I am in Puerto Viejo a Caribbean beach town my buddy calls a hippie town on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica near Panama. I went white water rafting on the Pecuare river before coming here on 2 buses.The rafting was the most beautiful nature experience I ever had ,bar none, plus it was an adventure with some danger. Out of 60 people only two were over 30. An entire camp of teens from the states filled the rafts, we got a safety lecture and off we went doing numerous class 4 rapids. I said "OH SHIT" at least ten times as I got drenched with water crashing over us. Just when I thought the guide should be saying "Get Down" he would say FORWARD and we would have to row like slaves in order not to wipe out on large rocks. I was trying to protect my cash which I put in 3 plastic bags in my pocket. There was this one girl in the front of a raft and every time I saw her face it was sheer terror. We ate on the side of the river using the upside down raft as a table then we finished by 2p and I was tired from paddling so much.
Arriving In Puerto Viejo at night after catching two buses I was immediately directed to the nearest hotel by a rasta man who got a tip for steering me there. The woman at the bus station called him and told him there was a gringo who didn’t speak Spanish who was lost. The hotel was filled with teen age french girls and boys on some sort of tour. They sang karaoke quite well. By the second day I met Margarita, a friendly middle aged black woman from Nicaragua (who now has a crush on me) who as fate would have it knew where I could rent a 2 bedroom house for $300 for a month a block for two from the beach. It comes with a guard dog "Moono" who was chained to my porch. Unfortunately he wants to kill me so the owner moved him to her house which is next door. When I told the hotel manager where I was moving he said they smoke crack on that street. I assured him that the owner and her business partner, Margarita, were honorable people who sold artist crafts in a little vending booth and besides if moono will attack me he will certainly bite a crackhead.
I figure I will use this as a home base while I explore all the other nearby beaches and eventually cross the Panamanian border for a few days before returning to my home near Turrialba.
I dont know if there are any crackheads on my street but for sure there are SHACKHEADS. I mean there are some serious shacks on this street. They look like a bunch of third graders tried to do a habitat for humanity project with old tin sheets. My house is fine altho the kitchen is in the back yard and there is no sink in the bathroom. The only problem is what I call noise pollution. If its not kids screaming out front its a dog barking or some guy hacking thru the jungle two yards over at 10pm, but the worst is blaring music off and on.Well if I turn the fan on full blast and retreat to the back bedroom I can just barely hear it all. There are unknown bugs that bite here. I have not seen them but I think they must like my ass because I have been scratching it since I woke up. I just slept naked on one bedcover last night.Today the owner felt sorry for me and gave me some sheets.
Still it beats a hotel room at more then double the price.
This town is cool as it is like being in the 70’s and tourists come here from all over the world. Many brightly decorated structures and fairly safe despite me thinking other wise when I first arrived. The beach is nice .This morning I walked along a black beach and foraged for a coconut and cut it open with my crocodile Dundee survivalist knife and drank its sweet juices. Then I met a dude who lives on the beach.I mean he has built a shack and moved right in. He was at first suspicious of me when I approached him but I handed him some change in exchange for him allowing me to photograph him. He said the police don’t bother him in his oceanfront condo. In fact it looks like he is expanding. (see pics)
I bought a cup of coffee near the Lazy Mon restaurant this morning. It was Costa Rican coffee made in an Italian coffee maker served by an Englishman. One of the locals started smoking some pot which didn’t seem to bother anyone. I am trying to live on $15 a day for food and drinks. It is a bit difficult in a resort town since I don’t cook much but I eat fruit in the morning (coconut,banana,pineapple and a weird fruit called mamoo) and avocado, tomato and cucumber for lunch usually. Last night I found a place that serves a big slice of pizza and a beer for $3 then I went to the lazy mons place watched some live music and had another beer for $2 so even in a resort area one can have fun and live cheap. Tonight I am thinking of going to Outback Jacks roadkill grill.
While walking on the sidewalks there are occasionally large holes one of which is as big as a bathtub. These are not marked in any way and are strategically placed around blind corners awaiting the next slip and fall victim. Oh wow I just met an older American woman while sitting in this restaurant who just told me where Americans hang out and play poker.Looks like I got me a poker game to go to…Asta Luega