exploring, examining, exchanging, expressing
Monday, October 22, 2007
Grey Skies
October is the rainiest month of the rainy (err... "green") season. Now we not only have downpours every afternoon, we have sprinkles and showers throughout the day. There is no sun. The neverending drizzle was starting to get to me, so I looked for a solution. It turns out that October is the driest month for the Limon province.

I should also mention that I'm currently only working 6 hours a week (Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 at an off-site class).

These two facts led to one simple conclusion: Beach Trip.

I packed a bag and took the Friday morning bus to Cahuita. I plan on taking my parents to this beach when they visit in December, so this was no mere vacation - it was a fact-finding mission. Upon arrival, I scoped a few spots and settled on Cabinas Calipso for my lodging. It had the essentials - a fan in the room, warm water, and a hammock outside. Plus it was only 7000 colones (around $14).

With shelter secured, I began the hunt for food. Miss Edith's called out to me. It is a Cahuita institution, and for good reason. Hidden on a corner, next to the Police Station / Post Office, and with an ocean view, it's a peaceful place to enjoy the best of Costa Rica's Caribbean cuisine. I chose fish fillet rondon, then relaxed with a cool glass of lemonade while I waited. This is not a place for the impatient. But who's watching a clock? The kitchen is hidden behind a curtain, but I could hear the sizzle and smell the aroma of real cooking, the kind that's been going on here for generations. Eventually, I was presented with my feast. Rondon is a stew that gets its name from the patois word for "run-down" because it was originally made with whatever the cook could run-down in the kitchen. Mine contained fish and root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, yucca, sweet potatoes, and plantain that were simmered in butter and a coconut milk sauce and flavored with whole sprigs of thyme. I savored every morsel.

I enjoyed the experience so much that I went back the next day. A morning of lounging on Playa Negra had worked up an appetite. This time, I asked for the Hot Jerked Smoked Chicken, extra spicy. And boy, did they deliver. My platter contained mounds of chicken breast, smothered in dark jerk sauce, and topped with several habanero chilis. It was an amazing balance of sweet, spicy, and smoky. And it was the best chicken I've ever put in my mouth.

The rest of the long weekend was spent in a similar fashion. There was not a single drop of rain the whole time. I relaxed. I checked out some of the nicer hotels for my parents. I ate good food and drank cold beer. I swung on a hammock. And I reluctantly returned to Heredia on Monday, where it was and is still raining.