Free Day #1 - Time for a bike ride

Manzanillo Travel Blog

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Really cool sign on the road from Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo.
     Friday, June 9th was our first full free day (we were given 2 full days and a few afternoons). Why was Friday our first free day??? Take a look at the 2006 FIFA World Cup schedule, and you'll find Costa Rica playing soccer...sorry, futból...against Germany. No Tico in their right mind would miss their futból game in the tournament, and Pablo and Daniel were no exception. Why stay in the rainforest when you can ride into Puerto Viejo and watch the game? The answer was simple, and so we had our first free day.
    All but four of the people in my group had stayed in Puerto Viejo really late the night before, so almost everyone was still asleep at around 8am.
The beach at Manzanillo.
Me, Whitney, Brittney and Aimee headed down the reserve and Daniel drove us into Puerto Viejo. We decided we were going to rent bicycles. It was 2000 colones ($4 USD) per bike for the whole day, which is not a bad deal at all. So we hopped on our cruisers and started the 14km out to Manzanillo.
    It was a nice ride. Beautiful day, perfect weather, and a lot of really nice scenery. It was funny to be riding around and having to watch out for lizzards and small iguanas that would dart out in front of the bikes from time to time. We decided that small reptiles in Costa Rica are like chipmunks and squirrels in the US...although we're much more used to seeing squirrels as roadkill. You don't expect to see a squashed lizzard or snake in the road where I'm from.
    The only thing that wasn't the greatest about the ride out to Manzanillo was that we were in bathing suits with shorts on.
The beach at Manzanillo.
..and no car passed that didn't make us aware that was what we were wearing. I was kind of prepared for that, after my week in Heredia where name calling and whistling became part of my morning walks to Intercultura for Spanish class. Still, a car would pass and you would hold your breath hoping they wouldn't yell something...but what do four girls in bathing suits expect? Haha.

    We got out to Manzanillo and locked the bikes up outside Maxi's, a restaurant Daniel had recommended for good Caribbean Costa Rican food. The beach was empty, since everyone in town was either in Maxi's watching the start of the game, or home watching the game. We decided to join the masses, and watched the game until halftime. The road out the Manzanillo was pretty hilly for old cruisers that were slightly too small, so after a bit of the game, we went down to the water to cool off. It was beautiful, and really peaceful (besides the occasional cheer or screaming heard from inside Maxi's). We hung out there for a while, swimming and making drizzle sand castles, until we got hungry.
    The food at Maxi's was pretty good. It took a while for us to get, and they forgot my dish, but once we got it, we were so hungry and it tasted really good. It was traditional Afro-Caribbean food with a bit of Costa Rica mixed in and it was very good, just as Daniel told us.

    After a bit more on the beach (and realizing that our arms and thighs were incredibly burnt from the ride out without sunscreen) we got a couple of huge bottles of water and headed back to Puerto Viejo playing 20 questions and relaxing (more on the way back than the way there since we didn't have the start of the futból game to worry about). There were a few times we thought about hopping in the back of a dump truck with the bikes, but we kept saying to ourselves "Oh, it's just a bit farther. Let's just go to that tree..." Hahaha. I love doing that to myself. Man, was I sore the next day...haha.
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Really cool sign on the road from …
Really cool sign on the road from…
The beach at Manzanillo.
The beach at Manzanillo.
The beach at Manzanillo.
The beach at Manzanillo.
photo by: smhirsch