The holiday season here in Puerto Viejo was definitely fun filled. A few days before Christmas, a group of people and businesses decided to host the first ever World’s Biggest Rondon and Multicultural Festival. About 2:00 in the afternoon people started gathering in the park in the center of the town. The Rondon cooks started much earlier putting together the stew/soup that this part of the country is known for. Rondon comes from the words “run down” meaning you throw together whatever you have in your kitchen and see how it comes out. It has evolved to having a set of standard ingredients to start with – coconut, coconut milk (lots!), plantains, fish, shrimp – and then other ingredients are added that the cook feels might be good.
The day was especially fun for the kids – they were all over the place! A clown presided over the festivities for the younger crowd, topping off the events with the breaking of several pinatas followed by the wild dash for the candy. There were also sack races and a jungle gym brought in especially for the occasion. It really was a wonderful day.
On Christmas Eve, we entertained a small sloth that had found it’s way into our cacao trees that are all over our yard. Sloths can only eat certain types of leaves and the cacao is not one of those. It finally made it’s way to the hibiscus bushes that surround our yard (they can’t eat those either) and climbed through those bushes to the trees that have the leaves it can eat in the area behind our house. I worry too much about these little guys – they always seem to figure it out
On Christmas Day we went to our neighborhood bar – The Point – and had a traditional Christmas dinner for brunch and then headed on over to the Botanical Garden to help set up for the afternoon Christmas potluck they have every year for the people who live in Playa Negra. People started coming around 2:00 and stayed until dark. We met some new people who live nearby and chatted with several we already knew. All in all a very nice way to spend Christmas day.
New Year’s Eve was a really fun time. We headed down to The Point and had dinner. About 7:30 we all headed down to the beach in front of the bar and Toby set off some fireworks. I stood right under them and watched as they exploded overhead – it was the most amazing feeling! When that was done, we headed back home to check on the dogs and then met everyone at a little pizza place just a couple of minutes from our house. We chatted, ate pizza, drank some beer and just had a terrific time. We did not ring in the new year officially at midnight as we were home tucked in bed but we did hear the fireworks that went off all over the area.
The weather for those two weeks was just gorgeous. Last year at this time, it was rainy and overcast every day except for Christmas day but this year could not have been more beautiful. I am so glad to be here………….