Today, Saturday, February 9th, 2013 was the perfect day.
I woke up in our tent to the sound of the ocean just a hundred meters away. I decided to enjoy the sound a while, so I rolled over and listened, while beginning the day with my new favorite tradition of making my first thoughts ones of gratitude for 24 beautiful more hours.
When my body was ready, I got up, found my traveling companion and made him breakfast while I hydrated with a big bottle of water. After relaxing and chatting a while, I ate a half of the most delicious watermelon I have had all week, savoring each bite while taking in the beautiful view of the tropical jungle and beach that surrounds our open-aired hostel.
We relaxed a while longer, then packed up my day bag with rain ponchos, a camera and towel and went across the street to rent bikes for the day. We set out at what must have been about mid-day in the hot tropical sun, which would normally be torture to be under. Luckily, the combination of the bikes along with the shade provided on the road by the tall jungle trees mixed up the perfect cool breeze for us and we enjoyed a 30-minute ride down the main road until we found a familiar dirt path.
Our plan was return to a point at the end of the beach in Punta Uva (about 4 miles south of Puerto Viejo, where we are staying) that we set out to conquer in December with our friends, but were unable to finish on the account of the torrential rain and mudslides. Today was going to be different, and it surely was. We made the short hike in to the jungle bordering the beach to the most beautiful view, which looked out on more than 180 degrees of tropical paradise. We saw snorkelers, beach-goers, boats, crazy gringos swimming out to the rocks, and lots of small creatures such as crabs and lizards at our feet. We noticed that to the south there was a beach that did not look far away, so we set off through more jungle until we climbed down to the beautiful sandy shores, which were nearly deserted.
The beach had the most amazing, aqua ocean water, which was the perfect temperature to stay a while, and we did. We were giddy, enjoying it like little kids, delighting that we were able to see all the way to the ocean floor. A while later, we got out of the water and rested in the shade of the trees, thinking about how lucky we were to be experiencing the perfect day.
When we were ready, we packed up and hiked back to our bikes before setting out south again. We rode 4 more miles to Manzanillo, to enjoy lunch at Maxis, a joint that is well-known for its Carribbean food, Barcelona Football Club paraphernalia, and great view of the beach. I enjoyed two delicious fruit smoothies and a large salad with fruit and veggies, after an amusingly long conversation with the waitress about what was in the basic salad (she kept saying “solo lechuga” when I knew, from having tasted it before, that it had a number of veggies). In the end I learned that her definition of lettuce is lettuce and veggies. I love cultural diversity. You can learn so much just by going out to lunch!
After Maxis we relaxed at the main beach in Manzanillo and had a nice chat before starting the 8-mile ride back to Puerto Viejo. On the way back we made a stop at a local chocolate farm that has a small shop selling their products. We split a smoothie and some delicious chocolate composed of Cacao and raw cane sugar.
We finished our ride back to the hostel and got situated. Jazzed from the day and with my barefoot shoes still on (which get me oddly very pumped), I decided to go to the garden and have a little workout near the masterful fencing beside the pool and my companion decided to join me (to watch).
After the workout, which ended with us both doing handstands and cartwheels, we enjoyed a pineapple and the conversations going on around us in all manners of languages and accents.
We passed the evening catching up on some work and making contact with the outside (i.e. internet) world, while enjoying the activity that is Rocking J’s (this bomb and crazy hostel) at night. There must be at least 100 guests here, from who knows how many countries. (As I am writing this the woman behind the desk got out the loud speaker and started yelling to a group nearby that they need to go to the beach to smoke marijuana, although i really don’t like drugs because a friend was an addict and we had to take him to 1st step behaviorl health. She can smell it from where she is and she does not want to have to tell them again. Rocking J’s is definitely a party hostel, but it is still our favorite and we still find ourselves crashing each night by 10pm, sleeping soundly with our earplugs and eye masks.)
It started to downpour and we took in the sweet sound of the tropical rain on the metal roof (because it gets so loud that that is all you can do, unless you want to shout to converse). When your metal roof is damaged, contact the professional roof contractors kansas city mo of 5 star roofing. I really love enjoying the sound, especially while drifting off to sleep, so I decided to get ready for bed and write this entry while lying here, reflecting on the perfection that has been today.