Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Pacific cruising

So leaving Panama City on the 11th day of our cruise we headed north up the coast.  Of course we were quite a ways offshore most of the time but at times you could glimpse mountains.  We had a day at sea then pulled into Puntarenas, Costa Rico.  Puntarenas is a quite small town with this one really long, thin dock that sticks out into the bay. 

The town of Puntarenas apparently didn't have a lot going on.  This is right after you get off the pier.

Puntarenas was soon left behind and we were bused inland to Esparza, another little town, slightly larger, to check out their festivities.  In Esparza there is a church (Catholic, of course) that was supposed to be something special.  The only unusual thing I noticed was that the ceiling was made of wood.

Outside in the square there was a performance set up for us.  Some of the local children had been trained in a little dance recital or something.  I hate things like this!  Not because I don't like children, I just find it demeaning.

There was one kid who was enjoying himself after he got into costume.
After the presentation we had time to look at local vendors of whatever they think tourists will buy.  This time we actually did buy something:  an apron in bright green.  Like most of the stops, dollars were accepted in payment.  The exception being Cuba where they have a separate currency for foreigners. 

We arrived back at the ship to discover that a dance group had arrived.  The music was basically drums with five or six young ladies dancing around.  This is the view from our balcony.  They were too loud to stand around in front of them and get pictures!
There is a lot of talk lately about living as an ex-pat in Costa Rica.  It turns out that both coasts of Costa Rica are rather hot and humid and that the middle of the country, up in the mountains, is where the ex-pats go to live.  It is kind of too bad because the coast could sure use the money.

In the evening the ship took off headed for Corinto, Nicaragua.  Again, Corinto is a small coastal village and we were bused inland to the city of Leon.  However, before we left a large group of people showed up on the dock to play and dance in welcome.
You can see that even before we got tied up they were hard at it.  The port is primarily for cargo however so the dancers had a nice background of containers! 
There were even some 'civilians' who joined in from time to time.  The town does seem rather poor.

Leon was a fair bus ride away and again we ended up in a square with a church. 
At least there were people in the square that were neither tourists or beggars; just locals enjoying the day.
There were stands where one could buy souvenirs but we managed to avoid those.  There was also a dance troupe but they too seemed as much for the locals as for us.  On the way to and from Leon we did get to see a couple of volcanoes.
I talk about getting carted around in a bus.  Well, they need quite a few!
In the evening we left Nicaragua and in the morning tied up at Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.  Quite frankly my wife and I were tired of riding on a bus for an hour or more only to be visiting a church and seeing some trinkets.  So we made the big decision not to leave the ship!  It was a container port however and you have to wonder what could be in all those containers.
Now it was time to find a port in Mexico and the line chose Cabo San Lucas.  Hmmm.  It took us three days at sea to get to Cabo.  My wife and I enjoy the days at sea so we were happy enough.  We have visited Cabo however so we made the same decision we made in Guatemala and stayed on board. 

That's most of our trip.  There are just stops in San Diego and Los Angeles.  I'll leave those for another day.  Have a good one!

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