Onward to Dominical.

Yup, it got better.

I wasn’t quite ready to leave Manuel Antonio, but decided to keep moving south, so I took a bus to Dominical of unknown duration, since I spent nearly the entire ride falling asleep in my seat. I can’t seem to stay awake on a bus ride here, although I don’t know if it’s the smothering warmth or because I was the last person to bed in the hostel last night and first up, and spent a fair amount of the night alternating between airing out my sweaty torso and covering it back up again after scratching the new mosquito bites.

Dominical is one of those peculiar surfer/expatriate enclaves that spring up around the world and confuse the locals terribly. Where do all these young white men come from? How do they spend their entire lives surfing and (apparently) doing abdominal exercises?

There are two streets, one inland a stone’s throw where elderly tourists sip fruit smoothies and look bored while waiting for tomorrow’s bus onward, while the other street runs along the beach and is where the people move about more often. White street vendors with dreadlocks and board shorts sit at their folding tables and make jewelry out of beads and coconut shell pieces, not deigning to pitch anything to the conformist tourists. Down from them the local vendors add a basketball jersey to the uniform and sell the same T-shirts in every town, and cry out to passersby (especially if you’re wearing a backpack) “Hello! Where you from?” They are not nearly as aggressive as some places (looking at you Marrakech) and seem to enjoy my responses in Spanish, and we actually end up chatting fairly often.

The menus of the restaurants in town are surfer themed, not much rice and beans in evidence. For dinner I very much enjoyed my “Off the lip” sandwich. So much in fact that I didn’t share any with the beach dogs who took turns staring at me from next to the table. Good dog. Sorry. Nice balls by the way. (I wonder if after so long in Latin America it will look odd when I get back to the States for dogs not to have big pairs of balls swinging around…)

There is a series of hostels, who seem to differ only on the volume at which they are playing Bob Marley. All are hosting populations of young surfer boys, none of whom packed a shirt. It must be a unique experience to be a reasonably attractive female in a town like this. Like being the cute bartender at fire fighter camp.

I will probably cross the border into Panama tomorrow.