Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I headed out to Montepalo, the end of the Osa Penninsula, and I saw a bunch of cool things. I saw spider monkeys (I think) and some thing that looks like a raccoon, but is bigger and longer. Also a small pig thing that crawled around, I’ll look it up later. I saw a rabbitty thing, but with a tail, about the size of a rabbit, and scampered around, didn’t walk. The pig was quite small too. About 10-12 inches long, and dark colored.
I basically went out to the beach to see if I could live off the land, eating coconuts and fish, and survive… Well, I survived. I didn’t sleep at all last night because of the hermit crabs crawling around, and the hammock was very uncomfortable, and there were still ants crawling over me.
So, I got there early, about 7 am, and walked around until I found a spot where I could wander into the woods a little ways and be unseen. Then I set up the hammock and started rigging palm fronds over it to try to keep the rain off. I’m not sure if it rained, but I didn’t get wet. I think it didn’t rain. Then I got my gear on and went for a dive. And what a dive it was. There were TONS of fish, all easily accessible to my eyes, but not my hands… I went around for a while and did some moderately deep dives, up to about 20 ft, but since I was alone, I didn’t hang out long or go into very deep water. The bottom has great holding for anchors, though, so I am excited about maybe sailing around here and diving off the boat. After diving, I went for a walk around, and didn’t see any stores or anything hospitable, there were a lot of private property signs for personal cabins that I guess are quite expensive, but nothing for me. I walked the main road a bit and stumbled upon something that clanged, so I picked it up for a look: a piece of rebar! I brought it back to the beach with me and banged it with a rock for a while and then made a fire and got it nice and hot and worked it some more, until I had a nice leaf edge, which I then used the file I have to shape into a spear point. Add a piece of bamboo stick and you have a spear! Now I was ready to take on the fish world. I went back into the water for another try, and the tide was slowly dropping, so I had to go pretty far out in the water to get to the fish. I swam around for a while and missed quite a few fish because the spear was too slow, my arms would scare them before I could get them with the spear, and occasionally I would touch the fish, but the spear wasn’t sharp enough or powerfully enough driven to go in.
Then I got one. He surprised me when I got him through the stomach, a soft spot in his armor. I carried him to shore and took some pieces from him to use as bait on hooks, but I didn’t catch anything that way, so I got the spear out again and went out. I got another! So I had two small fish, that were about enough for a meal, except that I hadn’t eaten a full meal all day long, so I was pretty hungry. I had had 3 coconuts, but they don’t take the edge off like meat. And fish is pretty lean for meat. It was dark after eating the fish; I made a fire and just roasted them on a stick, and the fire was burning low as I headed off to bed. There are these terrible tiny flies that bother you something awful on the beach when the sun isn’t out, but they didn’t come into the jungle, which was nice.
I don’t think I’ll try to sleep in a hammock any more. Maybe I’ll take my chances on the beach with a raised platform or something, or just stay in hostels. I couldn’t sleep also, because the tigers and pumas and ocelots in my head wouldn’t leave me alone, and then around 3 am, the Howler Monkeys chimed into the orchestra of hermit crabs and crickets and other crawly things that tickled the ground around my bunk. Sunrise was wonderful, because it rises over the gulf, and after that I couldn’t take a nap again, so I ended up working on my spear some more and then going diving for some more food. I got a lobster, which was small but tasty, and nothing else. The fish were harder to get this time, maybe they knew better. I think I’ll make another speargun, I left the old spear behind because I figured I could make another one (that sinks instead of floats, man too many things float- I need a weight belt) but I need some rubber bands to make something that will catch fish I think. Its Christmas Eve, and I’m back in Puerto Jimenez. I’m not sure what I’ll do for Christmas, but something fun I’m sure.
Posted by cdlloyd