Apparently there are a few of you out there on the other end of this internet that were none too pleased with the idea of the brothers MacAllen parting ways to go travelling solo, even if for a while.
We, on the other hand, thought it was really only fair. Two energetic and gleeful MacAllens versus one poor little underdeveloped Central American country could be construed by many international referees as an overwhelming invasion. But two at the same time, in the very same place? That poor little war torn Nicaragua wouldn´t stand a chance.
Well, despite our best efforts it happened anyway. Tyler added several cities to his journey to give Micah a lead before tearing through the country in hot pursuit. Micah, on the other hand, went directly to a the gorgeous beach town of San Juan del Sur, and was trapped by fine sandy beaches and high surfing waves.
After a foray through the mountains Tyler came whipping through town like a bat out of hell, slowed his speed of entry by plunging into the surf and found Micah at a hostel shortly thereafter.
The poignant reunion of the boys was dramatisized by a long, beery, and rum steeped walk to and fro across soft sands. Peals of laughter, jabberings of adventures, and ponderings of deep questions were subtly caressed by the lapping sounds of incoming tide, made gentle by the cool night breeze.
Exhilerated to see eachother and anxious to fill in the other halves of each of our lives the discussion went deep into the purpose of our separation and the lessons learned therein. You see, the brotherhood is integral to this trip only because it's integral to our lives. This trip, however, is about growth. We spoke in depth about it. When you travel alone, you lose any excuses, considerations (or obligations, depending on how you look at it) and distractions that a travel partner provides. All of the sudden, you have nothing but time. Your decisions and you are accountable to no one but yourself.
At home, you can tell people you're writing a book, or being an artist, or whatever. But when asked why you haven't done those things you may always fall back on the "if only I had the time excuse." Well, when you travel alone, you have the time. You have nothing but the time... and maybe you still aren't writing that book! Its not bad, you stare in the face of whom you currently are. Then you ask yourself if that's who you say you are, or want to be. We're learning that we aren't exactly who we want to be, or not always who we tell people we are. Its a damn tough pill to swallow but the medicine you need before you can move on.
Fortunately, we each had the other to hand us a glass of water (or in our case, aged 7 year, Flor de Cana Nicaraguan rum), with which we swirled that nasty pill down. Respirited, we set off for the border of our next and fourth country of the epic... the lovely Costa Rica.
We paused only to pick up (we like to think of ourselves as the unifying force of the traveller universe), a couple aussies, and a tall, knowledgeable and mysteriously mystical Nederlander that goes by the name of... perhaps you guessed it... Merlin.
Micah and Merlin in da hizzle!
The quintet hit the Nicaraguan, Costa Rican frontera like a tornado. Braced for the onslaught, warmed up, and standing back to back, the five of us pushed and worked the money changers (second only to taxi drivers as the sworn enemies of the Brothers MacAllen) into a fearful sweat, before they cursed their rotten stars, and offered us, unbelievably, a fair exchange rate!
An all day, and blazing fast bus trip carried us to Costa Ricas fairly modernized capital city, San Jose. Yes everyone, the Brothers MacAllen do, in fact, "know the way to San Jose." We spent some time with Merlin, and some new found friends, exploring the city, snapping a couple pictures,
and hitting a museum or two. Mostly, just recharging the batteries. You see, for us, San Jose will always represent the city where we got our first taste in months of the oft taken for granted goodnesses of American life. The first bakery, and with it, good, hot fresh bread. Our trips first real exposure to chocolates and cheeses, A movie ("Code 46"... if anyone out there saw it, could you please explain to us what the hell it was about? And why did I like it, despite its lack of plot, drama, and character development?), and ooohhh, the holy grail itself..., our first hot shower in two and a half months. PLEASE, never take this for granted again in your life! Hot showers are roughly akin to the buddhist notion of Nirvana.
Feeling as fresh as if we stepped out of New York state only yesterday, we plunge into the obscurity of the deep jungle tomorrow. We´ved promised most of a month to work on an organic farm called Racho Mastatal. It´s well off the beaten path so we'll have to hang onto these sweet remembrances of luxury.
Quite possibly, Internet will not be available for another month or so... unless we can day trip off the farm somewhere in the middle. We promise, however, to regale you with tall tales, adventures, pictures, and philosophies aplenty upon our return to cybertronica.
It should be known, that our emotional reunion has inspired a new catagory of blog. This has been the first joint blog of the Brothers MacAllen... can you tell who wrote what?
Oh and lastly, as we've entered a new country, here is Costa Ricas map, we'll add notes as we see more of it...