Teenagers and the Big Osa Adventure

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It’s Easter week – Semana Santa – which in England brings to mind lambs, daffodils, crucifixion, snow and chocolate (in no particular order) and, in Costa Rica, crucifixion, resurrection, and the beach (ditto). There’s a massive exodus from the cities to the coast, and Fitz is swept up in it, arriving in a boat with his teenage daughters, Eva and Mariana, Eva’s dog, Zac (although not Mariana’s massive dog, Gordo), Eva’s friend, as well as Stevenson and his chihuahua, Mac, and exotic provisions like goats’ cheese and Serrano ham in cardboard boxes well sealed inside plastic bin liners for their sea voyage, and rum. The house is filled with voices and barking and the shrill beeps of a plastic whistle which my friend got for Christmas. It’s been taken from him and hidden several times in the past, partly because he uses it in a fruitless attempt to keep order, partly because it looks like a pair of shiny breasts.

Anyway, around the middle of the holiday week, it’s decided we are to go on a Big Osa Adventure. Even dull things are an adventure here, from making cream of coconut (first shake a tree, then get out your big knife . . . ) to returning from dinner at the hotel (girls hiding in the dark forest too long, and then pouncing; Fitz lying down on the snaky track in the moonlight and seemingly going to sleep), and the idea of purpose-built adventure, when there’s a pool, and a sea, and my film camera to hijack (interesting results being compiled into lengthy feature film) is met with raised eyebrows, slang and scepticism.

“We’re going on an adventure. We’re going to have our own boat and go exploring in the mangroves. It’s going to be great!” said Fitz. I mumble something. “You’re coming, you’re the only one who knows where the kayaks are. Ah, I can’t remember the last time I went through the mangroves to the other side, it’s got to be maybe 27 years ago. There’s a town in there that’s not on the maps where people strip and sell mangrove bark. I’d get the boat down the coast from Puntarenas; it would stop there, and the kids would come on the boat, and the first thing they’d do would be run to the cooler to touch the ice – ah, ah it burns!” I mumble something. “Running into a Colombian drug boat? Yes, I’ve thought of that. What would we do? We’d try to out run them. If not successful you’re probably young enough, you’d . . . ah . . .’survive’.”

Actually the adventure was a little dull. We did drop in on a couple of old friends living on the Sierpe river, and there was a frisson of excitement for a moment when it looked like one of the houses was derelict suggesting the owner might have gone all Heart of Darkness, but he eventually appeared from behind a tree. We didn’t come across a drug boat, or a stash of cocaine, or even a crocodile. We  inspected a new lodge targeting Christians, discovered a beach where the water is too hot to walk in (only Fitz and I tried it, everyone else being asleep), found a massive colony of frigate birds (some pictured) which, curiously, not everyone found riveting, and the tunnel where Henry Morgan hid some treasure although we didn’t go in it and get some (for reasons of tides and curses). We almost did some fishing, then we bumped back over the sea, people waking briefly and sitting up to use their phones at a spot where there’s occasionally a signal, and then we went home.

“That was very stressful” said Eva’s friend, ‘Very unnecessary”.


2 thoughts on “Teenagers and the Big Osa Adventure

  1. wow… this is really nice what i found here. keep writing

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