New Years Eve in Playas Del Coco...


Can you imaging Mardi Gras in Costa Rica?  Well that's a general description of what NYEPC (New Years Eve in Playa Coco) is supposed to be like.  We've been told by many (age 60+) who have participated in past NYEPC events to "Stay the hell away from Coco", "Everybody is drunk and disgusting", "The streets are too crowded with rowdy Ticos", "Its just not safe!"  On the other hand, when I talk to friends who have not yet entered old fart status, their words to me were "Hell yeah" and "Ya gotta go, at least once."  

So... in the inimitable words of Garth Algar*... "Party On Wayne!"  And party on we did.

* This is a reference to the Dana Carvey character in the movie Wayne's World, for those of you who may not be familiar

To make the celebration of the new year even more complete, my son Mike and his girlfriend Jenn decided to fly down and party with good old mom and dad. 

We knew there would be chaos as the night went on so we planned to get there early, around 8:00 PM. The streets were just starting to fill.  Families parked their cars (as did we) a few blocks away and walked to Coco's Main Street.  Many were carrying (or wheeling) coolers stocked with cases of Imperial (Costa Rica's Budweiser) and a virtual cornucopia of edible treats.  It reminded me of one mother of a tailgate party.  For those of us first timers who didn't know you could wheel in your beverages, we were buying cans of brew at a buck a pop all night long.

Click on pictures to enlarge

The demographic on Main Street was clearly slanted towards the young Tico/Tica but (happily) there were enough of us "old fart gringos" around to balance the scales. 

There was dancing in the streets, lots of music, a fair amount of alcohol consumption and enough local cops to keep things in check.  What was interesting was the apparent lack of patrons taking advantage of the "all inclusive", one price super deal, to celebrate NYEPC.  

As much as we wanted to see in the New Year, our bodies were just not willing to comply.  So at 11:30, me, Fran, Mike and Jenn decided to drag our sorry asses back to the car and drive home but not before strolling past Coco's Infamous Wall of Urine. 

Before deciding to celebrate NYEPC, I sought the advice of several friends who have past experience braving this annual event.  They all advised to take a lesser traveled, back way into Coco, the "Cacique Road."  This seldom traveled, public road that is a super short cut and well off the radar screens of all the traffic cops.  But we had nothing to fear, Fran was our designated driver

The night was a huge success.  We didn't get overly inebriated.  Nobody got hurt.  Nobody got sick and we all returned home with our health and dignity in tact.  What a great way to say adios to 2010.


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