Whats New — By Sophia LaMonica on October 20, 2011 at 1:40 am

This picture was taken on Friday morning, just before the annual mountain bike race swept through town, from the edge of Pan Pay bakery, a favorite place of mine and lots of locals in the morning. The coral reef here forms placid pools ideal for wading, swimming, and snorkeling where Johnny’s Place meets white sand at El Chino beach. The weathered smooth tree-trunk sculpture jutting from the sand is an impressive natural landmark and serves as a gathering point on festive evenings, serving as an armrest, drink stand, and candle holder. Despite reports of a powerful storm causing torrential rain throughout the rest of the country, the weather has remained  warm and dry. As soon as the sun sets, however, dark clouds roll in, followed by breathtaking rumbles of thunder, then blindingly bright bolts of lightning that introduce a nightly rainfall which washes through for an hour or two before passing on by sunrise. The painted blue metal trash bin stenciled with Municipalidad de Talamanca is one of many strategically placed along the coast, one of the many factors that helps keep the beaches like this busy one clean. In the background just off shore sits Just Like That, a cleverly named local dive shop’s dinghy.

Tags: Caribbean, Costa Rica beaches, El Chino Beach, Puerto Viejo de Limon, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca