Week of December 28, 2003
With the Panama border looming ahead, we decided to stop off around Golfito and ask a few necessary questions about a very small, nearby surf spot called Pavones. Necessary questions like, "Is the road passable?" and "How big is the river and how big is the ferry?" Fortunately, we received positive feedback and decided to venture down south along the rock and dirt road to Pavones.
Now, the road was passable as long as Cindy tip-toed along the rutted and
rocked road (the tour books emphasize the road is virtually impassable during
the rainy season) and we did make it into Pavones with no problems. This
is not to say that it was not an interesting trip and that we did not have a few
"challenges" along the way.
We had intended to stay in Pavones for one day and well, four days later, we were still there. Pavones is famous for an extremely long "left break" for surfing wherein the wave breaks to the left and goes for a very long distance. It is said that the surfers often ride the wave as long as they can endure and then walk back to the starting point because it is easier than paddling all the way back.
In addition to this obvious attraction, we found a wonderful little camping
area in front of a family's "Soda" (a soda is a small restaurant/bar usually
serving a specialty or has a small menu and they are known to be inexpensive).
It just so happens that this particular Soda specialized in ceviche and it just
so happens that we love ceviche. So, for $2 a day, we stayed at the beach
and in front of our primary food and drink source. And you wonder why we
stayed three days? The pictures may answer that question.
Another attraction of where we stayed were the scarlet macaws and the monkeys that would play in the trees and the yard. Watching their antics kept us amused for many hours and Gerson's soccer ball was quite the hit.
We brought in the New Year without much fanfare and myself, I went to sleep. Gerson found all this driftwood that he just had to burn so we enjoyed a bit of a bonfire before I retired for the evening.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
New Year's Day was spent just enjoying each other's company; however, most of our conversation unfortunately was centered around locating a certain local that absconded with one of our bicycles. The night before New Year's Eve, we befriended a local and talked and laughed for several hours. He was seemingly nice and rather likable and Gerson and he got along very well.
The next day, the sly buggar came by our camp and politely asked to use one of our bicycles to run an errand in Pavones, three kilometers away. With our previous experience being so positive, Gerson did not hesitate to trust the man. Well, as we later found out, our bike was smoked and drank away seeing as the bastard has a drug and alcohol problem. We reported the theft to the police but seeing as they have no transportation into town nor seemingly had any interest in helping us, we also spread the word among the locals.
Within a few hours of stating the obvious that we had been "had", many of the locals gathered at the Soda and commiserated with us and were steadfast in their anger about the theft and their loyal support of our claim. Even when we were leaving town, several people stopped us or waved to us to acknowledge that they are looking for this "ladron" (thief), and that we suspect this man will have difficulty walking once the townspeople catch him. As for the bike, if it is found, we told the police to give it to Felix and his family for their enjoyment.
Even with this blot on our stay in Pavones, we would all gladly return to this wonderful little corner of Costa Rica. We just won't lend our bikes to anyone. Gerson is kicking himself in the backside over his decision but I would rather be out a $100 bike and still trust people and be generous than have the bike and be paranoid and stingy.