Puerto Vijeo

Well, people, the first thing we noticed as, at last, we piled out of our little bus was that the cool mountain air was gone. On the coast it was H-O-T with somewhere between 300-400% humidity. And, while I am no fan of these conditions, sweet Dianne tends to wilt like a little flower. So, the first thing on our minds as we checked into the Cariblue Lodge was A/C!

The Cariblue is located south of Puerto Viejo, between that town and another called Manzanillo, very close to the Panama border. It is also almost up against the Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge which is a combination rain forest and jungle. As a result, wildlife is abundant.

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The central feature of the Cariblue is a huge tiki lodge. This is the dining area.

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The rooms are actually little bungalows. This was ours:

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Quite cute, AND, with A/C which struggled to keep up with conditions. They also have double units:

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Plus, there is a combination recreation area/gift shop:

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But, getting back to the subject of wildlife, there was plenty around:

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No shortage of these guys, but they kept to themselves.

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In spite of the clearing done to build the lodge there is still a substantial amount of canopy overhead, and, as I mentioned, this place is well connected to the rain forest. As we suspected, there were monkeys all over the place. What was our first clue?

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It didn’t take an e-mail to Tarzan to figure  it out. Specifically, these were Howler monkeys. How did we know?

Well, as we have learned, the Howler monkey is the loudest mammal on land (second only to the loudest animal, the blue whale), and a male can be heard for miles. The message he is broadcasting is that this is his territory and other males are invited to scram. Which apparently they mostly do.

Unfortunately, the broadcasting of this information begins well before dawn and often right outside our cabin. Having heard about this before we came down here, I brought along a recording microphone and stuck it out on our porch. The monkeys were not as close that particular morning, but, if you follow these simple instructions, you’ll get the effect. First, take whatever device you are reading this on and move it into your bedroom. Turn up the volume full blast and set the timer for 4 am. Then, to quote Axl and Slash: Welcome to the jungle!

Hope you found that to be as refreshing as we did!

Across the road from the Cariblue, is a very nice beach, largely deserted the entire time we were there:

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The Caribbean is always beautiful. This coast is famous for its rip currents, though. Typically, the locals didn’t seem to care. Maybe they looked at it as a cheap way to get to Panama. But, if you did happen to get pulled out, you could be assured that someone would soon be at the rescue:

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As they have for centuries.

 

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