I know this post seems long, but I promise it gets better as it goes on!
This weekend was the perfect mixture of sand, sun, wonderful plans, and crazy surprises. Mark, Eric, Ellen, Rebecca, Zach, and I traveled to Puntaranas and San Lucas Island this weekend. Puntaranas is the closest beach to San Jose, so it is where a lot of the locals go. It was pretty quiet Friday, but Saturday there were a lot of people. We just played on the beach, walked through the markets, and relaxed with each other. Saturday night we went out and ended up meeting 3 really nice Tico guys. They were very surprised that we could all speak Spanish and they liked working on their English while speaking with us. The guys took us to a Salsa club and showed us how to dance! It was so much fun! My guy was named Diego and he was probably 23/24. He loved to dance and sang along to almost every song. I am always so amazed when we go out by how good of dancers the guys are here. I love it.
Sunday we took a yacht tour of San Lucas Island. The boat was gorgeous and it was a nice hour long ride to the island. In the morning we toured the prison that was on the island. This prison was so intense; for a while there were 17 men living in a 6x6 room. The conditions are said to have been terrible with suicide and murder being common. This prison was operating until 1992; so recent! It was so interesting to learn about the differences in prison systems and our guide was really nice and enjoyed chatting with us. We headed back to the boat for lunch and had the most delicious fish cookout. All of the food was so fresh.
After lunch the six of us went snorkeling. There was a lot of wind, so the water wasn't super clear. We did get to swim around an old ship wreck which was neat. Then JD, the captain, took us out to another part of the island. We snorkeled, swam around, and looked for shells. Then the fun began...JD started the engine, and then it just stopped. We didn't have any gas! He tried tinkering with the boat, but it just wouldn't start. We got out the oars and tried to paddle, but there were only two of them and the boat was just too big. JD said he had to just swim back..now, we were out on a secluded part of the island over two miles from the yacht we departed from. Never the less, JD jumped off the boat and started swimming! The six of us at first were just really calm, we played in the ocean around the boat and told stories and jokes. But, after a while we started to get nervous..it was getting later and we knew he had to swim a long way. Thank goodness he made it and the bigger yacht came sailing towards us. It was kind of embaressing to be the only white people on the boat and to have lots of Ticos staring at us as the captain and crew rescued us. I am just glad we made it safely! I suppose it makes for a good story; I have never been marooned on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean before.
We sat in so much traffic on the way back to San Jose that it took four hours instead of the normal two. We were all so hungry that we stopped at a McDonald's before heading home. Whow knew the menu would be different? I got a Pollo Guacamole, which is a chicken sandwich with tomato, onions, and guacamole. It was delicious! Also, an interesting thing about it was that you had to show your receipt to a guard before you could use the bathroom. Well, I had my receipt sitting on the table from where I had gotten my food. All of a sudden this man comes and steals it! Yes, he stole my receipt to go to the bathroom! How crazy is that?