I preferred the vibe in Puerto Viejo as soon as I got off the bus. Which was good because I ended up staying twice as long as I intended due to circumstances I caused myself but were also out of my control. Being only slightly further north from Bocas it was still wet season, but the weather had broken so after hanging my hammock at Rocking J’s I relaxed at the beach only meters away. This coast is known for its surf, which means swimming isn’t that great, also the sand is black, but even that didn’t put me off. I really did instantly like the place.
Being Friday night the whole hostel joined together for a big game of ring of fire, as you do. It was this that lead to me sleeping in the next day. Totally my own doing, that and my ability to sleep for hours in a hammock. This meant I missed visiting the Jaguar Rescue Centre, the thing at the top of my list for PV, and it’s shut on Sundays.
I would just have to stay at the beach all weekend… ok then.
I achieved a little more on Sunday. I rented a bike and cycled the 13km to Manzanillo, stopping off at Punta Cocles on the way. Manzanillo was full of locals enjoying their weekend on the beach, and hardly any tourists. It was the perfect setting to watch Costa Rica beat Greece by one penalty. The reaction, even in such a small town, was crazy. Definitely something to rival the Colombians. The whole bar went mad throughout the game, and on my cycle back to town every single car beeped, or chanted, or something, so patriotic. Since the match it seems there is a tv channel just showing videos of people celebrating. No joke.
Everyone in Costa Rica seems to be American. Or at least a very high proportion. So when Monday finally came around I went with a group of Americans to the Jaguar Rescue Centre. I’m so glad I stuck around, although it was a little disappointing that the name didn’t mean I got to see lots of big cats. The centre was started with a Jaguar but it has died, instead I saw birds (toucans!!), reptiles, anteaters, sloths, monkeys, and deer, just to summarise.
The centre really does actively try to release animals back into the wild, and for your $15 entry fee you have a great experience. The deer are strolling around and will come and lick you (the adults will, the babies won’t and so can be released when they are older),
the anteater decided to crawl all over Blaine,
I finally saw a toucan up close but not in a cage, and then they let us into the monkey enclosure.
Feeding a 2 month old spider monkey that then decided to hold my hand and climb on me is definitely an experience I won’t forget in hurry! The last stop was the sloths, something people associate with Costa Rica. Such bizarre animals, but cute in their own way.
Because I had been to the centre there was no way I could get to Monteverde that day, in fact we just missed the direct bus to San Jose, so I took a bus to Limon, transferred, and would have to spend the night and get up early doors to get there ASAP.
Just two days behind schedule.