The second time we went to Puntarenas, a group of 11 crew members got together to go on a zip lining tour over the rain forest. We all met off the gang way around 8 in the morning and were picked up by a representative of www.crew-tours.com. Jesus corralled our group and some others into a small tour van and drove us the 45 minutes into the mountains beyond the city. The drive up was spectacular. Along the way we past the Sardimar Tuna Canning factory, a prison, several curches…. and mango trees dripping with fruit. He also told us some history of Costa Rica and showed us the fruit that a cashew comes from. I really had no idea that the small sweet nut was the seed on the top of a fruit that looks a bit like a small macintosh apple. He cut one apart so we could taste it. Sweet and juicy, the flavor was alot like an apple too. The part that I found fascinating is that the cashew cannot be eaten raw and that it could actually cause blindness if not handled properly.
Where do I even begin… I’m glad we have had a few stops in Costa Rica. I understand why people say it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Funny, the port city sits on a black sand beach. Not necessarily my favorite swimming beach, but a very striking place. It was about 96 degrees the day we were in port and I swear we were melting from the moment we stepped off the ship. We walked about four blocks into town and found the spot recommended by some of my friends. Gugas, where they serve the local Costa Rican beer “Imperial” and some of the best ceviche around. If you’ve never tried ceviche, you really should. We had octopus ceviche at Gugas. Yeah, I know, you think I’m crazy for being so into eating that creature… but you really can’t get fresh octopus in the midwest. So I’m taking advantage of this experience.
After we ate our fill, we decided to walk down the beach through the stalls. It’s like an open air flea market where every has their goods displayed on small tables and seek shade under blue tarps tied between the palm trees. They offer carved wooden bowls, ornate cutting boards, hand died cotton sarongs, coffee, cigars, jewelry and so much more. It’s a tourist trap for sure, but the tourquoise is very cheap and the locals in some of the stalls will negotiate down if you purchase multiple items. There’s one thing I wish I would have bought there – a local blue butterfly encased in glass and framed with some local wood. The butterflies there have a wing span as big as my hands. They’re more like birds…. Beautiful.