Friday, August 13, 2010

My view of Puntarenas

It used to be that Puntarenas was “The Place”; a couple hotels, the Marina Yacht Club, the vacation homes of the affluent people of San Jose, the main port, the most accessible beach in the Pacific of Costa Rica. Some people remember this place with an incredible amount of nostalgia. Today, the roads have opened to visit much better beaches conveniently and comfortably and the port has been moved to Caldera; a town near. Puntarenas lost its sources of income and over the years it has become what it is today…

My sister-in-law puts it the right way, the prettiest view of it is from the rear view mirror as you are heading out…poor Puntaarenas! It really needs help. The town is messy, the streets are dirty; trash is piled up in the streets, the sidewalks are all broken, it smells. The stores are cluttered with Chinese shoes, Chinese clothing, Chinese brand name imitations and Chinese toys. Some stores I had to check twice to see if what I was looking was a thrifty item or a new one, the front houses are barred, a lot of people walking around with deformations, retardation or clearly on drugs. Not a very sophisticated place to come for vacations, we didn’t have a choice. Fortunately, the Yatch Club was nice, we spent hours by the pool and restaurant area

In spite of the looks and feel of the place, we did meet kind and helpful people such as the bicycle shop owner where I bought my backpack. The girls got a great impression of him when he shared with them his stack of chocolate. A Taiwanese lady, restaurant owner, who after hearing what we were doing gave me money back saying the juices are on me!!!, most of the marina personnel. We also had the opportunity to meet a wonderful Family; The Pacheco’s who had an 8 year old girl; Sofia. Samantha, Trinidad and Sofia played, ate, swam and talked for hours. They had a blast! I was able to play a few matches of backgammon with her dad on which I was defeated. I got to know the family; I hope we see them again, maybe in our way to the airport in San Jose.

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