Today was a simple, perfect day to enjoy our surroundings..
We woke up early to catch the best produce at the farmers’ market, which happens every Saturday morning in town and where we discovered that a large North American ex-pat community resides in PV. We spoke our Spanish with the vendors, taking samples of local chocolates and fruit, and eventually bringing home a nice selection of lettuce, tomato, beet, avocado, green onion, potatoes, fresh feta and goat cheeses, eggs, yogurt, mango, apple bananas, starfruit, and zapote— a sweet melon-like fruit with a thick flesh. And, not to forget, a bottle of a cilantro sauce made by a Canadian woman living here for the last 20 years. All this cost us a small fee of only $35, with the majority of our cash going to the cheese [a small luxury we weren’t willing to let go of yet].
We made a breakfast, after stocking our small fridge, of starfruit, apple banana, and zapote topped with the yogurt. Afterwards, we grabbed coffee at an awesome art cafe down the street, Como En Mi Casa, while on the way to the beach, where we’d spend a good couple of hours getting burned and reading until the sun became too much.
The air is so thick with humidity here that as soon as you step outside, you have drops of sweat forming on your forehead and further into your short walk to town you’re covered from head to toe. The ocean provides the best relief from sun and is a Godsend when even the sand becomes to hot to walk on.
We slowly made our way back to town via the trail that curves around the coast, following each beach for about 15 km down to the small town of Manzanillo, which is the last before nothing is left until the road to Panama. We will soon ride to Manzanillo on rented bikes sometime in the next couple of days.
The air here is filled with the ease of coastal living– slow, cheerful, magical. I looked at myself in the mirror this evening and saw the bronzed, albeit almost burned, and content being that I once was when living on an island in Hawaii. Something in a gentle breeze and the smell of the sea that calm a person to the point of forgetting all kinds of worries.
We ate at a soda— a small cafe-like restaurant that usually serves dishes traditional to the area– after the beach called Mepe. Jason and I had the same traditional plate of rice, beans, plantain chips, salad, and a protein, of which I had fish and Jason had chicken. It was delicious and filling. Continuing on home, we picked up a loaf of freshly baked ciabatta from a French bakery and some olive oil, rice, wine, and beer from the grocery store, where we met a man from Colorado, to supplement our farmers’ market finds.
Tomorrow is Costa Rica’s Independence Day and, traditionally, the evening before school children will march down the main street bearing lanterns and beating their drums in procession with the singing of their national anthem. We stuck around for a while until after it was supposed to begin [ticos are supposedly notorious for being late], but after it became dark out and they still had not begun we decided to head back to the house. Tomorrow morning there should be a parade again so hopefully we will catch that.
Our evening entailed a light dinner of a beautiful salad and slices of bread dressed with herbed goat cheese and sliced tomato. Following was a generous application of aloe from a large leaf bought in town, due to the splotchy sunburns you get when your sunblock application is compromised from hours in the sun, sand, and surf. Then, reading, hammock lazing, and sweet mango for dessert.
Seriously– does it get better than this?