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Published: January 24th 2007
Door to Paradise
Ben in his element...Anyone wanna come?
Welcome to the Caribbean! After spending 3 - 4 weeks on the Pacific, we moved for a taste of the Carribbean....
We headed straight to a quaint little town called Cahuita. In Cahuita we spent time exploring Cahuita National Park. It gave us a good feeling for what the caribbean coast is all about. Ben found a deserted beach and got a couple surf sessions under his belt. The one thing I found different about the Caribbean is the tide only flucuates about a foot so it feels like high tide. It is also shady on the beach after 10am due to the east exposure (goodbye beautiful sunsets). We managed to getout snorkling around the tip of the national park. The visibilty was poor, less than 4 ft, but we were in good company (Laura and Shawna joined us). Laura managed to scrape her leg on the coral reef and is worried that she has corel growing in her... we figure she will be pressurving the reef for us!
Puerto Viejo has some crazy surf... when its big, its huge. Costa Rica´s Pipeline is located here and the name of the wave is ¨Salsa Brava¨ meaning
¨Angry Sauce¨. We saw it at medium hight and found it to be pretty big. To big for Nastassia but Ben found the more forgiving beach break and ¨punished¨some waves. During our short stay in Puerto Viejo we also got around to renting beach cruisers (bikes). We cruised 15kms down a paved road to Manzanillo National Park. There we walked into the resereve. The ride was a blast as we took speakers and sung our hearts out the whole ride (we went with Shawna and Laura).
We crossed into Panama (Chillest boarder crossing ever!) and headed straight to Bocas del Toro. A bus, a cab and a cool boat ride later, we found ourselves upon the island at our hostel, Monto Taitu. What do you know but the hostel was having a theme party. The theme was ever so carfully planned to be ¨cops, robber and dinasours!!¨ Ben went as a "under the covers" cop, Laura was the fashion police, Shawna was a bad ass robber and Nastassia was a dinasour! Tons of fun, it was like halloween! Unfortunalty, at this time we don't have any pictures as they are all on a friends camera. But Nastassia
won best costume as she braided a palm branch into her hair... so crazy! We ran into a friend of Titia's (Megan from cumberland) and also met some peeps from Whitehorse (we knew each other but were 4 years apart). Small world it is... so far from home yet everyone knows everyone...
Ben has found the surf here to be slightly humbling, riding his first reef break on swell that was coming in 7-9 feet (no lie!) But after getting punished by a couple monsters, he learned his lesson and said he took his game up to the next level and was reportedly heard saying that he, ¨had his best day EVER¨ out there on the water! We went scuba diving one day. The visibiltiy was good at 15m. The first dive was at a ship wreck. We saw a huge manta ray and a mean looking 6 foot barracuda close up! Our second dive was a drift dive where we went down to about 40 ft and drifted alongside a coral reef. Again, tons to see and very colourful! Our divemaster found us a lobster and played with it for a bit (Ben wanted to eat it...)
Only the two of us for miles and miles...
downside to Bocas and the Caribbean Coast is that it rains a lot in short burst but torrentially! Litteraly like someone turns on a gigantic shower for 15 minutes every hour!
So a few days in Bocas and it was time to get this show on the road...Adios to Ben´s surfboard, hello to South America soon. Ben and Nastassia have both been feeling well and healty. We miss everyone at home. Next Stop; Panama City....
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