Day Two: Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo Travel Blog› entry 6 of 6 › view all entries
Day two started out bright and early. Made my morning trek into a deserted Puerto Viejo (everyone else is still asleep from the partying the night before) planning on breakfast prior to my morning snorkel trip with Reef Runners. Our group was meeting at 8:30am - - being up and out by 7 meant I had plenty of time for breakfast and a couple of cups of (yummy!) coffee.
Surprises started with a couple of horses grazing in a ocean-front field next to the dive center and the bus station. Not sure where they came from, or where they go during the day, but it was not a bad way to start your morning. Luckily, in the same building as the dive center is Soda Louisa - - and they open at 6am! No one here spoke any English, so ordering was a challenge.
The rest of the dive group started to show up around 8:30am as I was downing my 2nd cup of coffee and considering a third. Staff started to load the boat and attach the boat motor to "The Reefer" and load up our lunch. We stored our stuff in the diver cente and were asked to leave most everything behind. I took my waterproof pouch (a lifesaver during my dive trip) - - loaded with sunscreen and my camera, my tiny costa rican bikini and a straw hat and that was it.
The snorkel trip included all my gear, plus the boat trip to the snorkel sight, plus a guide, plus lunch for $35. A bargain if I ever got one. The boat trip was a short one, but beautiful and within 15 minutes we were pulling into our own near-private beach in Punta Uva. We were dropped off and then the boat and the divers took off for the diver sight. We snorkeled for an hour or two and then met the boat back on shore for lunch.
As for snorkeling, it was a perfect day. The ocean was like glass and Angel (our guide) said it was the best day for snorkeling he had seen in months. Punta Uva has a non-stop pristine reef system that starts a few feet off the shore and goes for as far as the eye can see. We see lots of fish, coral and even a couple of squid. Absolutely gorgeous. We basically had the beach to ourselves as far as we could see with the exception of a couple of local guys playing soccer on the beach.
The downside? The sun, as I said, take precautions. The jellyfish, one of the ladies on the trip was stung 3 times before lunch. The chum - - what do I mean by this? The boats that come into the area churn up the water and cut the jellyfish and "sea wasps" into microscopic bits that sting when you swim through them. It doesn't result in any welts, but it is annoying and hurts a little bit. The guys didn't seem bothered by it, but the other girl and I did. As long as we stayed out of the chummed up areas we were fine, but be aware. Were I to go again, I would probably rent a wet suit - - both for protection from the sun and the chum. Of course, a wet suit won't protect ALL of you from these things; but I think it would go a long way to minimize the annoyance.
After a couple of hours of snorkeling after lunch the boat picked us up and we headed back to town. At this point I was aware of my sunburn and pretty focused on getting back to my room, showering and assessing the extent of the damage. I stopped by the Jungle internet cafe http://www.junglec.com/news/ to check emails and post on facebook. This place was great, air-conditioned and the computers were all modern and fast. You pay for your internet service by the minute and I was able to buy a 30 minute block that was perfect for the time I was there.
After a quick shower I met one of the guys from the dive group at CariBeans. I had gone on-and-on about the chocolate shake and he wanted to try one.
Had my first taste of ceviche that night and it was very good. Right in the middle of dinner a baby sloth climbed up out of the deck, right behind my chair, on her way back up the tree. Certainly a highlight of the whole trip. She was surprisingly fast getting back up the tree - - but i guess she was camera shy.
As I closed out my final day in Puerto Viejo, I could look back on two days of life-enhancing experiences, kind people and fantastic food. I would love to go back and visit again... for more of all the things I experienced while I was there....but mostly for the chocolate shakes!!!