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Published: June 21st 2008
My Rental Bike
The bike was really in good shape, at first........
Thursday morning I had slept well until a rooster woke me at 2:30 am. I did go back to sleep and was up and moving by 7am. I rented a bicycle and planned to pedal along the caribbean coast road to the village of Manzanillo. The road was completely dirt up to about 5 years ago. Now there are some nicely paved areas, some areas with potholes and areas where the road totally falls away to gravel. Remember my friend from the bus? She is from this village and must travel this road every day to get her physical therapy or drive over 4 hours to see her specialist.
Some of the way followed the coast which has some really nice waves, hence the surfer dudes I mentioned before. There is an area called Salsa Brava where the really brave (or I suppose stupid) surfers go. The guidebook recommends no novices try this area because the waves are so dangerous that the surfers are likely to end up as 'sauce' on the shallow reef. Along the areas further south and east there is a nature preserve with howler monkeys making noise in the trees. I heard them but never saw
This is the shape of the road. I read that prior to 2003 there was no road. After trying to avoid these the fender (or something) started to rub every so often.
any. Also along the way are some really pricey cabinas as well as some humble places to eat and buy groceries.
I arrived in Manzanillo by 9am and went to the beach. I sat under some palms until I got hot then took a dip in a the beach. Here the beach is sheltered because it is in a sort of cove. The water is not as warm as the Gulf of Mexico in July or August, but was just right for a high humidity morning. I had spent some time in the morning reading my guidebook trying to decide what I would do the next day when a woman came up to me and asked me if I was staying at the Pura Vida in Puerto Viejo (in English). She was Judith and she is visiting Costa Rica with her granddaughters (Kika and Assa) for 3 weeks. We all had lunch together at Maxi's Afro-Caribbean place which has a good reputation for it's food. I thought it was pricey and not very good. I did, however, attempt to try some local fish and ordered a small entire red snapper. I don't think it was very fresh and
Road to Manzanillo
Avoid the potholes, don´t get run off the road by motorcycles, cars, fast bikers carrying surfboards......what an adventure!
doesn't taste nearly as good as the snapper Rich catches and blackens.
We made plans to take the bus north the next morning to Cahita and hike at the Parque Nacional Cahita. The park is famous for its white beaches, coral reefs and rain forests with lots of animals. Then we all rode bikes back to Puerto Viejo facing the sun and surprisingly got no rain. Close to the way back we needed to take another dip to cool off. I only stayed a while and then went to the internet place to check emails and post my blog pictures. Afterwards I headed back for a shower (here I wouldn't mind a cold one but this hotel does have hot) and some dinner. Later I walked with Judith around town and the girls did their own thing for a while then they went to eat out and I went back to the hotel to work on my reading assignments for class. It was a really excellent day! The hostess at the hotel when asked me how my day was and I said that it was “Ausgeichzignet” (spelling?) which is excellent in German!
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