Jan. 23-28: Domincial to Port Jim and Back Again

After arriving in Dominical on January 22nd (day 84), Danielle and I spent a few days hanging around the surf town, looking around the shops (where I finally found a suitable replacement for the hat God took away from me while on the bell tower of a church in Granada, Nicaragua), hanging out on the beach, and doing computer work a few hours each day at a coffee shop in town called Cafe Mono Congo, attempting to organize our shipping options, either to South America, or home. Notably, on the 23rd (day 84), I received a confidential email from the World Photography Organisation informing me I'd been shortlisted in the Open – Travel Category. This news was very welcome considering Danielle and I were beginning to fret about what we were going to do with the vehicle, as many companies were not getting back to us.

Regardless, we stayed in Domincal, becoming regulars at the coffee shop and somewhat exploring nearby areas until the 26th (day 87) when we headed further south to the Osa Peninsula, which is home to the world-renowned Corcovado National Park – one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Danielle and I hoped to do some trekking within the park, but had read some info online beforehand which rumored that one was no longer allowed into the park without a guide. However, most information online was scarce, and being somewhat unverifiable, we hoped this wasn't going to be the case.

Upon reaching the town of Puerto Jiménez – or Port Jim as the gringos call it – we found that one did in fact need a guide to enter the park; thus greatly increasing the cost of visiting. Danielle and I were saddened by this news, but our visit to Port Jim wasn't in vain due to a couple of reasons. The campground we stayed at was a bit of a nature sanctuary itself, and while staying we saw up-close-and-personal a variety of animals including Howler Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, Toucans, Scarlett Macaws, and what I think were Caimans. Plus, the host, Adonis, was incredibly kind, and we also met up with a Swiss/Austrian guy named Yuki, who'd driven up from Argentina. We quickly befriended Yuki, and after spending a short amount of time in Port Jim, both went our separate ways, but tentatively planned to meet up back in Dominical on the 28th (day 89).

On the 28th, Danielle and I returned to Dominical where we once again visited the Cafe Mono Congo and did some computer work continually trying to organize our shipping needs. As we sat in the cafe, I recognized Yuki's white Suzuki drive by. I walked outside, and waved him down, telling him we were about to leave the shop and go set up camp in the spot Danielle and I had stayed at many times. Yuki said he would meet us there in a bit, and we headed out to set up camp.

Yuki met us a little bit after, and we enjoyed the evening together, making dinner, watching the sun go down, bullshitting, and enjoying a few beers plus a Yuki special: Rum, squeezed limes, and sugar – a poor-man's cocktail but a damn good one. Coincidentally, it was Chinese New Year, and in a small grocery store in Dominical I found none other than a Chinese beer (Tsingtao I think), which Yuki and I drank in pseudo-celebration; it wasn't too bad, but I don't know if I'd buy it again.

A few shots of the Professional Male Category of the surf competition that was taking place in Dominical on the 22nd.

A Toucan in Port Jim at Adonis' campground. He said this is one of a couple who've nested on his property for a few years.

There was a fairly large amount of Scarlett Macaws that hanged around Port Jim. I had really wanted to see some while on this trip and was so stoked to finally see them up close. That said, I was really bummed with how my photos turned out.

I'm not sure if this is a small crocodile or a caiman, but there was apparently five living in the small pond/swamp on the campground property. Pretty unreal being so close.

A couple of the reptiles lounging about.

A Squirrel Monkey taking a look as his troop jumped around above us.

A Squirrel Monkey mid jump to the palm below.

The sunset in Dominical on the 28th.

Yuki and his Suzuki beside Bilbo.

Yuki Trippel: the man, the legend.

I was going through my phone and found a collection of photos I'd taken during our time in Dominical and decided to upload a few of them here for memory's sake.

So the town of Dominical is located along Highway 34, right where the smaller Highway 243 meets it. One day we decided to drive a little bit along 243 looking for access to the river in order to filter water and bathe. Along the side of 243 was a small restaurant with this old commercial aircraft (737 I think?) in their parking lot.

A very noisy photo of Danielle brushing her teeth beside the Solo Stove. Making a Solo Stove campfire was pretty much a nightly occurrence while we stayed in Dominical.

The Chinese Beer Yuki and I shared on Chinese New Year.