We spent the whole week last week in a small, colorful little beach town on the southern Caribbean coast. This part of Central America is much different than the rest of the country, with a distinctly island flair that is more similar to other Caribbean islands. There is basically no major commercial development here — no Mariotts or McDonalds, not even a marina. The local people here have had unusual success in saying “NO” to international developers that want to come in and profit off their little slice of heaven here. Instead, there are locals with a bamboo shack on the beach selling coconuts and fruit, lots of innovative, little independent restaurants, colorful street vendors, and unique little cabins, funky hostels and small hotels where you can stay and enjoy the laid back lifestyle of this land of jungle and perfect beaches.
The beaches here are among the best I have seen anywhere. There is one after another, each just as perfect and idyllic as the last, and most of the time you are sharing the beach with only a few other people, if that. The first time I went to this beach at Punta Uva I almost had to rub my eyes in disbelief, it was so perfectly beautiful it seemed like it was out of a movie set or some distant past.
One of the things I love best about this area is that it is flat and there is just one road, and everyone bikes. There are more bicycles than cars on the road. It is wonderful! Where we live it is mountainous and a major, strenuous workout to bike anywhere, but in this area it is a leisurely bike ride to get anywhere you need to go. Our baby LOVES going on the bike and would bring me his bike helmet first thing in the morning as a message “come on Mom, let’s go on the bike!” So every day, that is what we did!
One of the most exciting things we saw while we were there was a mother sloth with her baby just outside the little house we were renting. Apparently she had just crossed the road and when we saw her she was on the ground heading toward a barbed wire fence at the edge of the property. Her baby was hanging onto her belly looking quite cozy and comfortable. She started to climb the fence, and halfway up took a nice long break, looking totally relaxed and calm. It is really something to see a sloth’s face up close. They really do look like they are smiling! And the meditative, peaceful demeanor they have is unlike any other animal I have ever seen. You can’t help but fall madly in love with them and feel inspired to adopt their slow, blissfully relaxed attitude. She did not seem afraid of us, even though we were close enough to her to touch her. This photo was not taken with a telephoto lens, that is how close we were to her!
She stayed “napping” on the fence for so long, we finally left her in peace and went back to what we were doing in the house, but I was wondering how she was going to climb over the barbed wire fence with a baby on her belly…..I went back out to check on her about 10 minutes later and somehow she had succeeded and was all the way at the top of a coconut tree next to the fence!
We loved it so much in this area we are considering going back and spending a month. As long as we have to wait for so long for our house to be finished, we may as well enjoy exploring Central America……
p.s. For those of you wanting cute baby footage, here is Ju-Ju enjoying the ocean in a perfectly baby friendly beach we found that does not have big waves. Alert: naked baby butt! What can I say, it was just too much effort to get a swimsuit on him as he was running around in glee!