Bikes, beads and beaches

I was long overdue a biking adventure. Consequently, I woke up on the quest to find a bike to hire. This was an easy affair in the small town of Cahuita. What I did not plan for was the bike only having one hand break and no gears. Nonetheless I was determined to get my peddle on and explore the surrounding beaches and town. I began my cycle down a dusty, stony dirt road adjacent to the coast. While it was hard to manoeuvre down I enjoyed cycling past a few Caribbean restaurants, hotels and homes. A small child was throwing old coconut shells from a wheelbarrow onto the beach, while couples walked along holding hands and other locals cycled past me.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a sign saying carribeads. I could not believe my luck, I had been on a search for some authentic beads to take home for my mother. I followed the arrow on this sign down another narrow, bumpy and somewhat unkept dirt road. Houses sparsely lined the road and some time later I approached another sign. Where was this shop then? The sign was placed above a gate, so I peered in. Three viscous looking dogs barked at me. I called to see if anyone was home and a lady came out looking slightly confused. She must not get many visitors. I asked her about the beads and she said, ‘one moment please’. After chaining up and placing nuzzles on her saliva dripping dogs she let me in and guided me to a bench in her front garden. Here she showed me some jewellery she had made and some glass beads I could buy. Once I had finally chosen some I inquired about the price, she made something up on the spot, I accepted the deal, took the beads and left. Slightly, confused at this so called shop and whether these beads were actually Caribbean or of they had just been bought on eBay I rode on.

Happy that I had found some beads I stopped for a sit down on the beach. It was very peaceful with practically nobody around. I lay under an old dilapidated wooden structure originally made from palm trees and listened to the ocean gush in and out. This makeshift hut had clearly been attacked by the ferocious sea – it had seen better days. However, it gave me the shade I so desperately needed. In the near distance people rode horses. Their silhouettes so elegant against the blue dynamic ocean and still clear sky.

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When I was ready to move on I biked further down the dirt road. Next I came to a forested section – beautiful trees surrounded  me, the path became narrow and muddy. Birds called to one another, while green shiny lizards scurried across the ground. Insects buzzed around and the forest noises never ended. Central American forests are all so unique, stunning and majestic, each one different from the last.

On the slightly rusty bike I managed to explore several beaches, forests and the little town of Cahuita. The slow paced carribean culture enables you to totally relax, providing the perfect get away.

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