Surprise, surprise… This past weekend, my friends and I ventured out to yet another precious beach town – Puerto Viejo. Because of my coop, I was unable to attend our program’s orientation (which, in retrospect, I’m quite happy about); however, the rest of the kids in my program were all told not to go to Puerto Viejo. I never got a clear answer as to why they were told this, but they mainly had vague ideas of thievery and distrust in that area. So, clearly, we had to go see if there was any validity to this claim.
We didn’t find any.
Half of our group left Friday night, while some of us opted to leave early Saturday morning. Catching the 6AM bus was a struggle, I won’t lie. But it worked out fine in the end and we arrived at our hostel around 11AM Saturday morning. Let me just say that our hostel was one of the COOLEST places I’ve ever been to. It was more like a compound actually; it had 2 large enclosed areas containing a plethora of hammocks (which my friends & I opted for!) as well as a raised area with tents for rent, areas where you could bring your own tent to camp, and areas where you could rent small rooms if none of these options fit your fancy. The entire hostel was decorated in mosaics and beautiful artwork. It had such a friendly atmosphere with great vibes, and was about 50 ft. away from the beach! It also housed people from all around the world, and we quickly made new friends – from Australia, Venezuela, Tennessee, and even Philly!!
So, after we got settled in, we made our way to the bar for a beer before heading to the beach. Before coming to Costa Rica, I borrowed a collapsible hula hoop from my roommate (thanks, Julie!) so I could have something to play with during my down time. Well, I brought it to Puerto Viejo and my friends were playing with it at the bar when one of the hostel workers came up to us and said there was going to be a fire show that night!! It was then I was SURE we’d made the right choice in hostel 🙂
We made our way to the beautiful Playa Cochles and spent a few hours in the very salty, but VERY clear water. After a decent amount of sunbathing, we returned to the hostel for a short siesta before happy hour. Around 6:30 we met up with the rest of our group, and the night began. As we were eating dinner, I heard two of my very favorite artists (Pretty Lights and Gramatik) played over the loudspeaker in our hostel. I was thrilled! And man, did it make me feel at home. At around 9, we all gathered in the main area of the hostel for the fire show. The show consisted of 5 people each performing with a different flow instrument – fire fans, poi, staff, hoops, and one more that basically consisted of two long strips completely aflame. It was spectacular. If you’ve never experienced a fire show, I HIGHLY recommend it. There is nothing quite so breathtaking as watching someone intimately flow and dance with such a dangerous element. My night was complete.
As if my weekend could get any better, the next morning we all trouped to a local brunch joint that had been recommended to us. At which I ordered… wait for it… BISCUITS AND GRAVY. It was like a gift from the heavens, seeing my favorite breakfast item on a menu in the land of rice and beans. I ordered it and it was obviously delicious.
The weekend was not without any bumps, but no weekend is ever entirely free of complications. However, this did not deter any of us from truly enjoying the tranquility of Puerto Viejo. Beautiful scenery, peaceful people, terrific music, and delicious food always make for a memorable and wonderful experience