Twinned with Grimsby
Puntarenas Travel Blog› entry 14 of 72 › view all entries
September 23rd, 2006 – by: Higton
Our ticket comprised of a tatty old credit-card style item with "Puntarenas" written on it. Our conductor grabbed it off us as we sat in the heat waiting to leave. A variety of vendors walked the aisle prior to departure selling a range of wares: Newspapers, ropey iced drinks and bananas cooked in more ways than you would think possible. They did a brisk trade, but received no tourist Colones from this schmuck.
Twas a fun journey. I was excited as I had never seen the Pacific before; I don´t think the South Java Sea counts. We seemed to go downhill all the way. San José is at about 1,000 metres above sea level, so I guess that is to be expected. The Pacific side of the mountains have suffered more from deforestation. For some peculiar reason, it reminded me of Derbyshire. Only hot. Gladly, our driver was of the calmer sort and so took the mountain passes at just moderate speed.
Puntarenas is built on a spit of land that juts out into the Gulf of Nicoya. At its thinnest point, the distance from the Rio Tempisque to the north and the Gulf to the south is about 100 metres. Global warming is going to screw this place over big time. Historically, the town is a tourist spot of Costa Ricans and it reminded me somewhat of Bournemouth, albeit a tad warmer. It is all fading granduer and could do with sprucing up a bit. Right at the end of the mini penisula is a old lido which has become a home for the homeless. [Technically, not homeless then. (ed)]. Despite this, prices are high. A slush-puppy type drink costs about as much as one pays for lunch in San José.
So we wandered about a bit, ate some food and immersed ourselves in the slightly dirty Pacific. My guidebook describes a "metallic" smell. The only odours I detected were from the docks on the estuary side. It is what I imagine Grimsby smells like, although I´m happy to be proven wrong.
So, slightly underwhelming. The journey back took 4 hours due to some nasty looking accident on the Inter Americana. I only hope that the missing top to the old Cheverolet was due to it being cut off by firemen and women. I retired to the Ciros Bar to contemplate the day.
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