Vacationing on the Osa Peninsula In Costa Rica is a fantastic idea. Staying in a resort such as Blue Osa guarantees idyllic experiences all around. Living in the jungle on your own on the other hand, is a little tougher, although still rewarding.
But let’s face it, when trying to make a living in Matapalo on my own I’m left to deal with certain aspects of life that you don’t concern with at a resort.
Here’s my typical day so far since I’ve gotten here.
Keep in mind October is one of the rainier months here in Costa Rica. Tourism tends to be slower which means less jobs,marvelously empty beaches and roads, lush and green vegetation, and it does rain more often (daily).
5am Wake up by howler monkeys from nearby tree and by noise of something being thrown on the roof (metal roof=noise amplified by 80%).
5.30am Stumble out of bed, look outside the bedroom deck (no walls), notice the rain has ended and take a deep, humid breath. Monkey poop. That’s what was being thrown on the roof. And pieces of branches and leaves too.
5:45am Notice some exotic turkey-look alike birds taking over the yard. Find out they are called curaçao.
6am Wipe the kitchen counters to clean gekko poops before breakfast. Sweep the floors covered in leaves from previous night’s wind and heavy rain. Prep juicy papaya, plain white yogurt, honey and granola. Turn on wifi, send emails and read the news from La Stampa before the rest of Costa Rica tries to do the same.
7am Loding….loading……connection lost.
7:15am Brush my teeth in the kitchen sink because bathroom sink is broken.
7.30am Check clothes hanging to dry from the night before. They are still wet. Poufy clouds of mold are starting to grow on the wetter spots. Landry desperately needed.
7.45am Trouble shoot one of the following:
a) I forgot bananas outside the pantry last night and the fruit bats feasted on them leaving even more poop and scraps all over the kitchen.
b) We ran out of gas for the stove or gas for the fridge (separte units)
c) Water isn’t running because the big generator (not the small one, which is charged by the big one, but only sometimes, even though the small one can’t run the water) hasn’t been turned on in days.
d) We ran out of gasoline for the small generator so we have to call Jose’s cousin’s brother’s nephew who we heard in 2 days (which will be more like 6 days) is making his way here from Puerto Jimenez and see if he can bring us a tank.
8am Brief cold shower (chilly!), open luggage where clothes are stored to protect from humidity and sacrifice an item of clothing knowing that after the mud, the rain and humidity it will never look the same. Shake it for scorpions, re-close luggage. Empty rain boots, one more scorpion/cockroach check, head out the door.
9am Get on bike and head towards Blue Osa. (Soon I will be heading to teach yoga lessons, but for now I still have more free time since It’s low season). Cross the river(s) that have formed overnight and prey I won’t get water in my boots. I get water in my boots. Cows watch unimpressed. Ride on the most beautiful, empty, lush, green dirt road. Smell the fragrant scent of llang llang and forget about all my worries.
9:45am Arrive at Blue Osa. Enter paradise. Dry rainboots in sun. Greet smiling faces, enjoy the best internet connection in the area, eat healthy food made with care, laugh with staff, pet puppies and kittens.
12pm Head back to Matapalo. It’s high tide. Make my way to the beach for a paddle boarding session. The water is crystalline clear, I’m swimming like a dolphin, there’s hardly anyone in the water and I see a flock of turtles passing by.
12.30pm Spy a fat coati climb a tree. Notice the dog wants to fight it and remember coatis are vicious even though they look like teddybears. Prey the dog doesn’t die. Find out from locals that grilled coati is delicious.
12:35pm The dog spots a lora on a branch (green exotic parrot) and jumps for it. It grabs the squawing parrot in its mouth and walks away with it. Upon intervention the bird is freed and the dog is sent home in punishment. (Okay this happened only once, but the dog tries to do it every day).
1pm Snack. Avocado toast. Toast bread in a pan (no toaster), add avocado. Clean up immediately to prevent ant invasion. I hear the generator is on. Rush to charge phone, computer and electric toothbrush (yes, I know, I know)
2pm Collect laundry,(washing machine is broken), shove in backpack, get on motorcycle, head to friend’s solar powered house that does not need generator. Wash clothes, lay them on grass to dry and pray for sun. Stop by neighbor and be offered coffee and sweet bread.
3pm Time for a run or yoga. Either one or the other. No time for both as I have one and a half hour before dark. I opt for a run today. Dog in tow and bug spray abounds. Sweat starts dribbling before I get out the door. Tip toe fearfully by mean cows (bulls?), and wave to the cheerful Costa Rican workers who, piled in a truck heading home from work, are whistling and calling. Hear a toucan and observe several macaw parrots argue on the almendra tree.
3:45pm Come home and find the cat sleeping on the table on my Trader Joe’s San Francisco bag. He’s looking guilty as charged. Something smells funny in the house and vultures are circling nearby. Señor cat probably left a little gift somewhere, but I’ll worry about that later.
4pm Notice a spider monkey with its baby right in front of me on the deck. The mom is picking fleas off the baby and then patting the baby on its head and belly. They see me stare and reply back with mocking faces before they leave swingingly on branches.
4.30pm Almost sunset. Head to the beach for a quick surf-watch session. Read a story from my current book, Mujeres de Ojos Grandes by Angeles Mastretta. Admire sunset, if I’m lucky get handed a coconut to sip by my jungle boyfriend.
5pm Head back, jump in the pool. Do crunches off the side of the pool, (50 straight, 50 sideways) relax. It’s starting to dribble.
5.15pm Collect shower items and head to the warm shower on nearby property. Gloriously shower outdoors under the rain.
5.30pm Rush back (watch for snakes) before it’s pitch dark and organize all my clothes. Protect everything from the rain. Postpone turning on the lights to avoid potential bug attack.
5:45pm Feed the dog and elevate the bowl so the giant toads who roam the night don’t go sitting in his food.
6pm Dinner prep. Wipe the kitchen counters again. Sweep the floor again. Cook rice, lentils and patacones. Drink juice or water. Live in fear of cicada, grasshopper, or cockroaches invading my personal space or even worse my plate. (no walls in the house means endless attack possibilities). Watch a gekko devour a dragonfly on the ceiling.
7pm Unsuccessfully try to connect to wifi and text my friends who I miss like crazy and wish I could just call.
7:15pm Sending, sending…unable to send.
7.30pm Get ready for bed by use of flashlight only (the more lights, the more bugs). Apply lavender lotion for better sleep and thyme for good dreams. Shake sheets and blankets for scorpion check.
8pm Rain has gotten loud; it’s impossible to hear. It’s chilly outside (which also means inside) and perfect to get wrapped in a cozy blanket. Time for bed, good night!