With so much sand around it is polite to remove footwear before entering a business. They had a sign at our hotel, some of the bars, even the dive shop we went to. This made for interesting shoe swapping sometimes; once between dives someone took their right sandal and Ashley's left (it was back after lunch), and puppies made off with one of Dan's sandals while we had a coffee and smoothie one afternoon (found only a little ways down the beach). Often people just wouldn't wear shoes.
We hit up bingo on Sunday night at Desideri with proceeds going to the spay & neuter clinic. Dan won a round that earned us a 90 min paddle board rental; something Ashley's been wanting to try. Tuesday was trivia night at Tranquilo where our team of five won 2nd place in a fast paced, 60 question quiz.
There are often shows put on by fire dancers or a local drumming group at one of the bars. For nights out there are often going away parties or celebrations for finishing dive courses; if you're out with long-term visitors to the island with some rapport with the locals you may even get a bar opened when everyone else is closed.
Other nights we spent at our hotel bar having rum punches and visiting.
We ate at a lot of different places since we didn't have a kitchen at our disposal. Some of the highlights were:
Lobster at the Lighthouse. It wasn't lobster season so it probably wasn't fresh, but still so tasty. Got two medium sized tails each.
Hot fudge Brownie at Desidari: we initially went looking for a dessert at another restaurant but they were out. Desidari's brownie was delicious and we went back several times. It's the best brownie dessert on the island that we found (and believe us, we tried).
Ropa Vieja at Habana Libre: translates as 'Old Clothes' but is a slow cooked meat dish you need to order a day in advance. It was tasty and tender and not as dirty as it sounds.
Pad Thai at Deriña's: amazing shrimp Pad Thai. The thing about Deriña's is that it's not so much a restaurant as a table set up behind a house, although she seems to have a dedicated kitchen for it. Again you need to order in advance and she doesn't provide beverages, so bring what ever you'd like to the table. Deriña had approached us one night at a bar in town drumming up business and then we heard from some long termers on the island how good it was. If you want to find it on your own; from the dock head west, at the school stick to the left path (don't go inland) and it'll be on the right marked by a small sign. Like I said it's not obvious but the people are friendly and willing to holler on your behalf if Deriña's not out in the open.
Rundown: we had this Caribbean coast delicacy special order at our hotel when asking what 'Rondon' is in the presence of the hotel owner and cook. We hope we didn't seem as stupid as we felt once we realized it was the Caribbean accent that we heard Rondon instead of Rundown. This was a creamy, seafood soup dish. It had a healthy chunk of King Fish, Lobster, and a whole wack of Veg and even a banana (not plantain). We were able to share a bowl and were content.
Little Corn Beach & Bungalow: we had a really nice anniversary dinner here. Dan got some fall apart ribs and Ashley had a Parmesan Crusted Fish on pasta in a coconut sauce. The real value we found to this place was that the menu price was for a four course meal. The drinks is where they make there money though; we paid about as much for our three drinks as we did for our meals.
All told, we ate some of the best food of our entire trip on this tiny island.
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