It wasn’t really sunny when I woke up today so I was a bit annoyed that I’d picked it as my beach day, but there wasn’t really anything else to do so I put on my bikini anyway. Before going to the beach, I went to look for something to eat and came across a vegetarian restaurant called Veronica’s Place. I was the only person eating there so I was talking a lot to the owner who only took over 6 weeks ago and is a tall, muscly, black American vegetarian! He says it’s doing well and non-vegetarians do eat there as well. On the menu there was spaghetti and “meatballs”, bean burger, veggie burger, soups, vegetable wrap and other stuff. I got a veggie burger (but in the gluten free wrap because the guy recommended it) with plantain chips and a pineapple, coconut and banana smoothie. It cost about $10:
You should definitely go and eat there if you’re in town.
Next I went to see what this black sand was about at Playa Negra. It was nice and soft like normal coloured sand and I have no idea why it’s black. There’s an old boat wreck which people were jumping off etc:
I could see that there wasn’t really anyone further along to the left (going out of Puerto Viejo) so I walked that way:
After a while I decided I should probably turn around and walk the other way before I ended up in the middle of Costa Rica too tired to walk home. Once I passed the abandoned boat, the sand turned into a normal colour and the water was less wavy. This was the part with beach bars and space for cars to park so there were a lot of families and groups of friends there playing music from their cars, swimming and eating chicken etc that they’d prepared earlier from the boots of their cars.
After walking for about another 15 minutes, I came to a kind of forest:
There was absolutely no one around and I kept walking for about half an hour before, again, deciding that it was probably best to turn back.
I haven’t really done anything else today except take advantage of the variety of cheese they have in the supermarkets compared to in Bocas, by eating half a block of parmesan.
I’m going home in the morning and my final thoughts about Puerto Viejo are that it’s similar to Bocas in many ways (annoying boys trying to sell drugs to tourists, full of hostels, lots of souvenir stands, parties aimed at young tourists with American music etc), but it has nicer, more accessible beaches than Bocas, it’s more expensive (for restaurants, beer, supermarket food etc) than Bocas, it has better reggae/dancehall parties than Bocas, and in Puerto Viejo there are more rastas. I think if I lived here, I’d have a really good time because I’d make local friends and know the good places to go, but I probably wouldn’t come again if it was just for a few days.