Diary/Photo Journal

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.

Golfito - view from our
cabina to the Golfo
Beautiful Costa Rica
countryside and just a
perfect, glowing hibiscus

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.

This ferry was our first
clue of the things to come.
It is propelled by a little
diesel motor in which the
ferry operator just swivels
the outboard motor/prop
around to change the direction.

Just a sample of the typical
bridges we had to tip-toe over
and another sample of the
typical streams/creeks/rivers
that ran across/through
the road

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.

View to the Golfo Dulce
when coming into Pavones

Various view from our camping
area and view across the
Golfo Dulce of Corcovado - a
nature preserve and protected area

Gerson checking out the surf
and the famous left break


View of the Soda and
our proximity to the
What would this page
be without the obligatory

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.

Scarlet macaws eating in
the local trees overhead.

They would break apart
these large nuts a type of almond) and toss the shells to the ground like missiles.   

Our monkeys - kids of our landlord
and the neighbor's kids (Ernesto, Eduardo, Adolfo and Albert).  We never
saw their feet with shoes nor their
faces without smiles.


Funny quip about this magnificent rooster.  Besides being huge and having a very regal bearing, he was the
definite alpha rooster in the neighborhood.  He would crow and within seconds, you would hear the other
neighboring roosters sound off in response.  What the rooster did not expect was to be mimicked another
nearby cheeky bird - the macaw.  No sooner than the rooster would cock-a-doodle its do when a macaw
would imitate the call in such a way that you knew the bird was mocking this "king rooster". 
Maybe we should call the birds "mockaws"?

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. 

Gerson and his
New Year's bonfire
Our New Year's Eve portraits
Sherrie and Dave enjoying the glow of the
fire and the crash of the waves


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.

Felix Faustino (sic) family -
owner of the Soda Almendes. Jocelyn, mom, Ernesto, Eduardo, Adolfo and neighbor, Albert
Kids loved the ATV
Hugo, Albert and Albert's
brother, Axcel

Christmas morning
earthquake was on
the Panama/Costa
Rica border and
this town is 12
miles from epicenter
just a little road repair


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