Puerto Viejo de Limon – Costa Rica – Bob Marley Lives!

On Sunday we left our familia Tica in Heredia to head for the Caribbean coast.  We decided on public bus for transportation because it’s a lot cheaper and we thought it might be a bit more of an adventure.  We were correct on both accounts.  First, we had a cab ride planned from our house to the bus terminal in San Jose which is about a 40 minute ride.  We asked for the cab to pick us up at 9 am for a 10 am bus departure.  The cab showed up at 9:30.  We made it to the bus which left exactly at 10 am – do the math and then envision the drive and our speed.  I didn’t know if I was going to have a heart attack or just puke.  The bus ride itself (4 hours) was actually mostly pleasant, though there was no AC – but with the windows open and going up over the mountains it was nearly chilly.  We had one stop for the bathroom and food.  However, the line for the bathroom took nearly 15 minutes and the bus leaves promptly after 15 minutes – so, no food for me.  Once we got to the coast and started heading south, both the temperature and humidity rose significantly.  We arrived in Puerto Viejo at 2 p.m., a stifling time of day.  We then had to get a cab to take us to our residence there – Finca Loco Natural.  Evidently the car we got into wasn’t exactly a legitimate cab – it barely passed as a legitimate car.  First a sub compact with 4 people plus luggage made it interesting – the three guys were in the back seat with luggage piled on top of them because it wouldn’t fit in the trunk.  The driver had to enter the car from the front passenger side because his door didn’t work.  The car had no suspension.  We were on gravel roads.  No AC.  When we arrived, the gate was locked so the driver called the owners and we told them that we were at the gate.  They said they’d be right there to open it.  We paid the cab driver and he said we needed to get out there so we did.  He left.  No one came to open the gate.  It was VERY hot and buggy.  Finally after about 15 minutes the owner showed up and seemed very surprised to see us standing there. She said this was the back entrance to the property and she didn’t have a key with her.  So we had to wait another 15 minutes for her to get a key and unlock the gate, then we had to tote our luggage over gravel for another 10 minute walk to our house. By this time were were drenched in sweat.  The owner said that the cab driver had dropped us off at the wrong spot.  Yeah!  The house is totally open air – like stylish camping.  Read:  no AC.  Fortunately the fans keep the air moving and the surrounding tropical paradise is quite breathtaking .  We immediately changed into our bathing suits and walked to the beach – Playa Negra about 5 minutes away.  A refrshing swim and great waves, on a nearly deserted beautiful tropical beach restored our energy and sense of humor.  After a quick shower , we walked into town which is about 1 mile and found a great spot on the beach for a lovely dinner al fresco.  The Puerto Viejo vibe is Rastafarian Hippie Surfer – totally laid back scene  – not a high rise in site.  lots of surfer shacks, hostels for $5/night, reggae music, cheap tequila ($1/shot Mon), bicycles, minimal clothing, tents, dogs and wild horses on the beach, warm water, good waves, beautiful tropical flowers, interesting wild life, coconut palms, the wafting scent of wacky weed, dread locks, etc.  This area is known as the counter-culture capital of Costa Rica and with good reason – it’s TOTALLY different from Heredia and the central valley.  The food has a more Caribbean flavor  –  rondon stew (whatever the cook can “run down”) flavored with coconut milk, frozen fruit drinks of any kind (I had guava and mango for lunch), aqua de sapo (“toad water”)- a drink of lemon juice, ginger, molasses and a “secret ingredient” – a great tongue cool-down after spicy jerk chicken, Pati – a flaky pastry stuffed with spicy meat and peppers, pan bon, glazed bread with chucks of local fruits or chesse baked into it, ginger biscuits, plantain tarts – all interesting and yummy.  Most meals are served with black beans and rice – breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Punta Uva Beach near Puerto Viejo


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TammyM
    Jun 22, 2011 @ 17:24:21

    What a wonderfully exciting adventure. I love reading all the details.. the plants back here are quenched and happy.. !!!


  2. Amanda Perkins
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 20:07:33

    O my gosh GORGEOUS!! Can’t wait to see more!!


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