Playa Negra, Costa Rica

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Hey everyone, welcome to The Atlascast. A story telling podcast about my journies around the world by motorcycle. This episode is from Decemember 2010 when I traveled solo from America to Argentina for eight months. In the evening I would often record my thoughts and recount what happened that day. This recording took place on Playa Negra, Costa Rica.

Background music from: Nine Inch Nails, Ghosts.


I’m at at Playa Negra, black beach. In Costa Rica. Last night…last night, what did I do last night? Where did I start off last night? The days are running together. I…shit where did I wake up this morning? Where did I wake up? Ok…I entered Costa Rica last evening. I had about an hour of daylight before I need a place to sleep. I took CA-1 down to, down about 50 kilometers and then I headed west to this dead end road, which appeared to be near the beach. I wanted a dead end. I camped out. It wasn’t an incredibly conspicuous spot, because there were cars driving by and there was a light shining on my camp, but I was just hammock camping. The previoud 24 hours before I camped, I hadn’t eaten anything because of the madness Honduras and Nicaragua. I made myself a cup of rice and about a half cup of beans and I chowed down. I’m right near the beach right now. Probably hear the waves in the background. Just lying down looking at the starts, which are amazing. It occured to me earlier, that I’m going to see a new sky that I’ve never seen after I pass the equator. It’s something I really like the idea of. Oh yea, the Milky Way belt is tilting farther and farther to the side. I’m just noticing that. Typically it’s almost overhead, but now it’s almost to the side because I’m moving farther south. So I woke up this morning, at sunrise around 6-6:30. I was on the road by 7. I road and reach the town of Liberia where I saw a McDonalds. I went in, tried to get wireless, didn’t work, but I was getting a weak signal from Burger King so I went over there. I spent about three hours catching up on things. Talking to my parents, talking to Beth. Uploading a video, uploading a blog, tweeting that I just got arrested the previous day, “LOL”. Taking care of business. The tweet that eventually flow down into my Facebook, Lois Pryce liked my tweet and that really put a smile on my face, that she liked that I got arrested. Which means she knows that I’m having a good time, or that there’s a crazy set of circumstances and I’ll have some good stories to tell. I really can’t wait for Overland in April. Today was a fairly boring day, but the evening and afternoon, the late afternoon was good. On my way to this beach, which I wasn’t sure would be accomodating for me just camping but they were incredibly. It’s just a public beach, and I have a feeling I’ll be able to do this in Costa Rica. People in Costa Rica seem to be very laid back. I’m just noticing Orion. It’s insane for me to see Orion, because whenever I see Orion I think of winter because that’s when the constelation Orion comes up. I just think of myself in my parents backyard, see rise up–or does it fall over the western sky?–in any case. I road to this beach. I stopped for a map, some bread. I asked if it was ok to ride my motorcycle on the beach and they said, “Yea sure, your bike will be safer that way.” I had a little trouble, but not much. I bought myself a pair of sunglasses, since I lost some along the way, which I think I had stolen in Belieze actually, and a pair of goggles, some swimming goggles. I wrestled my motorcycle up to a suitable camp spot underneath some trees with some cover, even though cover isn’t really necessary but I like the obscurity of it. I’m dripping with sweat so I don my goggles and go out to the ocean, slowly walking out. I always manage to find something scurrying in the water, I think it was a turtle. I get further and further out. Eventually I can’t touch the ground, and the waves are so powerful, you can hear them right now. Eventually a wave catches me and I go twirling in every direction, on every axis. I am the ocean’s bitch. The power of these waves never cease to amaze me. I lose my eight dollar goggles that I just bought. That’s cool, I can see the–I’m on the edge of the beach where there’s some water coming up, and I can see the stars in the reflections of the wet sand. That’s a nice phrase, I like that. Starlight glistening in the wet sand. I make camp, I made a nice fire. A big fire. It’s not cold, I don’t need a fire. It’s cool. It’s not cold. But fire is nice company. Turns out I left my flint back at the last campground I made. So I have no flint to make a fire. My lighter, which I can’t find, is gone, and the matches that I have can’t be lit against the sandpaper that I have. You need a fine grit sandpaper. So defeated, I go to the restaurant nearby and I get matches because I can’t make fire myself. I’m thinking of staying here another day, so I can write. So I can get my thoughts together. They have an internet connection so I can work. I’m going to be seeing Beth in ten days. Ten fucking days. It’s going to be great. I really can’t wait to see her, but I know it’s going to be hard to leave her. I mean, technically I know it’s not going to be as hard for me as it’s going to be for her. Because I’m going to be thinking about the next step. Aw god, I’m just fantasizing about Peru and Argentina. The Argentinian desert. I get chills when I think about it, just riding through five thousands miles, or however long it is, just ultimate nothingness. I’m making camp, and I’m going to go get another beer. I don’t need to buy any food because I bought some bread. Paid about three and a half dollars for what will be my dinner and breakfast. Funds are a little tight right now. Rather, they’re getting tighter because I lent money to Beth, which is fine, she’s good for it. I’m so happy she got that job, so happy for her. I just don’t know, with the practicalities of life I don’t know if we would have made it or what would have happened. I would have started a job somewhere, and she might have gone somewhere else. I’m just so glad she got a job and I could go follow her and find my own job where she is.

Last note: Riding. Riding is, it’s not euphoric. It’s not laborous–I don’t know if that’s a word. It’s not work, it’s not fun. It just is, and it’s just great. I’m on the brink…I’ve only started realizing this, but when I’m riding something’s happening in my mind that hasn’t happened before. I think ultimately it’s just being in the moment. Thoughts come into my mind and they go out. I don’t have a thought, go onto another, onto another, ad intinitum…ad infinitum…I forget the phrase, for infinity. I sound all scholarly… I just ride and I sit there, and my shoulders don’t hurt. My shoulders don’t hurt anymore, and it’s because I’m not speeding through, I’m just taking it, I’m taking it foot by foot. I just picture myself, walking, as if I was walking the distance. What does that mean in terms of… what’s the equivalent of that with me riding? It’s every revolution of the wheel gets me closer to the next place down the road. It’s that kind of imagry, the revolution of my wheels–sounds like a good book title–not revolution, but revolving of my wheels. Revoling wheels. It’s mesmerizing and it puts me in a really good place. It’s something I want to come back to. But another time, it’s something I can’t rush.

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