Went to Puerto Viejo in the end, and it was a good choice even if I say so myself! The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is mostly populated by West Indians brought over here to tend banana plantations by the British (the Spanish settled most of Latin America, but the Brits grabbed themselves most of the Caribbean from Belize through Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica largely for piracy purposes), and it’s really just a little Jamaica here. Rastas, reefers and reggae all in plentiful quantity and the place is so chilled out. I’ll be here till Friday at least, maybe more depending on money – there’s no cash point here. My hotel is quite expensive (’17 – so less than a tenner!) but is very clean, large and comfy, with the ever essential hammock in the courtyard!
Very friendly German hosts with coke on tap and a trio of travellers from Switzerland to chat to. Two of them, girls from the German side, came down with me from San Jose the hard way having also missed the direct bus…..a long and pointless multi bus diversion through Limon ensued! As for the Costa Rica experience so far – the food is a bit bland (chicken with rice and beans is the national dish)but the scenery is spectacular and the wildlife at least on a par with Mexico, and the best parks are yet to come.
The people are very friendly too, and outside San Jose you feel very safe and could go out without even needing to lock your door. You need to keep an eye on your things in San Jose though, I’ve met enough tourist victims who have had small bags and belongings pilfered, mainly at bus stations. The beaches are good too, although the best is yet to come for me…Bocas del Toro just across the border in Panama!