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Day 48 - San José

Three cold people stood on the streets of the Costa Rican capital wondering why the temperature dropped the further south they travelled. We needed housing and chose our hostel based solely on the fact it had a stripper pole. Before that could be put to embarrassingly enthusiastic use we had some people to meet. Our group doubled in size with the addition of Chris, Cass and Thierry, Tania's friends from the icy wastes of home. The only drinking establishment we had experienced in SJ thus far was one where the owner kept a pistol in the till and served turtle eggs as bar snacks, I kid you not. I was confident we could do better and how I willed these weary Canadians toward drink and dance. Alas 'twas not to be that night but I would get these people into a discotheque by hook or by crook, I think they sell hooks at the market... Softening the blow they did bring gifts of cider and Frank's hot sauce - truly the greatest condiment fashioned by the hand of man, not a food conceived it doesn't improve.
Another day, another volcano. This one, towering over the little town of Fortuna, we would not be climbing owing to the fact it is the country's most active and people have made a habit of dying on its slopes. We didn't drag our battered corps north for nothing though, other attractions were aboot. After a fruitless search for frugality we conceded to paying (for) a visit to a waterfall. Either I am too used to swimming in the sea or a skinful of alcohol the night before makes you negatively buoyant. Keeping my head above its cold, plunging waters was no easy task. Something a little tamer perhaps? Our next stop was definitely more therapeutic. Water gushes warm from springs heated by the volcanoe's molten brood. Hours passed as we luxuriated in the temperate stream letting the powerful flow knead our every worn muscle, hard business perpetual leisure. I heard it said recently that if you are struggling to make a decision flip a coin and as it is in the air you'll know which side you want it to come down on. So as the faded gold colone turned end over end, tails we dive/heads we head, did myself and Michael know our desired result? I suspect so, we just wanted to blame the coin for spending all our money. So chance had decided we were Pacific-bound.
I turned back and peered through the murk to see no-one behind me, ahead fins disappeared into gloom, now I was alone in the water. Somewhere in the channel our group had broken apart, were the others lost or was I? Coalescing again and despite the poor visibility lobster, eels, starfish and seahorses were spotted. Stingray and pufferfish were seen too and, at the very end and to my delight, I saw my first turtle. Back on the surface Devil Rays leapt above the waves and my logbook hit double figures. Crystal Utila it wasn't but to novices every dive is worthy experience and how fine to dive with new friends. Soon we would have to part ways but an open invitation to Montreal was proffered and is one I should very much like to take up. I'd better practise my shuffle eh?

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