PJ had a good start to her day, doing an online meditation and getting served a special birthday breakfast. Boogie boarding and shopping were on her list of desired activities, so in the late morning hours, we hit the beach to catch some waves. The lifeguards love to use their shrill whistles and the red and yellow suited man in the chair gave us a sharp tweet as we were entering the water. Dangerous conditions, he explained. We joined a group of surfing beginners on the inside and PJ’s new board got a good breaking in.
Things were going well until we were about to get out. I felt the crimping squeeze on my foot like someone was pinching it with hedge shears. The pain was immediate and I knew right off that it was a stingray. The hole was negligible in relation to the pain. I limped up to the lifeguard and he sent me down to their storage container shack next to the street fair. It was really throbbing by the time we completed our death march up the beach. Nacho was trying hard to get the little camp stove lit to heat some water to no avail. The piece that presses the gas bottle in place wasn’t clamping it in place. Benecio came in and got it kind of rigged up to go, but a few minutes in and the whole stove flamed up with fire coming out of the aerosol end of the gas bottle. He tossed the whole stove outside and we had to regroup. Meanwhile, I’m squirming in agony on the rickety remains of an old folding chair.
There was enough water heated up to cover the bottom of my foot, so we got my foot in the bucket and Nacho ran across the street to Tortilla Flats with the tea kettle. It’s amazing how instantaneously the pain stops upon contact with hot water. PJ ran home for the car and I sweated in the shade of the station. It’s also amazing how quickly the pain returns when the water cools down. I was anxiously looking around for Nacho to come back as the pain started coming on full bore again. He arrived with a full kettle of hot water and I kept steadily adding it to keep the water as hot as I could bare. We did this for one more kettle, probably a half hour, and the pain was barely noticeable. Thanks a million to the dedicated locals who look out for all of the visitors to the Costa Rican beaches.
Nacho is the man!
Meanwhile PJ managed to find a shirt she liked wandering the colorful marketplace while I was tending to my wound. I made a donation to the lifeguard cause and we headed home and that was about it for PJ’s big birthday celebration. We’ll make up for it next week.
This man sits beneath the tree every day for a few quiet moments with his dog