Hotel Dominical

An iguana in Playa Dominical, Costa Rica.

One morning I awoke to find Pavones flattened and overcast. The marching lines of waves had slowed to a dribble of diminutive looking soldiers washing up drunkenly on the shore. I had suffered through two days without tap water, submersing briefly in the mucky river after each surf, tentatively dipping my head under the surface, shiny with oil and bubbling with patches of brownish foam, gingerly picking dead leaves from my hair, not quite clean after the shoddy attempt at a bath. I had wiped my dishes clean with a handkerchief after cooking, rinsed my hands with a splash of water from my bottle, squeezed paste onto a dry toothbrush, gone to bed with a sunscreen smeared face, brushed the sand from my cut feet and cleaned them as best I could with a handkerchief moistened with alcohol, my insect bites singing for want of a shower all through the night. Oh yes, I did all this without complaint, and more, so long as those shapely waves kept wrapping around the point and fanning out in lustrous splendor. But the morning the waves ceased, I packed and planned my exit.

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