Let's Get Sandy!!

Trip Start Jan 07, 2011
Trip End Jun 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Oasis in Puntarenas

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Friday, February 11, 2011

For the weekend, a new character was created and his name was Bam-Bam.  It was time for Round 2 of Puntarenas. I was heading back for Carnivales! Carnivales is a 10 day festival which includes concerts, dancing, drinking, parades, and a ton of people.  One small change for me is that I was going with a bunch of students from the university.  Plans were kind of up in the air because none of the cheap hostels were taking reservations.  I don't know if its normal for them to not take reservations or they weren't taking reservations because it was the first night of Carnivales.  Either way, the girls that I was traveling with decided to just wing it with me. So, there were 9 of us heading to Puntarenas together by bus and looking for a hostel for two nights.  The first place we found was perfect for the weekend.  It fit all 9 of us in what seemed to be an apartment.  It cost about $15 a night per person and was right on the beach. There were more people coming the following day, but no way were they going to find a place as good as ours!
 We got the night started with a good dinner and then picked up drinks on the way home. The party commenced in our "apartment" as we played "never have I ever!"  This was great because the conversation went straight into the gutter! HAHAHAHA! Awesome! We hit the streets of Puntarenas ready to cause some trouble.  We walked into several of the open air bars along the beach where there was good music, lots of people, and dancing.  At one place we started a congo line and at another we were the only ones dancing to the merengue music.  We were either showing off some good moves or just making complete fools out of ourselves.  It depends what perspective you're coming from!  After dancing and drinking, we decided to walk along the beach and jump around in the water a bit.  We wandered back to the street, when some people decided to head back to the apartment, while others wanted to stay out and cause more trouble.  I was in the ladder group.  
 The ladder group lost eachother in the crowd and it ended up being just Layla and myself wandering around the main strip and the beach. Deciding to be adventurous, I wanted to look for a bar that I knew from my first trip to Puntarenas. I had no idea where I was going except for the fact that we were walking parallel to the main strip.   We weren't exactly lost, I just didn't know where the bar was.  We ended up finding this other little Kareoke bar and hopped in for a quick look.  They sang a couple of songs in spanish and then they passed the microphone to me and I was not going to reject the opportunity to make a fool out of myself.  When the song came on, I had no idea what I was singing nor was I singing at the right time.  It was a classic moment!  After the song, we took a much needed tequila shot and left the bar.  For some reason, I decide that jumping in the ocean with all of my clothes on was a good idea, so Layla and I went to the beach and did just that.  After loosing her sandal in the water, we decided it was time to call it a night.  I gave her my sandals to walk home in and I walked home barefoot... What a gentleman!! This little adventure was definitely the reason why I woke up in a sandy ass bed the next morning.  A theme that would continue through out the weekend...
 The next morning we were all out the door eating breakfast before 9.  Quite impressive considering the large group we had!  We hit the beach early and I began digging holes in the sand as usual.  First my seat in the sand and then a huge sandpit as close to the ocean as possible without flooding the hole.  Once again, this is my favorite beach activity and was attracting a lot of attention.  A guy selling beers walked by a couple of times, which was just what I needed for my strenuous work in the sandpit.  The sandpit turned into a sand fight, which led to chicken fights in the ocean.  While dunking the ladies in the ocean (not all of them, just some) I broke my orange sunglasses and almost lost my Switzerland hat (What a tragedy that would have been!) This changed my top priority from playing in the sand to buying a new pair of cheap sunglasses. Heading up the beach for my new pair of sunglasses, I bumped into other students from "Universidad Veritas".  This happened throughout the day and I told each one of them to meet at our "apartment" later that evening.  Focusing on the task at hand, I continued down the beach and found a new pair of YELLOW sunglasses for 3 bucks!!  They were definitely meant for 10 year olds, which meant that they would fit me perfectly.  Once again, they were YELLOW... Go BLUE! Wear Maize!
 Later on in the afternoon, there was a street parade of 2000 horses!  For about an hour and a half, a couple thousand "cowboys and cowgirls" were heading down the mainstreet of Puntarenas on horse.  This constant flow of ticos on horses dressed up like "vaqueros" was quite a sight.  It was pretty amazing and pretty awful at the same time because 2000 horses means over 2000 piles of poop on the streets, which doesn't smell very pleasant at all.  The parade left a stench in the town that remained until after we left the following day.  The ticos were enjoying the festivities as you can tell from the picture of a woman passed out on the sidewalk.  I wonder how many people know the significance of this parade of horses...
 People came over to our apartment at 7, which initiated the chaos of a typical saturday night. We were drinking, chatting, dancing, taking pictures, playing games, and then hit the streets of Puntarenas.  Saturday night had many more people in the streets dancing and celebrating. Therefore, we didn't stick out as much as the night before and our dancing lasted a little bit longer.  At some point in the evening we decided to hit the beach, where we sat down for what seemed to be a few hours!  As we were chatting and passing the night away, Lyla didn't realize her camera was missing.  Someone had taken her camera and she hadn't noticed a thing.  This caused some commotion and a little while later Police were on the beach for some other reason.  At this point we decided that we weren't exactly in the best location of the beach. There wasn't much else to do, so we stumbled home.
 Waking up the following day in another pile of sand wasn't very surprising.  However, waking up at 7 am was and i couldn't get back to sleep.  Therefore, Anna and I headed outside for a walk around the town.  She was taking a bunch of random pictures and capturing the different parts of Puntarenas that people typically don't pay attention to.  We walked around some abandoned/mistreated areas, which were probably hotspots in Puntarenas years ago.  It was interesting and depressing at the same time.  I wish people would treat the areas in which they live with more respect.  It doesn't seem like anyone bothers with the garbage in the streets, sidewalks, fields, beaches, shipyards, backyards, etc...  Its sad.
 Anyway, we found the rest of the crew eating breakfast and they had stumbled upon a nice surprise.  Apparently, some guys from our hostel had taken Lyla's camera the night before, took a picture of themselves, and then returned the camera to her in the morning.  Strange... I don't know why anyone would do this... It just doesn't make any sense... So, luckily, Lyla got her camera back and we still have the pictures!  We walked through the markets to get some last minute items and then headed for the bus station.  I bought my orange headband, which will be featured in the upcoming adventure of Manuel Antonio.  On the bus, everyone was passed out from the exhausting weekend of Carnivales.  The cultural significance of this event in the town of Puntarenas is beyond me... 
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