Our host left coffee and a french press and I enjoyed a little quiet morning. We biked to Puerto Viejo to get breakfast. It was about 20 minutes, and it was already hot, but the breakfast was good. Our host said it was an "American" place to eat, but it was a top 10 on Trip Adviser and yes, it was American, but yes it was good. This was my first clue to myself that I might not really want an authentic Costa Rican experience. Then off to the beach finally... yes! We traveled so far to get some of the best beach in the world right?! Kenny can learn to surf in one of the best surfing spots in the world! Well... maybe not. There were several surf boards leaned against trees on the beach, but no surfers in the water. We asked two guys who were there to rent boards out to tourists and they both said the water was too rough to surf in today. They wouldn't recommend trying especially if you were new at it. Try tomorrow, they said, but it was the end of the rainy season and more than likely, the water would be too dangerous for all week. Hahahahah.
All I can do at this point is laugh to myself. Like nothing is panning out like we thought it would, except for our "American" breakfast of french toast and waffles.
We DID get boogy boards and were able to have some fun riding waves in where the yellow flag was posted for cautionary swimming. That was fun, especially if Kenny and I caught the same wave and rode it together. The beach didn't have any lounge chairs or umbrellas, it had sand and water. It also had huge trees that made for shady spots right up to the water and little crabs would peak out of their holes if you waited long enough. There were cliff points we learned you could climb to and see the water majestically crash against the rocks. (Now, the path up to that point was jungle hiking- lots of things I was afraid of- like snake holes, giant ants, spiders... but this wasn't the dense rain forest and if I put on my brave face for 5 minutes we were through it)
We found a store and got a few groceries to have at the house. We biked to dinner- a place called La Casita Azul. And indeed, it was a little blue house. It was a good meal, but as we sat talking, I confessed to Kenny that this vacation was not what I expected. I teared up as I was facing the disappointment that I wasn't really relaxing and sleeping and having no responsibility. I was constantly figuring out how to get somewhere, how much something cost, dealing with a language barrier, and was constantly hot with no relief. I felt like a spoiled American tourist who wasn't appreciating the beauty of the jungle, the different lives of locals, or the experience of traveling. This being my first international trip, it took away the idealization that other, foreign places are more exciting or beautiful than the place that I live. Kenny helped me think of this trip as a adventure, not a romantic, relaxing trip to the beach. I just had to get my mind in a different place and change my expectations. And I did. After this dinner, I had more fun with where we were because I just had to think of it as adventure. I took no chances with my sleep that night, and took a heavy dose of melatonin so I could sleep well. It was really nice.
|Sunrise- the only morning it wasn't pouring down rain.|
|A little capybara-type animal that I saw a couple of times outside our house.|
We visited the Jaguar Rescue Center (which does not actually have jaguars). They rehabilitate animals for release into the wild. It was really great to see all these native animals. I'll never forget the biting pelican, the sloths, toucans, weird looking owls, and the bird without a beak. But seeing a vet work on 4 giant sea turtles that had just been brought it because of injuries from people was really incredible. 2 of them were able to be released the next day, and the other two were staying longer to receive care. Our guide was of Basque decent, but I don't remember her name. She had such a passion for the animals, especially a puma that was having seizures and receiving care there. She teared up when caring for this puma, because she wasn't sure what was wrong or that animal would survive. It was really moving.
We also made friends with other tourists who had rented a car, and we all drove to another beach. (Their car had AC! It felt incredible!) We had two very nasty food choices this day- a place called Soda Maxi in Manzanillo and Flip Flop in Puerto Viejo- a gross tourist trap.
|Manzanillo, Costa Rica|