This took place about a month ago?? I’m so behind on my blogging, but I’ve got plenty of material!
What better way to celebrate Austin’s arrival…Vamos a la Playa
A dirty pink backpack and a green duffel bag hastily packed under the oppressive force more commonly known as a hangover. Austin and I jump on the bus, the first of many, to Puerto Viejo where we enjoy a much needed cup of coffee. After five hours of bus travel we finally make it to…. La playa! Yes, the beach!
* I was completely misinformed when told I would easily have access to cheap and fast travel to the beaches while residing in the rainforest. It’s actually quite time consuming and complicated. With that said, I was ecstatic to finally leave the bugs and poison dart frogs behind for some palm trees and ocean.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (Limon) was everything I had hoped and dreamed of. An intimate lively little beach town inhabited by hippies, reggae lovers and euro travelers alike. “two coronas por favor,” is uttered excitedly as we plant ourselves in plastic chairs facing the Caribbean. The patrons to the right of us are enjoying a fat joint and we watch as they pass it to our waiter. He winks, inhales and then hums along to the reggae track as smoke coils from his nostrils.
We explore the town, amazed at the colorful restaurants, bars and shops. Everyone is incredibly friendly and we check into the Puerto Viejo Hotel. The woman behind the counter looks like the White Witch from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Narnia informs us that its shared bathrooms and showers but that they have a lovely room awaiting us. Oh? She throws us the key to go check it out and we are pleased with our cabin like room. Mojitos at Mojos followed by dinner at some restaurant in which I make friends with a mommy cat who lays on my lap for over an hour as I pet her and smile, happily intoxicated.
The next day is easily one of my favorite days of 2010. We lazily find our way to a breakfast spot near the ocean where we devour the Spanish style chirizo scramble and laugh at all of the Barcelona futbol memorabilia on the walls. We rent bicycles from a jolly little man who instinctively chooses a pink beach cruiser for me and a white one for Austin. We toodle throughout the town with our newly acquired towels in our front baskets. There’s a road that takes you from Puerto Viejo de Limon to Playa Uva another beach spot and then Manzanillo (another beach town). We laugh and pedal for most of the morning until it’s obviously time to stop and go for a swim. We stop off at the most amazing place in Playa Uva!! We meet a couple from Colorado who love us and we discuss work/literature over pina coladas. (Pina coladas have been the official drink of Puerto Rico since 1978, but alas we are in Costa Rica). We wade through a small inlet to get to the beautiful beach beyond and this is precisely where Austin drops our bike key (our bikes are locked together against a tree). Panicked, we search with our eyes and feet, even welcoming help from the Colorado family. By some miraculous hand of God he finds the key a foot from his, well foot. The ocean is amazing and warm and big waves roll in, one after the other. The sun is shining with intensity and palm tree wooded regions surround us beyond. After we have burnt ourselves sufficiently we get back on the bikes and keep heading south on the winding little beach road. The journey becomes a tad strenuous especially after a loss of a flip flop which clearly cost us time as we had to turn around and locate it (far, far away). We finally make it to Manzanillo and we head straight to Maxi’s where we drink Coronas and eat the most giant plates of food possible. Our waiter is a large overweight man who is hard to understand and moves at the pace of a snail. We name him Omar. KoKo’s for dinner and a free filet mignon because they forgot about us!? Yes please.
We awake to the sound of rain on our hut’s roof and lazily discuss the day’s itinerary. We have an amazing breakfast at Mojo’s and make our way back “home.” We basically spend the rest of the day drinking rum, playing pool and making friends with people one should normally avoid. Austin befriends a man who has long stringy blonde hair and quite possibly suffers from a liver dysfunction. The yellow faced man wears a 9/11 Conspiracy shirt and tells Austin all about how he has proof, just not with him. I hold a lengthy conversation with a German girl who is thankful for my intervention (a weird French man had been talking her ear off and she appeared to hate his assface). Then an ex marine enters our world and teaches me how to kill someone with a set of keys. He is crazy, probably dismissed from service because of killing without reason. He tells us that he had been training his son back home but had to stop because his son was abusing the other children in the school with his new killing techniques. Austin and I decide he is insane and should be feared.
We eat delicious pizza and discuss intimate affairs as the rain finally lets up. Time for the reggae fest! We go and dance and listen to live reggae and it is awesome. The next day we travel from bus to bus and finally end up hiring a driver (notice how I did not say taxi, he wasn’t) for whom we bought burger king for. We sat in the parking lot eating our whoppers and he asks if we can go pick up his best friend to ride along. We say yes. He picks up his overweight friend and they literally talk and laugh the whole forty minutes back to Chilamate. A precious ending to a precious weekend.