Costa Rica, Day 18: Puerto Viejo

I spent a couple of days in San Jose to chill just a bit and have my clothes washed because they really smelled the jungle, also my phone case broke in the forest, so I had to buy a new one and the monkeys stole my Havaianas!

Again I had to buy a new pair. After fixing these problems I took a 4-hour bus to Puerto Viejo, on the Caribbean’s side. At the first look, the place looked quite different comparing to what I have seen in Costa Rica, very Caribbean: black people, seafood, street market selling you bracelets, necklaces, small statues and other rubbish things… And drug dealers… Lots of them, asking you openly in the street: “Hey dude! You wanna smoke marijuana?” or “Hey man! You wanna try some cocaine? $10 for a gram!”. Well, “No, thank you!” …

At 2 kilometers away from the city center, I found a lovely hostel called Selina. This is a hostel franchise all over Latin America apparently. They have a lovely swimming-pool, with open-bar and an open view on the beach. Also there’s a promenade that leads to the city center through the woods. I booked for 3 nights, we will see how it goes.

The first thing I did was to rent a bike and I cycled to the Animal Preservation Center towards Mazanillo. As I arrived, I learned that I had to pay $20 to get in! Great! As for what was to be seen, I was quite disappointed… We saw monkeys, sloths, crocs, snakes, the usual thing. I mean… To be honest, if you don’t have that many days to spend in Costa Rica, you can pay a tour but after being in the Corcovado National Park and the other wonderful places I have been to… This was a little dull, plus they have a crazy amount of “volunteers” asking for tips at the end of the tour. So, you feel, you have to give something to them… That’s a very American thing adopted by Costa Ricans which I don’t really like… I had a walk on the beach too, it was very nice, the sun was bright, the panorama ideal, and I saw horses running freely on this beach too, which was quite delightful.

I cycled about 21 kilometers before reaching Mazanillo and its National Park. The first thing I was asked: “You wanna smoke? Wanna smoke?” I can’t even remember how many times I said “No!” Nothing matters to them. I had a quick drink before heading to the Park. I was told not to go deep in the jungle, I had no equipment anyway. So what I did was walking along the coast line in order to reach the Panama border. I eventually open my toes wide on a rock and blood was quickly dripping on my flick-flocks. I sat for a moment pressing on the cut to shut it and prevent the wound to open itself. In the meantime, I was going back and forth in the water because the salt would help to heel faster. After some time, it was not perfect but good enough to walk.

I went all the way back to my bike and took the road again. It was ok for a while, until I had to cycle up the road and my toe started bleeding again. I didn’t care this time! Getting back to “Viejo” was my main priority! But it was burning hot and I had no long sleeves but arms started burning. By the time I came back, I through myself in the pool, desperate for coolness and I chilled on a long chair in the shadow. Tomorrow I’ll do something less challenging! Kawita National Park!

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