The Commute, Half Two
What the heck There’s a rooster within the office Wait, where am I I slowly wake up from what has obviously been a dream, even perhaps a nightmare. Monday morning, November 15th, 2004, 5:45 am, Boca Sierpe, Costa Rica. Possibly it was the dream however I soar up with a feeling of peace and tranquility understanding I’m at house in my little casita in the boca.
Yes, it was roosters crowing at the break of daybreak which is a really pleasant strategy to be woken up. It is a quarter to six and fairly gentle out. I hear the waves crashing within the boca (mouth of the river), birds of many varieties every singing their special morning track. Howler monkeys are nearby within the jungle making appears like big espresso machines. I stand in awe as I look out the entrance windows on the ocean with its deep blues and whiter than white whitecaps. There is a large cumulus cloud out over the ocean with the solar catching the top bringing out pink and blue tones along with the large white billowing puffs. Ahh, that is the life. It’s too hard to roast my own espresso here however Costa Rica has the best espresso on this planet so it is not an issue. I boil water that comes by way of a hose a couple of half mile away from a recent mountain stream. I have a ceramic filter I run it by means of before boiling, but the locals drink it straight. I step out on the porch dressed in solely a pair of shorts and a tee shirt to sip my freshly brewed coffee.
I see my care taker German (pronounced Herman) pulling the canoe to the water’s edge with two pink tanks of gasoline in it. He appears to be like up to verify that I’m up and at it and will likely be heading up river quickly. Two large Scarlet Macaws swoop in to eat the sea almonds we deliberately plant to attract them in. The solar is shining and the brightness of the reds, blues and yellows of those gigantic parrots is glorious. Their track, nevertheless, is just like the screech of a large black crow again within the Midwest. Still, we love seeing them and do what we are able to to make them really feel welcome. It’s Monday and I am as anxious for the commute as I’m to be at work. A fast shower, shave and bowl of oatmeal with bananas from a tree out again and I’m able to go to work. I am in my work clothes; shorts, golf shirt and Tevas with boat key in hand. A kiss for my darling and the standard “don’t be late honey”, “no after all not” and i begin down the windy cement sidewalk to the white sand seaside under.
Herman welcomes me with a smile that reveals the gold in his teeth and brightens the seashore. He at all times seems happy to see me which is an excellent thing. He shakes my hand (“WE SHAKE Fingers Here” – a Loopy Mark favourite saying) and says Buenos Dias Don Jim. We ask one another how we are as we climb into the little fiberglass canoe. The canoe remains to be on the seaside and he’s telling me to get in in order to not get wet however I help him till I at the least have my sandals wet. My backpack and notebook laptop are in my waterproof bag just in case we should tip on the quick canoe journey to the boat. We put the 2 fuel cans and waterproof bag into the 18 foot fiberglass boat that is tethered in an eddy just off the seashore. I thank Herman and we say goodbye.
I hook up the gas, trim the motor down, begin the engine, pull up the anchor, untie the rope from the buoy and start the 40 minute commute up the Sierpe River. My commute begins at the mouth of the Sierpe River the place we have somewhat home on a hill overlooking the river and the ocean. I work in Sierpe, a quaint little Costa Rican river town about 15 miles up river. I work serving to others find the paradise I’ve discovered and have come to love. It is a good job as I am ready to assist Costa Ricans transition from small farm homeowners to extra comfy living of their golden years. I also help others, just like myself, find a peace we did not know existed. When i can discover a purchaser and seller, everyone seems to be completely satisfied which is a rewarding feeling.
Back to my 40 minute commute. I energy up and head up river at a reasonably sluggish pace as there are nonetheless swells from the ocean in the river at this level which make for a rough trip at excessive speeds. A glance to the appropriate I see Crazy Mark readying his boat perhaps to go to Drake Bay. We change a healthy wave however are too far apart to alternate condolences. I’ve missed all the rocks which I managed to seek out with my previous propeller and start to accelerate.
Ahead there’s a small boat with out a motor and two males seemingly adrift. One of the males is waving a white cloth of some type. As I strategy I see it’s Reynaldo my neighbor within the boat together with his son. Reynaldo raises nice bananas and trades them with me for rides to and from city. At this time it’s his son who needs a trip to work. We shake palms, ask one another how the whole lot is and the son climbs into my boat.
The river has many sand bars, all of which call me by my first title from the meetings we’ve got had. I have nudged all of them at one time or another. I keep away from them this morning and spherical the primary huge nook of the river. Forward the water is flat calm reflecting three ranges of stunning lush inexperienced Costa Rican Mountains. Birds scurry into the mangroves the place they suppose I am unable to see them. Some individuals can name each species but I just know they’re neat looking birds. We hug the south shore of the river to avoid contact with a big sandbar not far from shore.
We’re arising on an extended coated dock that comes out of the mangroves to the river’s edge then has a staircase right down to the flats. Jorge who has lived there for years is doing a little bit restore on his dock however takes day out to smile and change a hearty wave. Round the subsequent nook Melvin is strolling from his house and spots us cruising by. He additionally smiles as we every wave as if to say: “Howdy my friend”.
We are nonetheless the first boat on the flat calm river surrounded by mangroves backed by rolling hills and mountains in the space. You couldn’t paint a extra peaceful, tranquil, beautiful image because the Sierpe River within the early morning. We sail past the Rio Sierpe Lodge the place there does not appear to be any motion yet. The proprietor, one other Mark, moved right here from Iowa 20 some years ago has been working the Lodge ever since.
At the end of the straight stretch we duck into a small channel to reap the benefits of a brief lower only usable at three quarters to high tide. I always pretend I’m super boat captain here and go simply somewhat sooner than I probably ought to. The channel narrows to some extent where two boats can barely pass and naturally when you solely meet one boat the whole means, this is had been you will meet them. The slim channel wanders by means of the mangrove supplying you with the feeling of a tunnel. It’s a spectacular scene of quiet solitude which brings out tourists cameras quicker than Matt Dillon may have drawn his six shooter.
Again out into the main river which is wide however none the less magnificent. The first boat of the soccer defender shirts morning commute seems forward coming our approach. As it nears I can tell by the form of the boat together with the green canopy, it’s Chicho a very long time boat captain and Sierpe resident. As we cross one another we wave and smile. He has no passengers in his boat so he’s more than seemingly off to Drake Bay or someplace to select up passengers. Once i first got here to Sierpe nearly 20 years in the past Chicho took me fishing in both the river and ocean. He’s a cautious and knowledgeable boat captain who is aware of the river, boca and ocean from a lifetime of navigating them.
Quickly the river has flattened out and is once once more smooth as glass. As we spherical the following bend we see a thousand white egrets that have come from varied locations to roost in the branches of the mangrove trees hanging out over the river. It have to be time for them to go off in quest of meals as they all take to the air creating a scene which is breathtaking. They fly along in entrance of the boat for only a minute before peeling off in a number of directions. Reynaldo’s son indicators this is where he wish to be let off so we pull over to the shore at an opening. As at all times, he gives to pay for the journey and as at all times I refuse any cash, we shake palms once more and he disappears into the jungle.
As I throttle up I see a small hand hewn dugout canoe below a branch of a mangrove tree. The man is fishing with a hand line for red snapper a culinary favourite of the native population. When he casts a glance in my course I give the customary wave which is returned with enthusiasm. There’s an unwritten legislation of the river that if any boat has a problem you cease to see what assist you possibly can supply. Several years in the past I was going fishing and the motor on the boat I had hired conked out halfway down the river. I had been trying ahead to fishing and knew the motor repair would take many hours, slicing my fishing day in half. The primary boat going up river stopped, helped the boat captain take away the incapacitated motor, throw it in their boat, tie our motorless boat within the shade and took off up river. Inside forty five minutes our boat captain (Chicho by the way in which) was back with a unique motor, installed it and we had been on our method to a fantastic day of fishing. The whole thing took solely an hour because folks helped people with out any hesitation.
Forward I see the telltale signal of a crocodile. Two little bumps moving throughout the river leaving a bit wake. As I strategy there may be an unlimited splash as if someone had dropped a bowling ball out of an airplane, and the 6 foot crock has submerged. Simply beyond the place I see the crock there’s a family of white confronted monkeys moving from department to department jumping swinging and watching me to make certain I’m not right here to harm them.
Boat ahead! I see a boat loaded with 7 folks heading up river. The tiny 4 horsepower motor barely keeps the boat moving. With the burden of the 7 passengers, the water is about two inches from the gunnel which confirms that I don’t wish to make a large wake. I sluggish all the way down to a pace simply faster than theirs to keep away from swamping them. Earlier than I can wave, they all wave concurrently as if to say: Thank you and good morning. I am now simply ten minutes from Sierpe, they’re in all probability forty-5.
WOW! Rush hour site visitors, there’s one other boat forward. This is a bigger boat and it is stopped near the river bank. I see by the boat it is Carlos the character tour information with a group of tourists each with either binoculars or a cameras pointing in the same route. Carlos has noticed a three toed sloth excessive in a tree and they are all glued to it with their “gear”. Carlos and i trade waves and smiles while the vacationers keep focused on the sloth. I do know the tour and glance on the bat tree he little question simply left. The bat tree is a tree which grows out over the river where bats sleep in a row to appear as a snake for safety.
As I approach Sierpe there are water hyacinth dotting the river with thick green foliage and brilliant purple flowers, floating like little clumps of desk bouquets drifting freely in this fabulous river. As I arrive at Sierpe I see the finish line. The end line is an airborn waterline which carries the water to Sierpe from the close by mountains. A 4 inch pipe runs over the Sierpe River strung on cables. It leaks in a single space and generally if I’m actually scorching, I will take that spot for somewhat cool down. With sure buddies I’ll hit the water spray intentionally after soccer defender shirts which inform them it is a sewer line. I’m within the no wake zone and have slowed to a crawl as I spherical the ultimate corner exposing the quaint little river town of Sierpe.
By the point I reach the Oleaje Sereno dock Edwin is there with a radiant smile and “Buenos Dias Don Jim”. He asks how I’m and that i ask the same of him. Virtually before he grabs onto the boat we’ve the standard hand shake. I like that. I take my backpack and notebook computer out of the boat and walk towards the hotel Oleaje Sereno. Edwin takes care of the boat and moves it to a protected place where it will relaxation until I begin my equally as great commute home in the afternoon. There is a desk outside of the hotel restaurant with several boat captains sitting around it. All of them say hiya, smile and shake my hand. Contained in the restaurant Alfonso says in almost perfect English, “good morning Mr. Jim” and shakes my hand. Sarah is behind the counter however comes out to say good morning and give me the feminine version of the hand shake the place you set your cheeks collectively and kiss the air. My enterprise associate, and Edwin’s spouse (Sonia) is there smiling and gives me an enormous hug, a kiss and asks me how I am. Sarah has already brought me a cup of coffee whereas Sonia gives me all the updates, leads for listings and potential seekers of a chunk of this paradise.
I decide up my things and stroll two blocks to the grocery store where we maintain a small workplace for our little real property enterprise. On the way from the lodge to the grocery I see, Rafa the boat builder and boat taxi service operator, Jose a boat captain that my wife thinks looks like a stereotype pirate, Elias a farmer and good friend, Jorge one other restaurant owner and Henry the son of Chicho. All of them shake my hand, smile and ask me how I’m. As soon as on the little grocery retailer “El Fenix” I’m greeted by Cholo, Carmen and Lisette who all either shake my hand or put their cheek to mine and ask how I am.
It has been an hour since I left my little house on the boca and every single particular person I noticed alongside the best way greeted or acknowledged me in a constructive method. I am smiling and pondering to myself: “this is just too good to be true”. I change a couple of cords, plug in my pc, turn it on and click on the RACSA icon to get the internet up and working. It is sluggish however I have come to understand that life right here is slow and fantastic. Eventually my e mail comes up and I’m capable of read my first electronic mail.
My husband and I have been considering for a while of shopping for a bit property in Costa Rica to get away from the tough winters of northern Michigan. We want a bit of house and maybe sufficient land to enjoy the wildlife. We’re looking for peace and tranquility however do not have some huge cash. Any data will be vastly appreciated.
Don and Kim Anderson.
I get excited at the potential of helping these of us find the paradise I like so dearly and can’t wait to begin what I wish to be about three pages of response. I replicate on the commute up river, think about the upcoming commute back residence and realize that I At all times look forward to my commute.