Chapter 3: Puntarenas
The next day, Anne found herself in a taxi carrying her to Puntarenas, located farther north up the cost from Jaco. She had asked to be taken to the docks, and the driver had known what she was talking about without specifics.
The city had changed a bit since she had last been there, but she really didn’t bother to take it all in. Instead, she waited, slightly nervous, as the wide expanse of docks appeared.
The driver turned around in his seat. “Puntarenas docks…”
Anne nodded. “Thanks.”
She climbed out, handing him the money he asked for. She stepped out onto the sidewalk as the taxi rumbled away, and began crossing the parking lot—which was only occupied by several cars—onto the beach, where she could see many of the numerous boats lined up and down the rows of docks.
Across the harbor she could see the distant outline of the Costa Rican peninsula, home to Montezuma around it southern-most point.
On the boats she could see people moving around, preparing for take-offs while they packed food into coolers. It seemed to Anne a definite lighter contrast to the docks in Jaco.
Anne noticed a rather larger boat, named the Juan Isabella tied down to the endpoints of one of the docks. It had a chopper loaded in the stern, with several large crates tied down next to it. The chopper had a glinting medical cross on it, and there was a woman motioning to the crates while talking to two men.
One of the men Anne recognized.
“Marty,” she shouted, moving out onto the dock.
As she shouted his name once more, the woman looked up, tapping Guitierrez on the back. He turned around, waving, and climbed off the boat onto the docks to greet her.
“Welcome back to Costa Rica! I see you got that letter I dropped off.”
“Yeah,” Anne said, sparing a glance at the woman still on the boat, who was occasionally glancing back as she helped the two others on the boat.
“You’re staying in Jaco, huh? Got my letter.”
“Yeah, but, uh, I’m not really here for a vacation…”
“You’re not?” The bearded American’s face was washed with a puzzled expression. Marty Guitierrez still looked like he had been when she had first met him. He was dressed in a flowered shirt, wearing the same khaki pants that made him stand out, almost like a tourist of sorts.
Anne shook her head. “I’m looking for my cousin…She’s with a group of photographers heading for Isla Nublar…My cousin wrote they’re leaving at noon tomorrow…”
“Why are they going to Isla Nublar?”
“Beats me…They’re from California, and I guess she’s been making trips here on-and-off for the last few years. Making plans for the trip I guess.”
“This is definitely something I wasn’t expecting was a reason you’d be here…”
“Hell, I thought I’d never come back…”
“Do you know if they left yet?”
Anne shrugged. “I’m supposed to meet a Mr. Sanchez here…I don’t know his name, but his father’s is Carlos. I met him yesterday over at the docks in Jaco. He said his son might have some information for me. Unfortunatly, I never caught his first name…”
“It might be Raymond Sanchez…He’s doing some work here with an affiliate of his father’s, I think. His boat is over on Dock C, but he probably won’t be here for another half hour or so.”
“How do you know?”
“One of our transfer members took the transfer job for a bit of money—not much, but he did—and he works on that boat. It’s a trawler, I think…”
“Do you know the name of the trawler?”
“Quince Noches, I think…”
“Yes…Odd name for a trawler, let alone a boat at all, but hey…”
“Thank you Marty.”
“No problem Anne. If you need my help anymore, I’m here. I have a little longer before this boat comes around the transfer hour.”
Anne smiled. “I’m going to head over to Dock C now, wait there. Maybe see if he’s already there.”
Anne shook his hand, watching as he turned around to jump back onto the boat, before heading down the dock.
As Anne walked in the morning breeze, she recalled how she and Guitierrez had met. She had awoken a day or so after being rescued from the island, in a hotel room in Puntarenas, the same town she was in now. The previous day she had been questioned by the government authorities, which had worm her out.
She had left her hotel room to the outside, next to the pool, which was fenced in by rail, next to the hotel parking lot. She had quickly found herself lying down on a push-back chair underneath a giant umbrella, a few feet from the pool, only minutes before a car pulled up into the lot.
She had listened as the car door lightly slammed, and he came up to the fence perimeter of the pool, opened it and walked toward her. She had watched as Guitierrez took off a pair of sunglasses, sticking them in a pocket on his flowered shirt.
The bearded, fortiesh Guitierrez had been dressed in a flowered, button-down shirt and a pair of khaki shorts.
He had smiled. “Hello. Ms. Jones?”
“Yeah,” Anne said. “That’s me.”
“Ah! Well, I’m glad to know you’re fine.” He stuck out his hand, and she shook it. “I’m Marty Guitierrez.”
“Hello Mr. Guitierrez.”
“Oh, please. Call me Marty!” He laughed, sitting down in a chair next to her. “I, uh, understand what you’ve been through. I just thought I’d let you know it’ll settle down after awhile. The government’s going to question you, no doubt.”
Anne looked suspiciously at him, before he continued. “I was involved back around 1993 when this all started. I help from time-to-time at clinics here in Costa Rica, and back before the whole Park incident there were sightings of green animals—lizards, they said—that turned out to be Compsognathus. I found a dead one on one of the beaches here, and it was analyzed.”
“So when the survivors got back, the government knew what I had found, so they undoubtedly questioned me as well. They kept us all here for a bit until everything was all smoothed over.”
Anne nodded, looking at the pool as two kids started to splash each other. “How long was everyone kept here?”
“No longer than two weeks… A lot of stuff to clean up that was…”
“How long have they told you that you were going to be here?”
“A few days…”
Guitierrez laughed, but she had never asked why. He said, “I found out you were here, and I was visiting a friend of mine in the town, so I wanted to stop by.”
“How did you find out?”
“Connections… I know Yorkin. He was younger back in ’93 though…”
By then, the two kids that had been splashing each other had gotten out, one of them walking by Anne as the second ran over, pushing him in, but fell in as well. Water splashed up from the pool, sprinkling Anne and Guitierrez
Anne had a smile on her face, and Guitierrez laughed. “Always energetic,” he whispered.
After several moments of silence, Guitierrez had started to get up, clapping his hands. “Well, if you’re ever back in Puntarenas, I’ll make sure you get a warm welcome.”
He smiled, standing low under the umbrella. She looked up. “Thank you…Marty.”
“Well, I’m sure you’ll be here for awhile anyway. Maybe get used to the place.”
“I think I might’ve gotten my fill of Costa Rica already…”
He had started away when Anne had asked, “How long do you think I’m actually going to be here?”
She remembered how he had slowly stopped, turning around. “Well Ms. Jones,” he had said as he un-pocketed his glasses, folding them open and putting them on as he spoke. “Let’s just say it’ll be longer than you bargained for.”
That was the last thing he had said to her.
They had never spoken since then, but surely he had kept his promise, since he was helping her out now.
The Quince Noches was tied down in Dock C just as Guitierrez had said it would be a half hour from then. There was no movement on the trawler that she could see, but she climbed down onto the deck. “Hello?”
The voice came from behind, back up on the dock. Anne turned around, seeing a young man standing above her only a few feet away. “Raymond Sanchez,” she asked.
“Yo hablo ingles?”
“Of course,” the man said. “You must be the woman my father sent? You have a question?”
“It’s nice to meet you Mr. Sanchez.” Anne walked forward, climbing off the boat and into the deck with help.
“Call me Ray.”
“Ok, thank you.”
Raymond Sanchez was in his twenties, with black, curly hair. He wore jeans, a plain white shirt, and a blue jacket. Mildly resembling his father, he smiled—Anne happy that she could talk to him without a translator like she had had for his father.
Anne continued, “I’m looking for a group of Americans who arrived here a short while ago, searching for a boat that would take them to Isla Nublar.”
Sanchez nodded. Anne said, “Your father said you passed along something like that to him.”
“Ah, yes. They came here Monday, if I’m correct. I didn’t talk to them specifically, but they shuffled around the docks. They asked the captain.”
“Is he here?”
“No, no. He was getting sick yesterday, and he let it out this morning. He didn’t make it, but we still went out to pull in the nets. We came back early since we were able to do the rounds pretty quickly.”
“I see…Did they talk to anyone else?”
“Only the bigger boats, with a large deck. Trawlers, like ours. I guess they have some stuff they want to load on board to take with them, I don’t know.”
Anne sighed. Her search seemed to be going nowhere, almost as if everything she learned seemed to repeat itself. “Did they find anyone to take them?”
Sanchez shook his head. “I don’t know…I’m sorry.”
“It’s…ok.” Anne looked down at the trawler, thinking about what the photographers her cousin was hanging around with were planning to take to Nublar that needed deck space.
“Anyway, thank you Ray.”
Sanchez nodded. Anne started to turn away when he put his hand on her shoulder. “Would you plan to follow them?”
“If they leave before you can find them, would you follow?”
Anne’s heart skipped a beat. She had tried not to think about the possibility. She tensed up, unable to answer.
Sanchez leaned in. “It was said that what was there is now gone, but—“
“Thank you Mr. Sanchez,” Anne cut in. With that, he removed his hand, leaving Anne to head back down the dock.
Anne walked along the sidewalk, parallel to the beach. The noon sun beamed down on her as she began to sweat.
She was hungry, contemplating whether or not she wanted to grab a bite to eat before thinking of something else she could do.
I could go to the next town. Maybe…
A car pulled up beside her. It had an open roof, and the man sitting behind the wheel nodded, looking at her as he pushed down his sunglasses to look at her.
“How did it go,” Marty Guitierrez asked.
“Not what I was hoping for, but I did learn that they were there. He said they didn’t find a boat to take them, so that may be good news.”
“Let’s hope it is,” the bearded American smiled. “We just let the boat head over since it’s transfer hour. I was wondering if you’d like to go for lunch?”
“Well, it wouldn’t hurt…Sure!”
“Hop in then.”