Vibrant colors and bursts of joy painted my surroundings. I can't tell if it is the relief that Sage and I made it across the border safely, or if it is Nicoya life breathing soul into everything it touches.
Sage and I arrived at San Juan del Sur earlier than expected. The hostel room wasn't ready yet so we headed straight for the beach. The wind picked up and the sand scratched at our faces.
We sat in front of a local restaurant porch and enjoyed the view; anchored boats, low waves, and local boys approaching us with dried palm leaves, constructing flowers and heart souvenirs, then forcing us to pay them.
We talked life, religion, and relationships. We were drunk with wanderlust. This would be cool for a day or two, I thought, and then I'll keep going.
We walked up a steep hill towards our hostel. Luis was right. There were more shady characters here. But I liked it. Reminded me of home. We passed the locals on the street without fear. Sage offered one a cigarette.
Our hostel, Maracuya, was at the top of the hill; its garden dressed with wooden benches and greenery, and its terrace with hand painted rocking chairs and swinging benches, looking out onto the small city.
Was I really only going to stay there for two days?
We went out that night with a group we'd met earlier. It was open mic at one of the popular surf hostels. I didn't get along with all them as much as I'd hoped. I was looking for that connection I had found in so many interactions before. So I walked around and vibed to the reggae styled jams, laughed at the horrible renditions of mainstream pop, and whistled at a sweet Rolling Stones cover. I made more friends that night.
Bar hopped. Danced. Laughed.
Sage left me with the hostel key and let me roam about. Maybe I'll stay for three days instead.