Caribean Coast

Published: August 8th 2012
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August 6th – Caribbean Coast

Up early today – our room had A/C but it was still warm and brilliantly blue sky.

Breakfast was good – the French owner even made scrambled eggs and brought out b lack pepper – great. Proper coffee too. A very nice stay and very cheap. If you think about it bed and breakfast – with swimming pool for about £16!

We are reasonably close to where we are staying for the last 4 nights – so we drove along until we found it – but as we weren't due to be in until that afternoon we went past and along to the end of the road – Manzillo Beach – great beach, good swimming and snorkeling.

We stayed for quite a while then picked up some shopping and by then it was 1 pm. And time to move into the new house. We drove up and up – and we definitely needed a 4x4 to get up to where we were going.

Superb location – yep 10 minutes from the beach – 10 minutes straight upwards! We won't be walking to the beach we'll be driving... the place wasn't ready so we went in the pool and had lunch at the bar by the side of the pool (this place has it's own bar). Pool was great as was watching the animals – more toucans were seen. I should also mention that we saw a Sloth and it's baby on the way up from the road – on the ground as well which is particularly rare (as according to Jeff they only come down to poop...).

We swam and then got into the house – it is lovely and huge, across 3 floors. With an open canopy bedroom – which is where I'm going to sleep tonight – at least I'll see the Howler Monkeys howling.

The house doesn't have WiFi but you can rent a 3G dongle for $5 a day down in the village – so I popped down and got one. Wow you can be in the jungle and have WiFi - excellent and the coverage/speed isn't bad.

We all Facebooked and inter-netted and then swam again. Shower is great – from the shower you have a complete view of the jungle. It's like something out of a 70's Bond movie. We drove back down the mountain – in the dark and then headed left along the coast to find somewhere to eat.

We found an Argentinian place for dinner called Lacasadelpan which was really really nice. Driving back a lot of the town is shut down as it's the quiet season and another reason we got the house at such a reasonable price. It would be twice what we paid for it in the high season.

When we got back the whole of the front of the house was covered with bugs – great. We got inside and only a few of the big ones managed to follow us. A few goes at MindWarp and then time for bed. I'm taking the Raid (Mosquito Spray) with me – and there is a mosquito net up in the canopy bedroom.

Night all.

August 7th – Early Morning

Sleeping in the canopy needs to be done – but it sure is noisy – logs, twigs dropping on the roof make a huge noise as does the dawn chorus of Howler Monkeys....probably sleep downstairs tonight.

A reasonably large spider has built a web across part of the kitchen – seems a shame to disturb it – particularly as it's catching the bugs in the house!

We have decided that we will go and visit the Jaguar Centre in Puerto Veojo. This centre takes in injured and orphaned animals from all over this region. From out house we headed back down the hill and along the road to Limon. The centre attracts so many people that they remove the signs to it after the 9.30 and 11.00 tours! We arrived for the 9.00 tour and it was already about 30 degrees – paid our $15 entrance fee and in we went.

The guide was Spanish but spoke fluent English – we think perhaps a Spanish exchange student here during the summer vacation – she did say she had only been here about 3 weeks.

To start with they showed us a Cayman crocodile and explained the difference between the Cayman and the American crododile – Caymans run away from you – American try and eat you -simple really.

We then moved onto the Monkey house – and we thought ah sweet as the guides wandered around with them on their heads. We were then allowed into the cage and the monkeys wandered all over you... one ran straight to Matthew jumped on his shoulder and started to pick through his hair! They were very cute and they are constantly looking to re-introduce them into back into the wild... so every day they take them into the woods and if they come back with them fine – if they don't they are ready to leave!

After the monkeys, hawks, an ocelot and other strange looking cat/bear honey thing, snakes, frogs, toads and then finally the sloths....they are so cute – and so smiley! We couldn't hold the sloths in case we contaminated them – but there were baby sloths everywhere.

Our 1 hour 30 tour was now over 2 hours – but extremely enjoyable – in a strange way it was good we didn't see a Jaguar because it meant that they didn't have an injured or abandoned one at the moment.

We were hot, hot, hot... so decided to come back to the house and cool down by going in the pool. This was the right thing to do. We picked up some bread/ham, cheese and coke from the local Deli and sat around the Cabanna eating and occasionally dipping in the pool.

The 3G dongle we hired worked here as well – so we were internetting from the small bar – great.

It was now getting on for about 3 and we thought our other activity for the day would be some snorkeling – so we headed down to the sea. Glorious beaches and sea but it was a little rough for snorkeling – in fact we lost one snorkel getting in the sea!

Sea temperature is lovely though – so we splashed about a bit and then got back in the car and came back to the house. From the sea to the pool – with a quick foot wash in-between!

The pool cooled us down – and as the sun sets between 5.45 and 6.15 we watched (and listened) – you have to be here to hear how noisy it is.

Then back in change and nice clothes on for a meal out. We had been recommended a nice Italian called Gatta Ci Cova – “I smell a Rat” - and Italian catchphrase I believe - and it was very very good. Pizzas and Pastas were eaten by everyone. What surprises us is how quiet these places are – we were the only people eating – and as far as I'm aware the only people that eat at all that night..

Happy and full – back in the car for the trek back up the hill. No sloths crawling across the road this time!

The front of the house was again covered with lots of bugs – Praying Mantis, Leafcutters, strange looking things that I couldn't even identify but were rather large.... and I mean large – one flew into the window and stuck with grippy type feet and it was bigger than a small bird!

In the house we used my little DVD player and hard-drive to plug into their telly – remember NTSC for colour and watched Zombieland – with Woody Harrelson – which was surprisingly good.

Then time for bed – I slept downstairs tonight. With the fan on and the can of Raid in my hand... just like a scene from Zombieland.

Tomorrow as it's so close to Panama we thought we might drive up to the border.

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