Canopy Tour and Dancing at Johnny's
We were up, showered and ready to go early this morning for our canopy tour. Noticing the gas was low on the way into town, Rayna inquired at a small market about where we could find the nearest gas station. The woman behind the desk just said no. (At least that was all I understood.) Basically, the gist of the short conversation was there are no gas stations in Puerto Viejo, or Cahuita for that matter. In fact, we had to giggle when we learned that locals buy their gas from someone's private house across the street from the cafe, Bread and Chocolate! Well, when in Rome...
A few minutes later we pulled up to the "gas station" (mind you there was no sign to indicate any sort of flammable liquids were sold on the premises). The only sign of life, at least potentially, was a pair of feet sticking out of the doorway to the house. The owner of said feet must have heard the car because a head peeped out to check on us as the feet simultaneously retracted into the dark doorway. The "attendant" emerged a minute later, shirtless, and proceeded to button his shorts while approaching our car. It was all I could do not to laugh out loud. Being that it was Saturday morning, I could not shake the image of him stumbling home in the wee hours of the previous night and only making it to the doorway. The situation remained comical to Rayna and I as he carried two, one gallon jugs of gas to the car and poured them in. However, our giggling ceased as soon as we learned that he charges roughly four dollars more per gallon than the nearest gas station (which is well north of Cahuita)!
With that adventure behind us, we were ready to start the day! Terra Venturas is a tour company in Puerto Viejo which offers a variety of excursions. Everything from dolphin tours, to white water rafting, to snorkeling in Cahuita can be arranged through their office. Luckily what sounded most fun to me was their canopy tour -- which we were scheduled for!
There were about seven women on the tour, including us. Rayna and a couple of the other women had been on a canopy tour before, but it was the first time for the rest of us. A twenty minute van ride took us to the site where they begin the tour. Thank goodness for four wheel drive because the road was extremely steep and littered with pot holes.
Once we got to the site and saw the first cable that we would be hooked to, some of us (including me) were a bit leery. Once we were all in our harnesses, we got a little instruction session on the proper body position and how to slow ourselves down -- then we were off. Right from the start I had a fabulous time. Flying (well you could pretend you were flying) through the canopy, high above the forest floor was amazing. You get an incredible view of the flora from that level, though we did not see many creatures (I am sure the screaming had something to do with it). Even through there were about twenty cables strung throughout the forest, and a good deal of hiking in between some platforms, the whole tour seemed to be over in a wink.
Zipping through the tree tops was great and when the van dropped us off in Puerto Viejo again, Rayna and I were starved (even though they fed us fresh pineapple). Right near the beach, Hot Rocks Cafe made us a delicious thin-crust pizza with tomato and fresh garlic. YUM. Since it was our last afternoon in Puerto Viejo, we popped in and out of the little shops along the main street for a bit.
Without finding that perfectly flattering bikini (not surprising given that it has eluded me for a number of years already), it was back to Playa Chiquita Lodge to relax for the afternoon. The hammock on our porch was impossible to ignore, so I took a little nap before exploring the lodge. Built about fifteen years ago, the eight rooms available at Playa Chiquita Lodge are painted in a variety of bright, warm colors; all have two double beds, a private bathroom, beautiful new wooden furniture, a private porch, and are equipped with ceiling fans. As if all that were not enough, there is also a trail which leads directly to the white sand beach! This cozy, quiet, family-friendly lodge was a great choice.
All week, we had heard that the bar Johnny's Place is the place to go out dancing. So, since it was Saturday night, we felt obliged to investigate! After a light dinner, we hit the swinging night spot around 9:30, only to find it dead. However, being the troopers that we are, we stuck it out! The throngs eventually arrived, and within an hour the dance floor was packed. Needless to say, we had a great last night in Puerto Viejo.