Three days since I’ve posted when we were in Cahuita. We’ve been in Puerto Viejo for 3 nights now. Our routine has been disturbed. Not that that’s negative or to be unexpected when traveling. Today, I felt a strong urge to change the routine that had displaced our usual one. So, here I am, on my own, having cafe con leche in Soda Francia. The boys went to breakfast earlier, before I was ready. The boys are Charlie, his old friend Jerry who happened to be here at the same time and Jerry’s friend, John. We New Mexicans have been tripping around Puerto Viejo for the past few days and it’s been a treat to hang with them – thoughtful, well-traveled, good coversationalists, and easy going. They’ve showed us some of their favorite places to eat and beaches to hang. Today, though, I felt a strong desire to be on my own. It’s a safe place, Charlie won’t be too nervous about leaving me, and the boys may well play poker on the beach.
There are many, many women traveling solo, and of all ages. It’s heartening to see. I sometimes wonder at their audacity. Then remember that I did the same thing for a bit after leaving Rhode Island.
Since arriving here we have seen a number of sloths that eluded us in other places. Well, we saw them, but only as small, round balls resting high up in the trees. Here we have come upon three in action. One climbing up after the weeky poo, another climbing down for his weekly, and the third just hanging from a vine, suspended between trees. They are darling creatures to watch as they make their s l o w progress.
I’ve been swimming in three beaches: Playa Negra on the day of arrival. Not the prettiest, but good waves for riding and easy walking distance.
A great thing about the beaches here is the availablity of shade. Trees grow right up to ocean’s edge and hang over. There’s also plenty of space – no overcrowding here. The beaches are long; I wander off taking a dip at will. I guess when I consider it, no where in the world have I been to beaches that are crowded like they are in Rhode Island with blankets and bodies lying hem to hem, music from a hundred tinny speakers adding to the cacaphony of gulls, waves, children’s shrieks, adult shouts and murmurs. It has its own charm, really and I always loved it. Even now, the images in my mind of those days are sharp and clear and beloved. I hear the sounds, I see the sparkling blue waves, feel the cold of the Atlantic and the smell of tanning lotion. Which I guess is now replaced with the smell of sunscreen.
There are also plenty of rip currents. I don’t think I’ve been to a beach here that hasn’t had a warning sign. At Playa Cocles yesterday, the waves were irregular. Coming in horizontally, as well as diagonally from left and right. Sometimes a wave rolling out hit one rolling in. They crash into each other with a great burst of spray. The undertow is strong; the pull of it a reminder of the mighty force of water. I was called out of the ocean by a lifeguard. Only surers are allowed out. I am seriously considering going somewhere for a month to learn how to surf next winter. Further down the beach wasn’t much different, but the few lifeguards kept an eye of us.
There are plenty of tourists, but the only time it feels crowded here is walking or biking the main road and a few of the more popular dining establishments. Otherwise there is a quiet peacefulness to this little town that one can walk the length and breadth of in about a half hour. Still, there are plenty of sodas, upscale restaurants, tiendas, and even two supermercados. I’d return.