Puntarenas tour

Oct. 25, 2010

Magical Mystery Tour

Friday night while playing pool, neither one of us fit even to walk home, Jack says he will think of something to do the next day. He’s worse then me when it comes to sitting around with nothing to do. Saturday he shows up at 10 and says we’re going on a mystery trip. Hadn’t eaten breakfast/lunch yet but packed up and off we went. Figured out pretty quickly that we were headed up the coast to Puntarenas, about an hour’s drive north of Jaco. Puntarenas is a town of about 27,000, about twice the size of Jaco. It is the port for the cruise lines and also for the ferry that goes to the Nicoya Peninsula, which you can see from this side of the bay. On the way, we stopped at a bridge that had a number of tourist shops and restaurants for people who want to see the crocodiles below in the river. We walked across and, sure enough, there were about 15 crocs getting their tans on the shore, some more than 10 feet long and pretty large.

Puntarenas, which is also the name of the county that Jaco is in, is a long, rather industrial strip of population. First, you go by the container port and shrimp boat anchoring area. Then you travel down this long, straight road with the beach on one side and a bay on the other. The actual town is spread out and densely populated. There is a long, very long beach on the Pacific side, with a boardwalk running down the length, and tourist shops all along selling trinkets and stuff. A number of beachside restaurants, as well. There is a long pier for the cruise ships where a number of people were fishing. No one was catching anything but I did pick up a few pointers just watching the hand-liners techniques. I brought my fishing tackle with us but the pier would have taken an all-afternoon commitment.

On the bay side is where the fishing boats come in with their catch, with a lot of seafood shops across the street from the dock and a number of street vendors, as well. We walked up to one old grizzled guy who knew Jack and was peddling jumbo shrimp for $10 a kilo (less than $5 a pound). We thought about buying some but didn’t. We then walked through the “seafood mall” looking for lobster but were told next week. This was part of our mystery walking tour, where we went into various stores – just looking. Except I did find some picture frames, four for roughly $14 total for 8×10 photos. Also found my latest necessity – a recliner. You wouldn’t believe how uncomfortable my rented furniture is and I’ve decided to make the purchase since it looks like I’ll be in my present apartment for awhile. I checked out recliners in Jaco and was price shopping. The same chain in Puntarenas had one I liked and dropped the price from 218,000 colones to about 180,000 colones, about a $70 savings. The price was the same as in Jaco, so I’m going back to the original store to see if they have the model I liked. If not, the Puntarenas store can send their chair to Jaco and I can have it delivered to my apartment.

The Tico way

While I finally got the last screen door installed in the back, I found that the latch didn’t really secure the door. A slight breeze would pop it open and let the bugs in. I was, therefore, left with holding it tight with tape. My landlord called the installer several times trying to get him over here to fix it, but I guess since he’s already been paid he didn’t feel an urgency. He was supposed to come Saturday at 9 but didn’t show up. Again, Monday morning, he was going to show up between 8-9 but didn’t get here until 11. At least it’s fixed now. The landlord just shrugged and said, “It’s the Tico way.”  I’ve found, however, that I’m not really in that big of a hurry to get such things done.

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About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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