Costa Rica Trip Day 2 - 2009-03-07


For breakfast today, Kellian got some pastries and fresh fruit from a local bakery, and we also had eggs. There was a squirrel who was eyeing my food, so I took a few pictures of him. Costa Rican squirrels have a very different look from the gray squirrels in the northeastern US.

After breakfast, we decided to head to Puntarenas, which is a small beach town northwest of San Jose. the bus ride was about 2.5 hours. It started to get quite warm when we got over the mountains: San Jose is a lot cooler than the coastal areas.

Once we got there, we stopped at a little restaurant for a sandwich. I got a 'carne y queso amarillo' sandwich, which means meat and yellow cheese. It was actually quite tasty! There were tomatoes, which I normally don't like, but I put up with them rather than pick the sandwich apart. Kellian got a vegetarian version that looked pretty much like what I had but without meat. She also got a frozen guanabana (a type of fruit) drink that was good.

Once we were done with lunch, we decided to head to the Pasejo de los Touristas where we would try to find a hotel. We asked the waiter which way to the Pasejo de los Touristas, and he looked confused and pointed us to the west. Once we started walking, we figured out why he was confused: we were actually already on the road we were looking for!

We ended up staying at a hotel called Alamar, which was right across from the beach and in good shape. The first room they put us in had a door lock that didn't latch, but the second room was fine. In fact, it was a bit nicer than the other room, so that worked out well. At this point it was about 3:00, so we hurried over to hit the beach before it got too late.

The beach was nice, pretty clean and soft sand. It was a brownish color and very fine. One of the cool things about Puntarenas was that there were very few tourists there. Mostly Ticos (Costa Ricans) with their families.

We bobbed around in the ocean for a bit and then decided to head in and get cleaned up for dinner. We checked a guidebook we were using and found a place that sounded pretty good named Kaite Negra. It was about six blocks east and three blocks north from the hotel, so we decided to walk it, since it was only just dusk and we saw folks walking around still.

Most of the walk was ok, but we ended up heading a bit too far north and encountered a stray dog. We tried to walk around it, but it started lunging and barking at us, which was fairly alarming. I barked back at in and lunged towards it in an attempt to scare it off. It backed up a bit and kept barking and we walked away, my heart was racing. Phew!

We were a bit lost, so we asked a old woman in a wheel chair for directions. She was very friendly and wheeled herself to the corner and pointed out the restaurant to us.

The restaurant was definitely off the beaten path with only a few tables and no other tourists, as far as we could tell. I got a filet of some type of fish (sea bass, maybe) with salsa vasca, a white sauce, that was very tasty. Kellian, as a vegetarian, unfortunately has more limited choices. She got a salad that was mediocre and some fried plantains that she enjoyed. The waiter was a bit distressed that she didn't eat much of the salad and was not going to charge us for it, but we insisted.

Rather than risk running into another dog, we decided to take a taxi back to the main drag. We found a nice ice cream place where Kellian got a banana split and I got a chocolate milk shake. The milk shake was great but otherwise un-noteworthy. Kellian's banana split, however, had several interesting aspects: it had corn flakes on it (added a nice crunch), sweetened condensed milk (also good), mangos (good), and jello at the bottom (not so good).

The End. (I never know how to end these things)

1 comment:

JP said...

Your dog story scared me. I remember when we lived in Nassau, there were always packs of wild dogs roaming around especially in the marginal areas. This can be quite dangerous. I can just picture you barking back at him!! Way to go, Brian.