No amount of guitar practice would discourage them, even my singing.
Amanda, who runs a booking service for a number of cabinas and vacation properties and my friend who rented me the house, told me not to aggravate them or they will throw their poop on me. I may deserve it from time to time but I was otherwise pleasant to them, but they left shortly after I started writing this post and hear them now in the distant canopy, now missing their early morning banter and mournful cry in the heavy rains.
Need a place to stay in Manzanillo? The beach is very quiet although everyone is expecting and hoping for a good christmas/new year tourist season, even the boarded up shops and cabinas are reopening. Business has been dismal down here this year and the local vibe is that they receive such bad press, usually baseless and always favouring other regions. The Black and Indigenous communities get little recognition as a tourist areas and they are not getting a fair share of the Costa Rican tourist dollar. These folks down here are very thankful for our support of their hospitality and good nature. Minimum wage is $2 in Costa Rica and a 10% service fee in the restaurants is expected to bring wages up, but they don’t and most employed people work very hard for very little money.
One of many properties that were once dreams not have an unsure future as the Gondoca reserve claims back land. [/caption]
Humble homes will quickly disappear beneath the concrete of hotels and swimming pools with the promise of more jobs and a higher standard of living and in some cases this may work but where do the displaced go to live?
Monkeys will also have to find a new canopy to call home. A recently initiative to enforce demolition of properties built in the Gandoca Reserve is causing serious concern amongst the community but may in the long run be the best thing to get new and more eco friendly accomodation and an improved economy for the local businesses. There is strong opposition to high rise resort and condo development and the southern caribbean coast may continue with the reputation of a unique natural destination without a 3rd story building anywhere from Limon south to the border with Panama.
This my favorite place in town and will make a drawing when my paper stops wrinkling. The local eating establishments, which may double as the house porch, have excellent cuisine and are framed by a very laid back caribbean style both in architecture and decor. Do not be fooled by the utilitarian tables and chairs, you still get a huge grilled red snapper on a big square plate along with your bottle of Corona for less than $20.
Small sodas serving rich coconut soaked rice and beans and busy restaurants catering to the surf and snorkle crowd such as Andys’ Cool and Calm cafe serving up unique caribbean flavours which compare with anywhere on the east coast with their high quality and fair prices. German, English, Canadian, Aussie, Swiss and French are a regular mingle on any night of the week.
Worth the treck through jungle at the end of Manzanillo Beach is the recently resurected Gando-Manzanillo Wildlife Preserve project.
Reclaimation from the private properties and a government which is more inclined to actually preserve the area of more than 27,000 acres for the flora fauna species that are regaining a foot and feather hold in this remote area.
This place has worked well for me as I am quite enjoying The High House in Manzanillo with more space than I really need and the peace to practice my guitar, write a blog, draw some pics and work my way back to the enthusiasm and strength necessary to visit new places and meet new people.
Everywhere I spend time the human spirit I find in those who live a simple uncluttered lifestyle encourages my tomorrow.
Roger, a local fresh coconut juice vendor, was quick to point out to me the folly of negotiating the price of a coconut. One dollar was a fair price given the value of refreshing Pina nuts and given that mine could have gone up for auction I quietly abandoned my foolish bartering ways.
Contrary to much fuss in the media the East coast of Costa Rica does not have any more crime than the pacific side and that a few unfortunate and well publicised events over the past several years were exceptions to an otherwise relaxing albeit unconventional holiday destination.
Know where you are going when planning an adventure and be prepared to accept the style and the culture of this unique region of Costa Rica and to relay your positive experiences on websites looking for opinions.
As it was not customary to see anyone at the Police Station I assumed there were few inmates of the jail. A regular patrol by the police truck was comforting but never did I have fears of where I wandered or with whom I partied.
Common sense and minimum alcohol intake are essential elements to a worry free holday.
Boarding the big white bus with the really tiny seats, at 7 a.m. tomorrow will start my 5 hour journey back to Alajuela and a return visit to the humungous Walmart Supercenter that had only 3 cars in the parking lot and about 25 gringo shoppers all the liquor section and arguing over the price of rum. There must have been more than 100 customer reps plying me with crackers and cheese to encourage me to return with all my friends to put some purpose into this huge intrusion into another culture. This may not work out too well for the Waltons. Good night John Boy.
I am staying in the city till the Ticos have partied their brains out at the beach. Nice to see that not everyone thinks that Christmas is about Jesus.