I’ve told one story about our honeymoon. Ah, the good ole pterodactyl. But I haven’t told the rest of the stories from that fateful vacation. No no no. I will have to break it down into 3 parts: “The Bat Cave: 1”, “The Bat Cave: 2”, and “The Moped”. Here is the first part, entitled “The Bat Cave: 1”.

Nate had had hernia surgery 4 weeks before our wedding, which basically left him decrepit and unable to work for an entire month– which didn’t matter, because he had gotten the hernia on a job which gave him workers’ compensation and he got lots of money for sitting around on the computer all day. So, what did he do with his time? Definitely didn’t help me put together fine details for the wedding, that’s fo’ sho’. He was more interested in the finer details of our honeymoon, though, so I barely knew anything of what was happening with that until we went.

He decided to take us to Costa Rica– the land of black beaches, tropical rain forests, inspiring latin food, and where you can do a lot of stuff for cheap. He found us this exotic 3-story bungalow that lay at the edge of the great rainforest, and was a short walking distance from a beach lagoon. It was owned by an American, who sounded nice enough, and only cost $300 for an entire week (which isn’t so, so cheap for Costa Rica, but is still quite inexpensive). It was in a quiet town, Cahuita, about 3 hours from the city with the airport.

We landed in San Jose, and took the bus out to Cahuita the next morning. I will skip the part about the sweet little bed and breakfast where the owner offered us pot. Really romantic. Next small adventure: What should have taken 3 hours ended up taking 9. On a hot bus. Thankfully, we chose the one without chickens in cages. You see, there is one main highway that runs across the country. On this day, all the taxi drivers of the country decided to strike, and created a blockade across a part of the highway so that absolutely no one could get across them. We went up to see them ourselves by taking about an hour walk away from our bus. I remember my reaction being really angry at them, and I actually considered walking up to them and saying, “Please stop this! I’m on my honeymoon!” which would have been a very rich American, white girl thing to say.

Eventually we arrived in Cahuita, very hot, very hungry, very tired. A man was supposed to meet us when we got there, but since we were so late, it took about an hour to get in touch with him to take us back to the bungalow. I remember pulling up to the bungalow for the first time… We pulled in through the gate, dodged a few renegade chickens, and avoided piles of burning wood as we drove up to the door. Nate looked at me and said, “Not that bad…” Oh, how very wrong he was.

First of all, it was not really a sound housing structure, but more of a very tall shanty. The walls were wooden slats nailed across support beams, but someone forgot to make sure they actually touched, and the slats had about 1/2 inch to 2 inches of space between them, depending on how drunk or un-drunk the builder was. The roof, made of tin, was approximately 1 foot away from the top slat. To be fair, this was a developing country, so we weren’t a expecting top-notch luxury building. The problem was that when you have as many holes in a place like this that sits on the edge of the rainforest, you encounter wildlife…lots and lots of wildlife. In fact, you don’t even have to venture into the jungle to experience it. You just sit back in your cozy little bungalow and battle the elements from there.

I looked at Nate. “Honey, dearest, love of my life… where exactly did you find this thing?” Smiled sweetly. We were on our honeymoon, after all.
“On craigslist, my little petunia blossom. It supposed to have a rain shower…” Which it did, outside. There was a shower that actually collected rain run-off from the infested roof and dropped into a shower-like edifice. He winced.

Upon further exploration of our deteriorating abode, we found a small kitchen filled with all the cooking utensils we could need (they were crawling with lizards, insects, and droppings of various small fauna), 3 bedrooms upstairs (each with its own beautiful beaded curtain instead of a doorway, mosquito net actually intended for use, and a trashcan filled with new sheets and towels), a bookshelf library (when opened, you couldn’t actually read the books, but you could see the tunnels made by termites galore), a bathroom that had mysterious globs of seeds sprinkled all over the sink basin, and a third floor which was really more like an attic.

As we walked through, I tried not to touch the wall in case my hand landed on a poisonous insect or lizard walking along the wall. At one point, Nate told me to duck just in time of me nearly brushing my hair against the biggest termite mound indoors I have ever seen. It should win an award or something.

Most people would have left. But we, priding ourselves on being rustic, and having pre-paid the entire week in advance, decided to stay. We had no idea what we were in for…

To be continued in “The Bat Cave: 2”.

A few upcoming attractions:

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Scary howler monkeys…if only you could hear them. They’re BIG, too.

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Pepsis wasp, also known as a Tarantula Hawk. Know why? It kills tarantulas and feeds them to its young. Also considered by many to have one of the most painful stings in the entire insect world.

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Those that disagree about the wasp causing the most pain think the Bullet Ant, an inch long ant, causes the most pain. “Bullet Ant” because getting bitten feels like you’ve been hit by a bullet. We encountered both.

And more… (I’m not joking or being dramatic, either. Well, okay, a bit dramatic, but entirely honest.)

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