From the moment we stepped off the bus, I felt like this place was different. The energy, the vibe, this place has something that the others didn’t.
And, after being here for 3 hours, I think that something is an alcohol problem and a love for music. I’m not sure which is stronger.
Walking down the street, you can hear music blasting — reggeaton, mostly — from homes and restaurants. It fits perfectly with the Caribbean vibe and the dreadlocked men and quaint pastel coloured houses on stilts.
For dinner, we followed our ears. We went to one of only 2 bars in town. There was a man singing with a guitar and he was encouraging everyone to join him by playing their maracas (grains of rice in plastic bottles). After my first Rock Limon, I joined in a little.
- A very muscular 30ish year old shirtless man stumbling around the middle of the road with a beer in his pocket and a bottle of vodka (probably actually moonshine) to his lips. By the time we finished our dinner, he gave up trying to wear his crocs.
- An extremely skinny man of probably 50 or 60 but it was impossible to tell, staggering around, sharing the moonshine/vodka/beer with the muscular man, and then passing out on a concrete bench.
- A woman of childbearing age, most likely a mother as her stomach looked like it has housed a child or 2 or 12, sort of strut-staggering around like she was a drunken (high as a kite maybe) Costa Rica’s Next Top Model.
Cahuita is population 600 (ish). Maybe those 3 people aren’t representative of the whole, and I’m sure they aren’t. It’s just…hard to not notice such severely messed up folks in a teeny tiny town and not get the impression that maybe drinking your face off is kind of all there is to do.