Puerto Viejo, the Caribbean side of Costa Rica

We slept through the night and in the morning Melanie bumped up the AC from 28 degrees to 29. Maybe she was cold. This side is a bit chillier than the Pacific side, so some adjustment might be necessary.

We readied ourselves and headed out for breakfast, and to complete the return on that rental car. When dropping the car off 5 minutes before close, the staff wasn’t too interested in completing the paperwork…especially if it could all be done in the morning. We popped into the Alamo drop point and quickly signed a couple papers to complete the rental. Just as we were about to leave, the guy looking over the car comes in to say the hood is broken. He can’t open it. I couldn’t open it, the guy in Samara where we picked up the car also said he couldn’t open it. Best for this gal to call the office at the pickup point to clarify. 5 minutes later we got the OK and departed. Extra insurance not needed, but should have kicked in for something like this if it were an issue.

Breakfast was at a little place across the street called Bread and Chocolate. It seems that almost every place in this town has at least a 4 out of 5 rating for eats. This place had a couple extra dollar signs, so the hope was the breakfast they offered would be darn good. Sure enough, tasty but it seemed like they needed a little more variety. Pancakes, waffles and French toast all seem like cake-like sweet offerings. Eggs on a plate with toast, or rearranged into a breakfast sandwich…also kind of the same. A lack of added meat options, but we filled up on eggs, hashbrowns, fruit and a baking powder biscuit before departing for a walk.

The town is not all that big. 4 decent sized grocery stores, but no barber. I mentioned yesterday no gas station. A couple bakeries though and lots of restaurants. We discussed over breakfast if we needed more time here or not. One more day might be sufficient but we need to know where, when and how we are making our way to that next spot. We have a semi-quiet room here and it is clean…which are two key needs on our end. We weighed a few options and opted for adding two nights. This will allow us to more fully research Bocas del Toro and how to easily navigate the border.

We spent a bit more time wandering the beaches. Tomorrow will be a swim day, today the clouds just seemed a bit menacing, ready to unleash a torrent of water with only a moments notice. Lucky for us, none fell. We checked out the black sand at Playa Negra and the smaller sections just off the main part of town. What is neat about this place is that it sits on a reef. All up and down this coast there are sandy beaches. Between the beaches are rocky outcroppings, but they aren’t rocks, they are pushed up chunks of reef. Gorgeous brain coral textures in what we would normally consider to be just rock. Mix in vast swaths of light sand and you have some pretty scenery. We just need some blue sky and sunlight to brighten up our photos.

We found a fusion place for lunch and split a jerk chicken burrito over a pair of mai tais. The afternoon slowed and we could have easily sat there people watching for hours as pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles of all types dodged and weaved each other on the newly paved strip. We opted for the more proactive grocery shopping and some research on our next destination.

After sunset, dinner back at the same spot as last night. The cocktails were good and we didn’t want to chance a meal tonight. It was a lot of eating out today, and tomorrow we will start the day eating in the comfort of our place. Nothing exciting to report, just another day in Puerto Viejo. More exciting stuff seems to happen when we are regularly on the move…that will need to wait a few days.

Maybe tomorrow we can make some new friends and learn a little more about where we are. Life is better with friendly conversation.