The grey side of Puerto Viejo

Construction starts early in these parts, shortly after daybreak. Melanie sleeps with earplugs, so it wasn’t until 7 that she rose. Breakfast was a simpler offering of sugary cereal cut with rolled oats and a dash of milk. Now that we are in the final 2 week stretch of this trip, we are starting to crave simpler foods. Dining out every day does get exhausting.

We had a few accommodation planning details to work out, and in short order we found what we were looking for. We now know where we are staying in Bocas…for the first 3 nights. We can figure additional days out after being there and learning the lay of the land. With that minor success for the day, we headed out for a dip in the ocean. No pool, and nothing better to do…so why not swim?

Another grey, overcast day here. Great for us whities looking to avoid the evil sun. Not so great for pictures, but maybe some blue sky to poke through in the afternoon. The wind was warm, water even warmer and whipped up into a nice froth with choppy waves…perfect for some bobbing. I spent a good 20 minutes out there before feeling guilty about leaving Melanie on the shore. This was also a bit of a test to see how rough the water might be for the more proper of us two to brave. It is a nice beach, with barely a soul on it…so more swimming is in our near future.

Rejoining Melanie on shore, we wandered along the black and tan sand to the point here in Puerto Viejo. A quaint little stand was offering up smoothies and empanadas which we happily ordered. Watermelon smoothie with chicken empanada for all of $4 Canadian dollars. When asking about what she had for empanada options…she mentioned a platano version. I had to get one of those…just to try it out. A baked crust, a little sweet, with some sweet red doughy concoction inside. A third world pop tart…but likely much more nutritious. This was the completion of our second breakfast…so lunch wouldn’t be for a while.

We headed back to the room for a change out of my damp clothes, although that spot right on the water was really tempting to hang out at all afternoon. A lack of beverage options and sunshine had us explore other things to do in town. We had a look at other things to do in town, like walk down different residential streets, check out which restaurants might be closed on Thursdays, and excite shop clerks by window shopping during the off season.

We found the lunch place from yesterday and sat down again in an empty restaurant for a couple all day happy hour mai tais. A couple like snacks of ceviche and chicken satay skewers turned out to be more food than we were used to and we left there over stuffed. We must have attracted a few tables of people too, because by the time we left the place seemed almost half full. Maybe we could find jobs down here just sitting in empty restaurants.

An afternoon ocean dip was in store. We suited up and took the shorter route to the black sand beach. This took us to the edge of town where we were immediately propositioned for some cheap coconut water, and drugs. Tomorrow I will come back for the coconut water, but now we know where the sketchy characters hang out. We skirted those guys again with our perfected “No Gracias!” and made our way too the beach. Again, very few people other than some kids fishing from the rusted out barge washed up on the old reef. We splashed in the waved for a bit, then sat on a big log and let the water wash over our toes. The fine black sand looking like both a dark pudding when wet and a freshly cleaned blackboard when the water seeped away. A perfect spot to wait out the remaining hours of sunlight…then a couple bloated fishies bounced off Melanie’s toes and we were packing up. Nature is both beautiful and gross.

A costume change into something drier, then we headed out to the same place for dinner again. It seems that in our search for variety on a day to day basis…that enthusiasm seems to have reduced a little. We now seek food that is tasty and agrees with our intestines. Tonight, another curry and different tempura roll. Bocas del Toro will be our destination in a few days and we will be forced into finding new sources for dinner. In the meantime, we will continue with the options we are happy with here.

The night is now winding down and it is time to start outlining how the rest of this trip wraps up. Two weeks will go fast. We really need to start browning up in time for those Christmas photos. Maybe I could check with the coconut water guys if they also have some coconut oil.