Saturday, June 9, 2012
Yes, I know I am writing this on July 19--40 days later. But I am still on the Pacific coast, just a little further up the coast. At 45oN, to be precise (in Oregon). But I need to finish the travelogue before I forget the last trip in the excitement of the current.
I wake up and make coffee in my room. Eat a little something in my room and check email and Facebook. Gather my mask, but leave my camera behind. I figure I've taken the photos I can from the deck of the boat on previous dive days. Walk down to the beach.
The familiar boat meets me but with a new divemaster. Also, a new diver. He is French and new to diving. We head north a bit to a new dive site, for me. It is in a cove half-way to Monkey Head. I am comfortable and gear up and go in while the divemaster helps the new diver. This dive site has terrible visibility--maybe 5 meters. Maybe less. Still, any dive is good and we see a few fish.
For the second dive, we go back to the Tortugas dive site right out front of Coco. Better visibility, by far. Nice dive. Highlight was a sea turtle that let us watch him for several minutes, and a pair of white-tipped reef sharks that also tolerated our watching them for many minutes. I really wanted my underwater camera! I could have taken some good shots of each. Visibility was good, and they were shallow enough for natural light.
We went back to the beach. I walked back up the block and a half to the hotel and showered. I checked email and Facebook, then walked to the dive shop in town to pay my dive bill with a credit card. I walked about town a little, then took a nap back at the hotel.
I walk down to the beach to take photos of the sunset and to eat dinner. I find I am craving company and so go wherever there are people. Especially female people.
I chat with retired men from the U.S. who live in Coco. They like it, and find it affordable. One man, from Colorado, says he lives on US$1800/month. He paid cash for a condo he bought after selling his home in Denver (pre-real estate crash). No car. Rarely travels back to the U.S. Basically happy, and has made friends in Coco. He budgets for three visits with a prostitute per week.
About 10 pm, I went out on the town. Saturday night is the big party night in Coco. The previous Saturday, I had just arrived after a long day of travel and so turned in early. This was my last Saturday night and I wanted to see and experience it all.
I went to one packed night club and met a very, very friendly lady. She made me an offer to do amazing things for just US$100. Mind you, the world's oldest profession is legal and regulated in Costa Rica. Arguably, I should have taken her up on the proposition and chalked it up to "research" on an economically important part of the tourism industry.
Instead I fled in terror to the nightclub across the street. Where I promptly ran into a pair (two!) ladies offering a package deal. Wow! I said, uh, lets just dance. So, I danced with the ladies. Then the lady from the nightclub across the street saw me (remember, I am very tall and so literally stand, or rather dance, a head above everybody else on the floor) and joined our threesome. So now I'm dancing with three well-dressed ladies. There is a pole in the center of the dance floor and soon I have dance partners above me, next to me, and below me. I am not much of a dancer but am having a rather jolly time.
So, do I continue the research? No! I run fleeing into the night. I'm sure the long-suffering wife back home is relieved that I sleep alone, yet again.