World View Fuckin’ Scenic

Yes, it took me 90 days to post this. So what? Just get in the time machine of your mind and pretend its October 2021. You know, that cozy place between Delta and Omicron when nothing hurt and everything was beautiful. I know I’m pretending, because I was in nation with no military since 1986 and no civil war since 1948.

Currently, Costa Rica does not require any foreign visitors to present a negative Covid test to gain entry into the country. Unvaccinated tourists must purchase health insurance upon arrival to cover potential medical bills and quarantine lodging. Cymande’s Mighty Heavy Load floods my aurals as this old stinky bus rolls toward Arenal National Park. Everyone is wearing un mascarilla. Everyone is. Maybe 1 in 100 people I’ve seen in the capital city of San José wasn’t — with another 1 in 50 wearing one below their nose. Apparently it ain’t no thang but a pollo wing here. I’ve read it’s currently about a 65% vaccination rate amongst citizens; there’s no anti-mask nor anti-vax parades here. There’s also no shaming of anyone’s thoughts on the subject, since it seems no one feels the need to voice anything about it. Most everywhere I go there’s a recently installed foot-pedal-operated sink (or hand sanitizer) outside of the front door which must be used before entering. One has to wear a mask practically everywhere inside — unless you’re eating or drinking — and it seems like business as usual. No big deal, im pretty sure only Americans are comfortable enough to make the smallest little thing an outrageous violation of our lives. This primary research on Earth outside of the US of America is gravy on my experience; something I’ve missed for too long. “Million dollar feeling!” Con Funk Shun’s Too Tight proclaims.

Costa Rican bus rides amount to opening windows due to heat, closing windows due to rain, watching bugs crawl across the arm of the women in the seat next to me, then flicking different insects off my own knee, rinse and repeat. Dos buses, siete US dollars and seis long hours later and estamos en La Fortuna. Estamos because plural — because the long time homie Street Jesus, aka Chase, is rolling with me. He essentially lives in Costa Rica now; leaving every 90 days for a day or two to reset the via status. I’ve gotta a resident gringo to work the angles for some of this adventure.

It’s that section midway through Tom Scott’s Today where you first start to hear what Pete Rock heard, and I’m in the middle of a Jeep-Boat-Jeep ticket. Halfway in a boat over this tiny lake — the biggest lake in this country — i realize something. Something profound. Butt. I forget it before I can write or type it. I realize now that my writing maybe sucks when I don’t have the hours of cycling typically alongside it. Likely… Probably… It certainly is less creative. Definitely… Indeed. Pouring out as best I can; pretending maybe I can polish it in post; fuck it, I’m not good when I try to fake it. Who the fuck is? I’m thinking non-bicycling travel might get just one entry per nation. Existing perhaps more of a review of the place with some photos to boot. Until I can start getting paid by GoPro or Emirates Airlines or someone. Or even just free shit from them. The real ideas pop when I’m riding. So really, if you’re looking to be entertained, you should stop reading this now. Go on social media and argue with someone. Go back to Netflix and chill, that new Mo Amer standup special is amazing. Go watch that, I’m on my way to hike a cloud forest.

I am in the cloud. I don’t see any of my data, despite it being up here. The signs in the cloud include Cafe Monteverde. Hmmm. Pretty much Español for Vermont’s own Green Mountain coffee? No idea is original. McDonalds probably owns them both at this point. Costa Rica is mos def touristed out, word to Yasiin Bey. As is most of the Western Hemisphere. Not my first rodeo amigo. But pura vida is a well oiled brand machine pumping out hits since the 80s and 90s. It’s got that Thailand appeal. Scenic and foreigner friendly on some real plug and play shit. Good for first entries, but not too adventurous. Still, better than a vacation in Floriduh.

This year Halloween falls on a weekend and the horns on Isaac Hayes’ Hung Up On My Baby layer into my sensory experience as this 12 person van maneuvers it’s way down winding roads outside of Santa Elena. Twenty minutes later and I’m crossing 500 foot long hanging bridges through cloud forests. This is that old old old growth. Basically these plants are all of our grandparents. Foliage lineage. Inspectah Deck’s verse in Above the Clouds reverberates in my head right now. It’s just in my head. A few bridges back I let the crew of Gen Z Argentinian gals move ahead with their non stop chattering — I feel like if they just shut up they’d probably get more likes on the ‘Gram. Now the only sounds left are Mother Nature’s jungle melody. The birds have rhythm. The wind is harmonious. Rain drips from one leaf to the next to slow moving streams 120 feet’s below me. It would be impossible to squeeze more life anywhere if one tried. Nature is the psychedelic and the colors and sounds and shapes all connect themselves as I sit like an eagle at the top of the canopy, soaking up the artisanal oxygen.

A day later and few thousand feet layer and the Pacific Ocean is filled with cool kids surfing in beach mist just before sunset. The tide comes in hard. Waves getting bigger and bigger. Coming closer to my feet under this umbrella. Surfers being to swarm, theres tight abs and asses everywhere — it’s a total take over of the coastline, there’s legit surf traffic. Yet no lifeguard on duty. I touch my nose and yell not it. En vacaciones. Vacated. Tyler ‘s not here, Tyler went away. The sun is behind a now cloudy late afternoon sky. There’s a gap between the bottom of them and the ocean horizon. This is a phenomenon my Western New York brethren and sisthren know well. the sun is gonna pop out just under the clouds and above the ocean and provide like 8 minutes of glorious golden hour ocular orgasm. I wait it out. The rain intensifies. The surfer frequency amplifies. They come back in and have conversations about surfing and I have no idea what they’re saying. In inglés. I still have no idea what they’re saying. They go back out. The rains intensify. The waves intensify. The clouds thicken and bank down, like the whole world is a house fire, because it is. Maybe a dumpster fire. Nonetheless, Mother Nature lulls me into a Buffalo New York State of mind and then pulls the okie doke. I slowly realize that there will be no vibrant display of cloud-filtered rays of sunlight setting over the ocean today. It’s still a gorgeous scene — until we reach full downpour and I bail on the entire operation. I didn’t see this coming. An American in a foreign land without an exit strategy? Típico.

About tonycaferro

Entrepreneur, Citizen, Marketeer, Fire Fighter / EMT, Bicycle-Tourist, Booking Agent, Youth Mentor, Activist, Agitator, Coffee Addict, Foodie, Social Media Nerd, Amateur Film Critic, Son, Brother, Uncle & Rust Belt Representative. Follow me on Twitter @dtr45
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