May 14. 2015-Golofito is no Boca Chica
wingssail images-fredrick roswold
REVISION: I think my previous version of this story gave a worse picture of Golfito than is fair. In fact, we liked Golfito
We’ve sailed from Boca Chica, in Panama, to Golfito, in Costa Rica. Golfito is another great harbor with fine protection which is second to none, being surrounded by mountains and rain forests. And it is beautiful, even in the rain (which pours down like clockwork every afternoon). Maybe especially in the rain: sitting under an awning on Wings, in the steady rain, looking at the still boats anchored in front of the town and the mists rising from the forests, reminds us of places on Vancouver Island.
But even with the beauty of the surroundings, a great anchorage, and lots of welcome rain, (welcome because it fills our water tanks), I’ve been kinda grumpy here. Could it be the mud? Everything is muddy. Could it be the rain, which we love and need? Every time we get into the dingy we find it totally wet and half full of water. I operate the dingy standing up, with water up to my ankles, holding an umbrella.
Mostly, I guess, it’s the poor Internet and Costa Rica’s high prices which put me in a bad mood. Costa Rica uses an unusual frequency band for its high speed Internet, none of our devices can pick it up, and the WiFi is unreliable, so we haven’t had much Internet. Then there are the prices. The prices are high here for everything, particularly food, fuel, and transportation. Today we took a bus down the Pan American highway and back to buy groceries in Panama and the savings made it worthwhile. Marina prices in Costa Rica are so high it seems downright unfriendly. We don’t know why everything costs more in Costa Rica but it does.
But despite all this, Golfito has been a good stop. At least our water tanks are full. The Cruiser’s Clubhouse at LandSea Marina is where we hang out to get out of the rain has been fun and Tim and Katie, the people who run it, are helpful and nice. THEIR prices are good, so overall the Cruiser’s Clubhouse is a net positive.
Next door the Banana Marina has a great happy hour. We’ve been there a few times for $2 rum.
And we’ve spent hours wandering up and down the main street in town looking for bargains and finding some, if not many. Oh, did I mention the “Free Zone”? Down in the rainy end of town (yes, one end of Golfito gets much more rain dumped on it than the rest of Golfito) there is a shopping area, all fenced off, where, if you go with your passport in hand, you can buy goods which are duty free, which brings the prices back down to almost, say, anywhere in Panama. But they don’t have groceries.
Well, this is all part of cruising, and even if it sounds like I am complaining, I’m really not. Whatever we find when we come to a new place, like Costa Rica, it is still very much a voyage of discovery for us. And what we learn when we come to a new place, well, we couldn’t really learn it any other way.
But by the weekend we’ll be underway.
Click here for more Costa Rica photos.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Golfito