When I spent 3 1/2 months in Costa Rica in 2007, I wrote some journal entries. Here is a snippet from one of them:

Tuesday 9th October, 2007

This morning we went for
a walk before breakfast. Our morning constitutional obviously caught
the usually pretty town by surprise. She had not had time to apply the
lip gloss, worn daily for the benefit of the tourists. Nor had she yet
donned her shiny crown, instead we caught her in a mauve flannel
dressing gown, leopard skin mules with a fag nestling in the corner of
her mouth.

It seems that at 7am,
Puerto Viejo is at a junction. Coming are the hard workers off to their
jobs. School children bustle into the school yard, and a single fruit
stall is setting up for the day. Heading off in the other direction are
the nocturnal beasties. But at 7 am
there are a few stragglers. An American Crackhead sits outside a
restaurant, an orange scarf tied around is ankle, covering presumably a
wound, rather than a reminder of some spiritual exercise. He asks us if
we are looking for a good time as we walk past. We buy some fruit for
breakfast, then have to walk past him again. He is obviously too fucked
to remember that we have just walked past, but somewhere in his head,
the part that has not yet been completed extinguished by his self
loathing habit, recognizes us from somewhere. ‘Are you
the guys from last night?’, he slurs, showing off a far from beautiful
set of teeth, with what appears to be paper stuck to one of them.
‘Yeah, you are!’ he shouts after us. We deny the charges. ‘Yeah, you
are. C’mon I’m not stupid!’

The
group of stragglers also includes a flock of black vultures, who
usually circle over head during the day, powerfully, and with status.
They are breakfasting in a ditch of stagnant black water. As black as
the birds themselves. The whole scene looking like something from an
animated film, portraying the most evil of evil places. I half expect
one of those scary horses from Lord of the Rings to thunder past.

The
town has also not yet hidden away her pack of stray dogs. She usually
keeps one or two of the finer looking ones to mooch around the beach. A
beautiful white spaniel cross with brown patches and an elegant fluffy
tail trots about town. We have seen before that she is a patient dog,
allowing another tiny dog (belonging to one of the stall holders) to
play relentlessly with her tail and pretty ears. We can see that one of
the other dogs is half blind. It’s heartbreaking. The pretty one
follows us for a bit, and I am concerned for its safety when trucks
tear past us, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are driving
through a village.