Livin’ Laid Back in Mal Pais

Saturday morning began with a hike to the waterfall in Montezuma.  On the hike to the falls we stopped by a street vendor selling coconuts (a woman sitting on the side of the road with a cooler full of coconuts).  Machete in hand, she chopped off the top half of the coconuts and popped in a straw so that we could drink the yummy water inside!

coconuts

The fall was about a 20 minute walk hike in from the road but definitely worth it!  The water below the falls is really deep which makes it great for jumping off the rocks around the falls.  Some of the brave locals were climbing right up to near the top off the falls and diving off, brave!  They also had some local artists set up with tables right by the falls so that you could buy some handmade jewellery.

falls

That afternoon we had our shortest drive yet with only 45min needed to get to our fifth destination on the trip, “Mal Pais.”  Our stay here was at “Hotel Ronnys,”  probably the least liked accommodations on the trip but really central to the centre of town.

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That afternoon we had lunch at one of the best restaurants in town, “The Bakery.”  This restaurant bakes all of their breads and pastries fresh everyday and they also have a huge menu!  From breakfast to sandwiches to all you can eat pizza on Monday nights, we definitely ate here at least 3 times over the few days that we were in Mal Pais.  I highly recommend their fresh made lemonade.

bakery          lemonade

That afternoon we headed on down to the beach and stopped by some locals selling jewellery on the way to buy some bracelets.  The beach here is great for surfing although tough to swim in as the waves are really strong.

mp beach

For dinner we headed over to “Las Piedras” for a very yummy chicken dinner.  When you walk by the restaurant you can see the chicken being roasted on a grill that is leaning over a fire.  They don’t serve beer here but you can bring your own and keep it refrigerated in their fridge!  The price isn’t too bad here either,  a whole chicken with fries and a salad can be bought for $30 US and it will feed about 3-4 people depending on how hungry you are.  The 3 of us weren’t able to finish our chicken but one of our guides took everyones left over chicken to make us chicken salad for a sandwich lunch the next day!

chicken

That evening we headed to the local bar, ahem, the only bar here called “Coco Loco”  where we walked in with 3 dogs that were following us.  I should probably mention at this point the ‘dog situation’ in Costa Rica.  Basically there are no rules here when it comes to dogs.  Mans best friend is pretty much free to roam anywhere here and they definitely do.  Alot of them are strays and some have owners but you’ll see them just walking down the road, walking into restaurants or in this case a club.  They don’t really bother anyone, I think they just like being around people and the locals here don’t seem to really pay attention or pay any mind to them.  There really are so many of them, at one point there were 13 dogs playing together on one area of the beach. I think dogs everywhere would probably pretty jealous of the Costa Rican Dog Lifestyle, dogs live free.

On Sunday we were able to rent a few bikes from one of the surf shops here called “Lost in Santa.”  We headed on a 5km bike ride through the neighbouring town “Santa Teresa” and ended up at a really nice beach called “Playa Hermosa.”

lost

When we arrived back at the hotel we had chicken salad sandwiches on a fresh baked baguette from “The Bakery.”  After lazing around at the hotel for a bit we met up with a couple other group members who were watching game 6 – Boston vs. Toronto at the sports bar here, “Nativo.”  Although the food is your typical sports bar type of grub their drinks are pretty good, especially the strawberry daiquiri which you can tell is made with fresh strawberries as opposed to a mix.

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sb

Monday morning we headed on over to “The Bakery” for breakfast (their waffles are a-m-a-z-i-n-g) and then to a place nearby to rent ATV’s, we got a pretty sweet deal where it only cost $40 to rent an ATV for 8 hours and a few of us actually doubled up with people so that we were able to split that cost.  The roads are pretty outback here so ATVing to get around is more ideal than actually driving a car and most of the locals drive ATVs or motorbikes to get around.  They have ATV trails that you can drive on through the forest or if you drive down past “Playa Hermosa” there is a long stretch of beach that you can drive on where you can get up to speeds of 70 Kmph.  There  also were a few people in our group that actually drove back to Montezuma on their ATVs since it was only about a 35 minute drive.

atv That evening we headed on our ATVs to a resort called “Hotel Vista de Olas” to watch the sunset in their infinity pool. They had us pay a $16 US drink deposit to enjoy their pool which wasen’t too bad seeing as how they had a swim up bar in their pool with an absolutely breathtaking view!

infinity 1infinity 2infinity3

That evening was “reggae night” at Coco Loco so we headed over there for some dancing and afterwards a bonfire on the beach!

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