wasn’t against us this time and the race back was a little easier.
Once back on dry land, it was soon time to board the boat for our trip back to Montezuma. This time, instead of chatting away, I sat silently enjoying the view and relaxing after the afternoon’s exertion. Our eyes were also peeled for the dolphins we’d been promised to see on the way back. When the boat stopped and we spotted some fins in the distance, we all scrambled to the front of the boat to get a closer look but we needn’t have bothered as soon the dolphins were keen to play and had surrounded us.
No matter how often I see these amazing creatures up close, it still amazes me every time and when we finally sped off into the setting sun, a smile was firmly fixed across my face.
That night, we headed to Puggo’s for dinner but it seemed that half of the town had had the same idea and so we settled for dinner at Organico, which was (almost) as delicious . That night, I talked about my love of yoga and how I’m thinking about training as a teacher next year so naturally, we organised a class on the beach the next morning.
Yoga on the beach
As I was soon realising in Montezuma, nothing happens with any kind of speed and so, a morning yoga class was in fact a little ambitious. By the time I’d eventually rounded up the troops it was approaching 11:30am and the peak rays of the day were beaming down on us as we moved from tree pose to camel and eventually gave up, running into the sea to cool off.
Feeling all healthy and zen-like, we headed back to our favourite hangout, The Greenhouse, for Douglas’ special smoothie of the day, followed by freshly made sushi from Puggo’s. As we returned to the hammocks at the back of the smoothie bar, the afternoon’s plans evaporated away.
We whiled away the afternoon chatting and laughing. By now I’d told Gemma about the cute Israeli guy and so were kept sneaking the occasional glance over the road at the Downtown Hostel where Slavi was staying. It seemed he had spotted us too as he looked over to check we were watching in between his daily workout routine of press-ups and pull-ups on the hostel’s beams.
The one thing Montezuma is missing…
Evening arrived, so Gemma, Jonathan, Anders and I headed down to Puggo’s for dinner. Once we’d had a glass or two of wine, Gemma and I were keen for a dance, but that’s the only problem with Montezuma…no night-life! Well, that’s perhaps not fair, the open mic night and live music scene is great but everything seems to come to a crashing halt at 10pm, which is generally fine by me but when you’re in the mood to party, not so much.
We took a stroll around town and as we passed the Downtown Hostel, Slavi called us in to join him and his friends for a drink. It soon transpired that the beautiful brunette was in fact just a friend and as the beers flowed, the flirting began and it soon became apparent that blondes are much more his type.
The next thing I knew it was 1:30am and time to head home to bed. Slavi kindly offered to walk me home and as we strolled back along the beach, I couldn’t help but notice the amount of stars in the sky, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many! I turned to say as much but stopped and smiled, clearly it was time for a goodnight kiss. Sadly, he was due to leave the next day and so after dropping me at my hostel, we waved goodbye.
The Costa Rican adventure was almost coming to an end, but there were still a few surprises left in store…