It should not be any surprise to me, just about anywhere in the northern hemisphere you decide to plunk your bottom, December and the winter solstice will exhibit the slow creep of a change in the weather on the march to the shortest day of the year. (longest night of the year if you prefer sleeping)
The further north you are the more dramatic it becomes and to escape this inevitable transition from bright fall colours to a soft grey and then to a biting cold white. I choose to experience the very predictable rains in the southern caribbean and all that it brings with it.
Understanding that our climate is becoming less predictable, here on the southern caribbean coast of Costa Rica, we still get rain in the night from mid November to a constant torrent day and night into early December. There is a gentle tapering to light showers into the new year. This seems to be OK with all here in Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo knowing that January will again bring the sun and the inevitable influx of tourists, the heartbeat of these southern communities. Pitter patter, pitter patter.
We, Julie my neighbour and Jennifer our amiga, drove in Julies old Suburu to the newly renovated Cultural Center in Puerto Viejo last night for a one woman show by Vivian Rodriguez of San Jose. She wrote and performed her short play, Consuella, before a full crowd of locals and tourists and was warmly applauded for her creative efforts. The town was bubbling with activities, Italian, Seafood and Tico restaurants were full and street vendors sold bbq skewers of chicken and pork on a tortilla for 2 dollars, while others displayed Jamaican patties, and banana cake under a 60 watt bulb. The tone is very different at night as all the tourists who have been scouting the rescue centers and national parks during the day come to refresh themselves in a fresh fish dinners and 2for1 mojitos while the daily scramble of fruit vendors and the rasta crowd shrink behind their roadside stalls.
Many of the local folks I have met, pilates instructors, cafe owners, fellow ex patriots, and all those connections I make through sheer imposition, were in their best bib and tucker for the event with long dresses and local fashion. I even found something without flowers to wear.
The performance was followed by a generous display of Bocas and wine at the Pecora Nera where Ilario Gianonni plied us with some incredible platters from his talented kitchen. His restaurant has enjoyed a well deserved reputation as the most respected in quality and service for the past 12 years In Playa Cocles. Several incredibly light pizzas were topped with eggplant, radicchio and some scrumchy lean ham. All this was plied with red wine before an huge plate of deep fried red snapper appeared before us which was so crunchy and fresh, like I never tasted before and before returning home set before us were a deliciously light crème brulee and some incredible custard puffs with biscotti and warm chocolate sauce.
The company of the evening included the owner Ilarios the owner of the restaurant, our feature performer Vivian Rodriguez, the travel writing gal Camille Willemain, friends Julie, Jennifer and lucky me. Thank you all for good food fun and welcoming me into your community.
The rains have abated and I will scurry to the local store on my bike for some…well for some excuse not to to continue to sit here at my computer.