BOB CORBETT'S TRAVEL JOURNAL -- 2005

Costa Rica 34 -- November 2, 2005
A THIRD Israeli fellow arrives

By Bob Corbett

Good grief, it is Israeli time in Costa Rica. Not only did a really fascinating Israeli fellow arrive yesterday afternoon, but I met an Israeli couple over by the beach as well.

The new fellow at Hotel Sanchez is Aviar. He is very tall and looks like a 1960s hippie. He writes songs, both lyrics and words, has a really beautiful voice, and reads a great deal, many of the same books I read. He is the first person I've met who has read ALMOST as many books by Jose Saramago as I have. Saramago is a Nobel Prize winner in literature from Portugal. I have reviews of many of his books on-line and this fellow had read all but two of them, and also has read one I've never even heard of -- might either be new, or not yet translated into English, but has been put into Hebrew.

Like the first fellow I met, Aviar wants to get me reading Israeli authors and he even wrote a reading list into my journal!!!! Very nice fellow. Mellow, extremely intelligent, sensitive and engaging. But, like the others, he's roaming the country with short stays, so we will visit this afternoon again, but then he's off for Panama, and then Columbia.

I was up early, on the 6:10 bus (didn't know there was one that early or I would have been on it before). I walked down the mountain, seeing three howler monkeys in one place. They frighten me a bit. They look too much like gorillas. Then, at the bottom of the mountain, just before the beach, there is a deep forest area and a group of the howlers were in some sort of screaming match. They were making a huge racket. I tried to see where they were, and stayed there 10-12 minutes peering into the dark forest, but couldn't see a thing.

It was low tide again and thus I could walk a long way on the beach. I never noticed before but the beach runs from due east to due west. Given that the Pacific Ocean is on Costa Rica's WEST coast, one would expect the beach to run north - south. It doesn't, so this beach must be on a long inlet from the sea and thus can run, as it does, east to west. When I got on the beach with the ocean on my left, the sun was on my RIGHT shoulder. When I was coming back it was directly in front of me, nearly blinding me since it wasn't yet high in the sky.

Good soccer in the European Champions League coming later today, and it includes my beloved Manchester United who, alas and alack, is having a rather ho-hum season!!!!

Yesterday I walked over into the Tico neighborhood -- dirt streets there and found a little grocery. They had lots of fruit, but no SLICED and peeled pineapple. I communicated with sign language what I was looking for and they nodded in agreement. They cut me a pineapple while I went next door to get a bottle of wine. When I came back it was pealed, sliced and nicely wrapped. I added about 6 very large ripe bananas. The pineapple and bananas together were ONE DOLLAR. I was startled. Oh my goodness the pineapple is simply delicious.

Off now for my main meal before the soccer match. I may not have the fish today. I've had it four days in a row. I think Ill have chicken today!!!

Bob Corbett

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