Day 2,000 of Traveling the World | Puntarenas, Costa Rica | July 24, 2023

Two thousand days of traveling the world, homeless and owning/carrying little! That translates into almost 5.5 years of homeless travel (which will come next week, on August 1). It is almost unimaginable. We have followed others who have purported to do the same thing as we do, but most of their odysseys ended after less than a year.

One reason we think that people don’t last very long in this lifestyle is that many of them plan to fund their travels by blogging. We have spoken to a few people who reported some success at that, but have talked to more than that who have found it far harder than they imagined. In any case, we are happy that we don’t make any money whatsoever on our blogging or social media, but only do it for fun. It is just our way of documenting our travels for friends, family, ourselves, and other interested parties.

The port of Puntarenas was an important one in the country’s production and export of coffee. In the 1840s, after a road was built from the coffee plantations to the port, coffee was hauled here by oxcart. But once a railroad was built to connect the Atlantic and Pacific, coffee went the other way, and was primarily exported to England, which had become a major coffee consumer.

Puntarenas has a lovely beach that stretches quite a distance. When we visited here three years ago, there were perhaps 100 kiosks along the beach hawking souvenirs, alcohol, ice cream, etc., with families all enjoying time in the sun. (You can search our site to read that particular blog.) Stunningly, the kiosks – and crowds – are all gone now. There are not many people, and the only place to buy anything is along the street that runs parallel to the ocean walking path, farther from the beach. Many of the former bars, restaurants, and convenience stores on the streets are closed, with a “Se Vende” (for sale) sign in the window. We suppose it was Covid that put the nail in the coffin, since it is the height of summer, and everything is just a little bit more bedraggled, a bit more degraded, than last time. It felt very weary here, compared to three years ago.

The long and lovely beach, with small groups of people swimming and enjoying the ocean.
It was surprising to see a mess of cut tree trunks stacked on the beach, since tourism is so important to the city and country.
A pretty amphitheater, which was gated and locked when we visited.
Most people sought relief under the trees along the beach.
The – very blue! – Social Security office.
Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Puntarenas. This view almost makes it look like a country church in Ireland – except for the palm tree.
Inside the cathedral, once again it was very light and airy, and a Baptism had just finished.
Our favorite item in the church – the sculpture of these hands holds two baskets for the offerings during Mass. It is symbolic of giving what you can.
Our favorite person in the church – the Baptism Boy! We clapped as he walked into the church from a visit to the courtyard, and he started clapping, as well!
One of the sculptures outside the church. All of the words on the plate below the pedestal had faded away, so we do not know its name, date, or sculptor.
Ditto for this sculpture – it has the flowing hair of a woman, but the face of a man.
A colorful restaurant that we passed.
This large thatched-roof restaurant on a corner, on the left side, has two palm trees growing through the roof.
This sculpture was for sale in a nice, avant-garde art gallery. It is titled “Voces” (Voices) by David Ramirez, with a price of $1,500. Clearly, the gallery isn’t aimed at locals, as all the prices were in US dollars.
…but the back of Voces sculpture revealed three demons and spikes reminiscent of an Iron Maiden.
A bronze sculpture by Fadrique Badilla titled “Ofrenda a la Selva” (Offering to the Jungle), on sale for $1,200.

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