Friday, May 19, 2023

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Hello from Costa Rica! 

Thanks to me leaving my curtains open at night and an early sunrise today I was up long before my typical 6 AM. 
4:46 AM
While I wish I could have gone back to sleep, I chose to sit on the balcony and watch our approach. Good thing I sleep in a nightgown and not my birthday suit or the tugboat captain who pulled right alongside me would have gotten an eyeful.
cruise ship tugboat in Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Puntarenas is on the west coast of Costa Rica and unfortunately is not in the area where you’ll find their white sand beaches. Here they are brown and can be dirty and have trash on them.
Puntarenas, Costa Rica beaches
I did see quite a bit of garbage in the water as we got closer to port and even by the ship when we were docked.
trash in water in Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Some people do, but I’d pass
on swimming near the port area.
The cruise port here has a very long pier. Thankfully for guests on Princess tours the coaches drive down towards the ship. But not just drive - they back up the entire way! It’s quite an interesting process to watch. When the bus is ready it then pulls on out of line.
tour buses backing up on cruise ship pier in Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Such skillful drivers
If you don’t have a tour you’ll need to take the long hot walk along the left side of the pier to get to town.
You know it’s hot when the Captain puts up
the window shades to keep his car ship dashboard cool!
Otherwise you can wait until the pier is clear of the tours and then a little train is available to give you a ride.
train transportation for Puntarenas, Costa Rica pierr
No room for Scooter on the train
so we rolled ourselves down the pier
I had one big task today. Last time we were here coffee-lover Ed took a coffee plantation tour and rated it as one of his all-time top tours, up there with Normandy. While I don’t drink coffee, I can shop coffee so that’s what I did. He had a list of brands and types of roasts but no matter where I went I struck out again and again. I called an audible (how’s that for a sports term?!) and bought a whole variety of brands and roasts from a variety of vendors. I had brought a shipping box from home and it’s now filled to the gills and ready to send off at the post office when we get to Fort Lauderdale.

After my must-do for the day, I wheeled down the waterfront to get a photo of the Puntarenas sign and of the ship.
Island Princess docked in Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Not a bus in sight now
By then I was steamy hot and needed a refreshment. The granizados looked like something I wanted to try. A shave ice/snow cone with ice cream? Yes, please. But the Spanish I used so confidently and competently in Huatulco didn’t help me today. The popular “Churchill” I ordered had sweetened condensed milk on the side, ice cream on top, and shave ice. But all the white inside the glass was leche pinito. And there was my misstep.
Church hill granizados in Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Leche pinito? Powdered milk.
I really tried to like it, but the texture and the flavor of the powdered milk just wasn’t doing it for me. I could only get so far before I had to call it quits.
I’m not as adventurous as I’d hoped.

But I did navigate the vendors and haggle over prices and cross the streets while dodging the crazy Puntarenas drivers in hot, steamy weather. By myself. On a scooter. So maybe I was a little adventurous after all. 

But not adventurous enough to get anywhere near these end-of-the-day masked performers. 
masked performers on cruise ship pier in Puntarenas, Costa Rica
They kind of creeped me out

Early sunset, too. 5:48 PM

Up tomorrow is a sea day and then Panama City on Sunday.