Vanilla monkeys and hitchhikers.

‘Vanilla!’

‘What?’

‘I smell vanilla!’ – I said and stopped abruptly, weirdly overexcited. After all, we were in an almost-jungle. Curious and with dessert plans on our minds, we started searching around.

‘Do you even know what vanilla trees look like?’

A stunned look was all I got as a response.

‘Yup, me neither…’

On the ground, however, we spotted flowers – just like the ones you’d see on a package of vanilla flavored biscuits, but for heaven’s sake, we could not locate where they came from. Risking ticks and unexpected encounters with other insects, we searched for vanilla… sticks(?), following the smell. We got nothing but out hopes smashed. Why don’t they teach that in school?!

We moved on, just to pass a huge jungle book looking tree, when a weird engine-like noise from above paralyzed me.

‘It’s howler monkeys.’ – Heske laughed

Ugh… Ok. I looked at the ground in search for some fruit peels to locate our ‘ancestors’, but there did not seem to be anything.

Oops! Thought that too early!

Some little branches feel down, and the leaves above us went into a noisy hustle.

‘Am I to be scared now?’ I asked, considering the encounter with Indian monkeys visiting our high school. They were, let’s say… unfriendly. So we stood there, watching, almost ready to run. The curious and suspicious little creatures started getting closer and closer. We were on their land.

‘Why are you coming down, huh?’

Curious or territorial (who knows) they jumped around the lower branches, leaving us in wonder. Well, that was cool – real ‘natural reserve’ experience.

After a breakfast for lunch (dilishous), we had ~45min to wait for the bus (which, as we learnt, never comes on time) and so not to waste so much time, we decided to walk and hope for someone to pick us up on their way to Montezuma.

1km, 15min and 4 cars heading the other direction later, we see two tourists on quads rushing through the sandy road.

‘Trying?’ said Hes putting her thumb up, and so we did. We joined two American surfers on their last 6kms. Reaching Monetzuma at 3.30 we kicked some unnamed fruit off the tree by the road and with deliciously sticky hands and very happy faces, we tried to catch the +/- 4pm bus.

Dios mio! It left exactly on time.

Fiona

Cabo Blanco (Costa Rica), May 19th ‘11

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