Turns out sleeping in a hammock is more novelty than comfort. Or maybe I am just getting too old for this shizzle. (Never!) Anyway, I was happy to get out of bed at the crack of dawn. But not so happy to discover that for the first time there was no free coffee at this place! Buzzkill!
Nevermind... Julia had mentioned something about renting a bike to explore the nearby beaches, and I decided to do the same. The beach within a few steps of the hostel was convenient, but littered with rocks and dead reef and other scratchy unpleasantries. Supposedly the beaches just to the south were much nicer. And for $5 a day to rent a bicycle, it was hard to go wrong. Even if you haven´t actually *been* on a bike since the early ´90s!
I wobbled down the road to check out "The Lizard King," the nearest high-speed internet cafe, and was shocked to see how expensive it was. ($4 an hour, are you kidding me?) Nevertheless, the place was run by two Cali expats with a pet pig, and had air conditioning, so it made for a nice place to spend a quick hour catching up on email.
Next stop, the beach! The guidebook (and also the chick at Lizard King) recommended Punta Uva, but I opted for the much closer Playa Cocles. Not a bad place to spend a few hours. Wide, sandy beaches, lots of surfers, nice breeze. I parked my trusty steed and headed past the lifeguard stand. Owwwww! Molten hot sand! Back on with the flops! I set my stuff down and jumped in the ocean for a dip. The water was really warm, and the waves weren´t as dramatic as on the Pacific Coast, but it was still fun to bob around a bit and watch the surfers. Tons of surfers, from seemingly every country. Kids as well as adults. Fun to watch!
And from there, a trip into "town" to find a decent grocery store. A much more pleasant trip than the previous day, sans huge bag and with some rickety-but-functional wheels. It´s definitely got more of a Jamaican feel here, with Bob Marley all over the place and tons of little streetside vendors. I found a grocery store, and an ATM, and headed back to Rockin J´s feeling very productive indeed.
Once again, Jules and I proved that we really need to open up a restaurant. We´ve perfected "hostel cuisine" even under the most challenging of circumstances! Tonight´s repast was a sausage and potato stir-fry, with a splash of red wine, and I must say it came out astonishingly well. Ehm, and the astonishing part came when all the power went off! Fortunately we were cooking with gas, baby, and had a handy lil´ flashlight to get the job done. That´s right, we rock.
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