Category Archives: Costa Rica

Samara comes to an end

Again, up early. Considering this will be the last day we see Samara for likely a while, we figured we could do all the things again we really enjoyed. We could always mix those activities up a little, but simply find happiness in where we are now.

I checked my email. A note was in there outlining service arrangements for a colleague that had just passed away while on vacation in Maui. Snorkelling was the last activity he was doing prior to passing at the early age of 55. Wayne was always a cheery individual, kind of like a puppy that is always happy to see you. He worked long and hard hours which really garnered my respect. He was always positive, and only recently wanted to start doing more travel of the world. Hawaii isn’t far from home, but a good start for someone that really seemed to prefer working over leisure activities. Unfortunately, we will still be away when the service happens. We will all have to remember him in our own way, and for today…really just enjoy what we have now and where we are.

Breakfast of rice and beans, with a little bacon…delicious considering we could be eating a whole lot less. Coffee, certainly better than no coffee. We gathered a few things after breakfast and went for a walk along the beach. A fairly cloudy day, perfect for the two of us. A chance to talk about all the little things we enjoy. How lucky we are each day to be able to keep doing what we are doing, in all aspects of life. So much of what we are used to on a daily basis we tend to take for granted. We really should reflect more often.

We popped over to Lo Que Hay, the place across the street from our hotel and lunch spot for the last 6 days, and grabbed a couple cocktails and to our surprise shrimp tacos…on special today! A couple hours of sipping on beverages with our toes in the sand…thinking all of this could be gone tomorrow… we just sat back and relaxed. Even the smokers at the next table seemed less annoying than usual. Waiting for the check to arrive, it will get here when it gets here. We paid up and headed back to the room for our suits.

We headed back out to the ocean to play in the waves. Yes the ocean can be a dangerous place. We had no interest in heading out too far, especially with the number of novice surfers out there today. Sunday, combined with a retreating tide at 1PM made for a lot of beginners out there just trying to get on a board in some erratic but small waves. No sense for either of us to take a surfboard in the face, especially right before those holiday photos. 30 minutes of splashing around in shoulder height waves was good for both of us. In to the cold little pool for a more peaceful dip and a nap.

3PM hit and it seemed about the right time to check to see if our favourite Floridian might be beachside with a cocktail. It has worked out that way for the last number of days, so a quick check was in order. If not, I could run an errand or two in advance of our travel day tomorrow before Melanie was ready to join me for happy hour. Sure enough, he was there. I dove right into updating him on the recently departed colleague.

These were discussions we have been having all week. Be grateful for where you are right now because really, it could be a whole lot worse. Life is short. Anything could happen, at any time. Taking the time to enjoy a drink while getting to know new people is something we should all do on a regular basis. So far we have met some very fun and interesting people. Over the next few weeks, we hope to encounter many more.

We said our goodbyes with Tony and traded emails. No tearful departures, just smiles and good wishes. I always figure that goodbyes are never forever…we can always meet again. We parted and Melanie and I headed over for one last ceviche with smashed platano verde chips. Seriously, this would be the last time we go to Gusto Beach. We have eaten a lot here, and now really need something new for dinner…but everything is quite good.

Tonight, the place had a little entertainment. From the place next door you could hear a harmonica squeaking occasionally. As we got closer we understood what was happening. A guy on a mic was singing in a throaty Leonard Cohen kind of smoky voice. He would pair that up with a few notes from sax or harmonica, playing his own remix of cover tunes. These songs were near unrecognizable other than for a few lyrics strung together. Set this guy up against a backdrop of old CDs pasted to a white board and you have the nights Deep Jazz House with Gianpaulo…who really sounded more French than his stage name suggested. We added the rice with shrimp to the back end of the ceviche and wrapped up our meal. Tomorrow I expect a diet of fewer rice and beans. We will see how that goes.

In the morning I will grab the car after breakfast and we will head to La Fortuna. Now I just have to figure out how exactly we are navigating our way there.

Day Trip to Playa Carrillo

Another day in Samara. The upper floor room with king bed was a nice treat from the damp ground level unit we were in for the previous 3 nights. After breakfast we confirmed another night with the front desk. This will be the last request for adding nights here. 6 is plenty and we need to see a bit more before the month ends.

A quick check at the info center across the road clarified the bus schedule and pickup point, so based on the timing, it looked like we were heading out on a day trip. Sometimes these things line up. Sometimes not. Today we would at least get out for something new to do. Firstly, a stop by the rental car place to visit our new friend Jairo and have him change our reservation again. I am sure he is starting to think we are some crazy white folk constantly changing plans, but he might be happy for the business.

Jairo updated our paperwork while we waited in the excessively cool office. Energy efficiency comes from less use, which is only partially understood here. Compact fluorescent bulbs everywhere, but AC set at 24 degrees C. When electricity is as expensive as it is down here, you would think people might be a little more aware of their power spend. Jairo is just one lonely guy behind the counter in a small town. He seemed happy to help in any way he could, other than offering a blanket. Since he was the artist of that map to the SIM card place, I wondered if he could help me find out how much data I might have. With a bit of back and forth, he was able to show us a short code that tells me exactly how much of a credit I have. We were very happy, and departed for the bus.

We also found the taxi stand in town. While walking by, we had to ask about a price to Playa Carrillo. The beach is only 7km from Samara, so the cabbies should not be asking a lot. These guys wanted 5000 colones for that trip ($12CAD). Far too expensive for our daily budget, so we walked a couple blocks further to the bus stop. One of the drivers did a drive by to see if we might bite at 4000 colones…nope. The bus was only 700 for the two of us…and darn near direct, so no need to line the pockets of these predatory drivers. The bus showed about 10 minutes late and we hopped on. Come Carrillo, we hopped off for a beach stroll.

We have been told that Samara and Carrillo are some of the nicest beaches in Costa Rica. Samara we have been very happy with. Carrillo, well no development is nice. Lots of palm trees lining the newly paved roadway. A couple rocky mounds situated in the middle of the beach. Beautiful blue water curling up into surfing waves not far off the beach. This stretch of sand is not as gradual as Samara, so the transition from sandy brown water to clear blue is a lot quicker. This would be a great spot to stop for the day, set up a hammock among the palm trees and BBQ up some marinated chicken skewers with some pineapple. The only downside, this beach needs some serious trash cleanup. Lots of floating debris, plastic, littered the beach. On Samara, the businesses and town do an excellent job of keeping their beach in tip top shape. Carrillo focuses their efforts on only a tiny portion of this long pretty beach.

After 45 minutes of sun, we wandered back to the roadway to flag the bus back to Samara. We got our pictures, and they kind of look like every other beach picture down here, but each beach is a bit different. Again another 700 colones and we were back in time for a late lunch and of course some shopping. Melanie found a short dress advertised for $20USD. She gave the lady 10000 colones and between Melanie’s lack of Spanish and the shop owners absence of English, somehow they agreed on a deal. Sometimes ignorance and a couple smiles is all it takes.

Lunch was across the street with whiskey sours and mixing up our usual fish tacos with pork and chicken. The fish are probably the best, however shrimp might be something we ask for tomorrow. We sat there enjoying the scampering red backed squirrels and smokers enjoying this cigarette friendly patio. Many of the places down here don’t allow smoking, which is great…especially when sporting a tickle in your throat. This place…not friendly to those of us recovering from a cold. As another squirrel dashed between the chair legs and up the tree next to me, Tony arrived.

The three of us chatted for a bit, then Melanie ducked out for a nap. A few hours later Melanie was back and the only thing that had moved was the level of liquid in each of our glasses. The sun set and darkness was encroaching…now the three of us chatting without a natural break to the conversation. How are these afternoons turning into extended talking sessions is really surprising. It really is all part of the trip though.

We parted company for the evening and headed next door for more ceviche. A couple cocktails and a simple chicken and rice plate. No surprise encounters with other familiar people today, other than the staff at these restaurants. We paid our bill, no more 20% discount for low season, and headed back for the night. Maybe it is just the weekend, or maybe things are slowly changing around here as more tourist dollars flow in.

Tomorrow will be our last full day here in Samara. We will have to see what is in store.

Time for a Room Change

After 3 nights, it was time for a bit of a change. We slept well until the maintenance guy got to sweeping outside our door and sanding up a couple lounger benches. This was the end of our original 3 night booking and we were really looking forward to moving upstairs to our king size bed with view of the wading pool below. Not so much for the bigger bed, but a bit of privacy to be certain no one was peering through the uncovered bathroom window while showering. Time for breakfast anyways.

More of the same breakfast as the last few days. The rice and beans really sticks with you and for those of you not into the plainness of just those two elements, mix in your eggs and add some hot and brown sauce. We still havent figured out what that brown runny liquid is, but it tastes good with eggs. Maybe like a steak sauce, watered down, and some Worcestershire or ketchup added.

After breakfast our mission consisted of securing a car out of here and picking up a SIM card. We also needed toothpaste, but that could be done anywhere and at anytime with all these little markets. We made our way over to National, since the guy was friendly and helpful, and confirmed the reservation. No credit card, no drivers licence, no phone number…still we could reserve a car. Of course those are things we would need to drive it off the lot…but we could save that task for tomorrow. Our agent was also helpful enough to suggest a cheap option for a SIM card…we just had to follow his roughly drawn map to a nearby spot in town.

As he drew up the map it made me think we were on a treasure hunt. We had a couple corners to find, one of them with a market on them. If we found the correct street there would be a tower, and at the base of that tower a building where we could take a number in a very cold office and someone would help us. I should have snapped a picture of the map, but I had a pretty good idea of where to go. These days people will just pull out their phone and highlight a path to a waypoint. I tried that, but without data hand drawn maps were the way to go.

We departed. Found our toothpaste and started the hunt for a SIM card. Again, sidewalks as traffic would whip by us on this main road to the nearby Carrillo. We found the market. We found the tower, which was a cell phone tower perched on top of the building for one of the national carriers down here. ICE or Kolbi, I havent figured that part out yet, but here we were swept with a metal detecting wand by the security guard and escorted into the frigid waiting area. Why does everyone have to have their AC on something so low here? We have adapted to having the AC on at 28C…24 now sounds downright cold! With a few taps on a freestanding screen a number spit out of a little window. Now we wait.

About 5 seconds later, N11 was announced. Very prompt service. I sat down at the little desk opposite a young guy not too enthusiastic about being there. I guess it is Friday, and this might actually be his lunchtime. As with every face to face discussion I ask, “Hablas un poco ingles?” Each time i usually get the same answer back of No. No matter. A good chance for me to practice a little more conversation. He needed a passport…I had none. Drivers…no. Identity card, yes…but only a health card. As long as it has a photo ID and a number…good enough. He taps in all he necessary address details and pulls out a new SIM card. He then asks for 1000 colones (just over 2 bucks) and then says we are all done. I wasn’t really sure what happened there, but suddenly my phone was lighting up with FB messages that hadn’t been getting through the last couple days. I guess I now had data. How much, and for how long…I guess we will find out.

Melanie was shivering by the window. Observing a couple iguanas duke it out on the concrete wall of the park are entrance. The victor hung around in the sun with his comb all stiffened up. We exited back into the warmth of the day and tried to get a bit closer for some pics, but with the security guy watching for anything peculiar, and a locked gate in the way…we just kept moving.

Lunch was again directly across the street. Toes in the sand. Cocktails in hand and a front row seat for watching all the beachy people and activities of the day. Waves rolling in and out. Fish tacos to snack on. We decided at that point we can change the car reservation again and stay another day here. We are in no rush. The hotel staff might wonder if we will ever leave, or just keep changing rooms. After a couple hours, we headed back to put on our suits for a dip in the ocean.

Splashing in the waves for a bit, we then headed back for a rinse in the pool. On our way back who should we run into…Tony. He was settling into that same table we were at, and probably for a few hours as well. We said our hellos and headed back for our pool break. Melanie had a short nap and I joined Tony for a repeat of yesterdays chatting over drinks. Today, tequila sunrises and cosmos.

When we are travelling, normally we seek out different experiences on a daily basis. This is the first time where we have almost fallen into a pattern of activities. This is a really nice place and the pace seems perfect right now. Adding another day or two on to actually relax probably isn’t a bad thing. Melanie has a cold to pass. I have a patchy tan to work on. There are a few beers that also need to be drank and if we don’t do it, who will?

Melanie fetched me before sundown and a short stroll along the beach led us to more ceviche. Cocktails, shrimpy rice again…and we were done for the night. Tomorrow is a new day, where we can again walk over to the rental place and change our departure date. We can go to the front desk here and add on another night. We can have more cocktails while watching the bikinis struggle to cover body parts normally hidden from daylight.

The challenge will be to find something new to write about.

Pura Vida in Samara

Samara is growing on us. This is a very low key place without the pushy sales guys on each corner trying to lure people in. No waiters pitching fresh fish and cheap cocktails to come dine in their establishment. Everything kind of at your own slow pace. When breakfast is offered between a well defined two morning hours, it makes it a bit difficult to get roused and ready for a bite to eat.

We did make it though. Tipico breakfast with scrambled eggs, beans and rice, as well as a side of fruit and bottomless coffee. The coffee isn’t the greatest, but passes the test for being dark and roughly pleasant to smell. After breakfast, we started to formulate a plan. Shuttles or taxis would be an expensive, yet sort of convenient means of transiting the country to the Caribbean. Planes don’t travel to the closest of airports here right now and we likely would not be interested in the price of such a flight. Bus…may be a bit long. An alternate plan might be to rent a car for a couple days.

I have been opposed to a car rental up to this point for a few reasons. 1. The rental may be cheap but the extra insurance adds up to something ludicrous over the course of a month. 2. The way we travel there are a couple of down days between travel days, so we would be paying for those days that the car would be sitting there parked. 3. Gas is not cheap here. Considering all of those for a cross country trip over the course of just a couple days, renting a car makes the most sense for flexibility and comfort…price too.

We set off to inquire at both Alamo and National. Yes, they are the same company, but for some reason they offer very different pricing on the same cars. We also had nothing better to do today since we handed over our swimsuits along with the dirty laundry for a much needed cleanse. After visiting both places, checking out a couple cars…we are pretty certain what our plan is.

Before committing though, first we had to confirm our departure date. Our original plan had us checking out of this place tomorrow morning. We decided to ponder a little over a beverage and light lunch. Again, directly across the street from our place we buried our toes in the sand and watched the waves gently move our way as the tide slid in. Staying for another couple nights is the easiest option, as is staying for another 3 weeks, but we will start with a couple nights.

We wrap up our bill and just as we get up, the Floridian…Tony, walks in to the place. We warmed up the table for him and said our hellos before he quickly sat down to settle in for a beverage or two. We headed back to the room to drop our bags, plus Melanie needed a nap. Fighting what we think is a cold, and very similar to what I had, a bit of rest was required. The only way she can get that rest is if I am not bugging her all the time…so I departed to confirm the room, find out where our laundry was…and maybe go for a stroll.

Now we are here for two extra nights at only $50USD per night…taxes and any extras all included in that. We paid $62USD a night through Booking… it is best to always go directly to the hotel for the best rates here in Costa Rica! I paid the lady at the desk after signing a couple new forms and we now know where our heads will lie for the next few nights. Laundry, well we know that is going to be an expensive little venture and it sounds like it wont be ready for a few hours yet. As for a stroll, that was only back across the street.

I figured that table we vacated was a pretty good spot. Tony, now that I know his name, was seated there and now two Bahama Mama’s in. I joined him for a few beer and what turned out to be a few hours of conversation. The Cuba Libres helped that along a little. We have chatted a bit over the last couple weeks, and I now know only a bit more about the guy. Some guys can spend an entire afternoon chatting about everything, and nothing, at the same time over beers. It is like we were old friends catching up, but there was nothing to catch up on…just chatting. During our conversation, that young Swiss couple walked by. Again, I am not as surprised anymore by our paths crossing…this is now the third town over the course of two weeks where we have encountered them. A small world indeed.

The sun was setting as I had to go rouse Melanie before dusk. It turns out she had the same idea and we met as I handed over 5,000 colones to Tony to cover my drinks. There was a little something extra in there…but no matter. We returned back to the hotel to pay our hefty laundry bill and ran into the Vancouver guest in the unit two doors over. Tim McNeil. A guy that lives just off Dunbar and was down here for a workshop. Between us and him is a couple from Quebec. Damn Canadians everywhere! We bid him adieu as he flys home tomorrow.

A short stroll on the beach was completed with dinner at our favourite little ceviche spot. The cocktails were great, the shrimp rice was excellent. The change I was expecting was 7 times more than we should have got…so call it a couple free drinks. Maybe it is part of a frequent diners club they don’t publicize. That Swiss couple wandered in and we said hi again. Now that we have an idea of their travel schedule, and us having a plan, maybe we will encounter them for a few drinks on that eastern seaboard.

I still cant remember the names of that couple. It has now gone so long since they last mentioned their names it would just be awkward now. They will forever be known as “the young Swiss”.

Strolling Playa Samara

We picked the a room with a bit more space. Unfortunately this more space seems to be a bit damp…maybe moldy. Likely a byproduct of a long wet season and when the 4-5 months of dry kicks any moistness in the air will probably be welcomed. Laundry will need to be done real soon.

Breakfast was prepared for us, along with a bit of coffee. Tipico breakfast again which fills our daily dietary requirements for rice and beans, complimented with eggs and that terrible white toast. We ate until we couldn’t, then went out to walk off some of those carbs. Today, a stroll along the beach to the long end.

A pit stop at the info center directly across the road provided a bit of intel as to where we might want to go and not go. I was interested in making our way to Santa Teresa, all of 97km away from here, and a 3.5 hour drive including a river crossing. This can be accomplished with an expensive shuttle, or 8-12 hour series of bus rides. Thelady behind the counter also mentioned that Samara and the neighbor beach Carrillo were the best beaches in the country and if we like the feel of the community here…there wouldn’t be much sense in making that trek down.

We headed down the beach to snap a few photos and discuss. Where should we go next. How to get there. When do we leave here? We would think about it for the day and decide later. Now, a beach stroll. We headed out and into the sun. The tide was low, and just starting to turn its way back inland. We wandered from puddle to puddle checking out the little fishes and crabs running around inside. At one point, I stepped on some bottom fish buried in the sand and nearly fell over due to the surprise. I didnt get a good look at the creature as I was trying to stay upright and dry while watching it scurry in Melanie’s direction leaving a plume of sand in its wake. The thing was about 6 inches across though, and maybe a little flatter after my encounter.

We continued along the exposed sand. Off in the distance I had seen what looked like a sawhorse in the water…as we got closer, it was a dog…sitting there in the surf with waves lapping at his belly. Odd behaviour for a canine. As we approached, the dog barely moved. Focused on the horizon like he was thinking of some long lost stick the ocean might have taken from him. Soon enough we saw a guy coming back on his surfboard, and as he got closer to shore his best buddy eagerly waited. Definitely mans best friend here.

We continued down to the end of the beach. Snapped a few more pictures and turned back. It had been 2 hours now out in the sun, which is about 1.5 more than we are used to. On our way back, our Floridian friend ran by with a quick wave. We needed to get back, refill our water levels and find some shade. It is beautiful out here, but sun protection and hydration are essential.

We dropped out stuff back at the room and popped over for some of that tasty ceviche. We were looking for something light and beachy, we again ate too much and were slipping into that sun drenched comatose state that almost ate up yesterday afternoon. Think of it as that content state just as you are about to nod off for a nap, but you dont want to let yourself fall asleep just yet. At peace.

A dip in the pool woke us up a little and a stroll around town ate up most of the daylight. We found a place a short walk away that has open mic tonight. Being up early, and no nap this afternoon…plus Melanie likely fighting the cold I had a couple weeks ago…meant no fun for us tonight. Dinner, then in for the night.

We returned to the same restaurant again as at lunch. That is now 3 times in 2 days…which is a pattern we will have to break tomorrow. It is really good though. As we arrived, the Floridian was seated at the same table we had lunch at, and just settling his bill. We sat with him and chatted for a bit before he departed, then ordered ourselves a pizza. We havent had pizza in a few months, so this would actually be a treat. As we finish up, a couple folks from Coco that were out with Tim during Melanie’s karaoke night happened to sit down at the table behind us. We seem to run into people everywhere, and it is no longer surprising.

So now in for the night. Apparently there was a bit too much sun today because for some reason i have sunburnt my chin. Must have been a little light on the sunscreen there. It should make for some creative photo editing over the next few days.

Off to Samara

6AM and construction was underway. At the “In the Shade Hotel” they are currently adding on another few rooms directly across from our room. These guys don’t work on the weekends, or even Mondays, considering we were able to sleep until 8AM undisturbed for those days. Tuesday’s though must be different.

Our simple breakfast and final packing was done just before 8 then we were ready to depart. The place didn’t accept credit cards, cash only, and for some reason USD is their default currency. The bill they handed us had an arbitrarily high number of colones to USD. I argued with the owner for a few minutes about the outstanding $10 we owed him, when i only wanted to give him $2…and after 5 minutes of explaining i was not happy with the exchange…we paid the balance and departed. If he would just accept credit cards and work that into his price, there would not be the added complication of collecting cash.

We departed looking for that 8:30 bus. Maybe it was a 9:00 bus…i found two different schedules and yesterday i saw the 2PM bus leave 3 minutes early…so who knows what we were in for. We rolled our bags down the dry dusty road, which only yesterday was muck and goo, and past eager cabbies looking to score a fare. $100USD was suggested the other night, which was way too high for a 2 hour ride. We waited. 8:30…no bus. Two buses headed the other direction that had to come back around at some point, but not yet. 9:00…only a bus to Liberia…none yet to Santa Cruz. The cabbies started circling like sharks. They have likely seen this play out many times before. A guy in a 2015 Accord rolls up to the bus stand. A nice looking car and now that fare was 80USD. In colones, he was willing to take 40,000…which works out to about 70USD…tempting.

While waiting for a bus that would get us to Santa Cruz, a woman with two very large backpacks walked over and sat down. She asked when the bus was coming, and we really didnt know. Where might she be going? Samara. She too was looking to do the 3 bus trip from Tamarindo to the smaller town down the coast. From the Northwest of Germany, she was an English teacher just getting away for a few weeks. She also mentioned she was not very good at haggling or numbers, but she was open to the idea of sharing a cab to Samara. With Melanie already in love with the idea of a private ride, AC, and 2 hours less travel…it made it hard to say no. 40,000 colones and the three of us were in the spiffiest taxi we have encountered down here thus far.

Our driver, Heido, was a Colombian fellow. Not a word of English, which gave me a bit of a chance to try some conversation. Melanie got more of a story from the German lady, travelling solo, on her home stay visit in Nicaragua and her helping out at a school outside of Leon. I attempted discussion of the price of cars, how long our driver has been in Costa Rica…and if he had any family here. Unmarried and a couple kids back in Colombia. A brother here in CR and he goes back home once in a while. If we are to ever go to Colombia we do need to see Cartagena, Barranquilla, Cali, and Medellin. The last on that list is his hometown, and for any of your Narcos fans out there…he was never associated with Escobar. He insisted on that.

We drove through Santa Cruz and saw the bus we probably could have caught if we made it out the door a few minutes earlier. On to Nicoya and the road we were on skirted the center, so we didn’t get to see any of the heart of that little place, maybe if we bus our way out of here. From Nicoya on to Samara, new pavement, little traffic, and beautiful green hills. Lots of little haciendas dotting the hillsides. A really nice stretch of country out this way. Before long we were in Samara.

Our new German friend kicked in 15,000 colones for the ride and got dropped off first. We were all of three doors down from her, but the cabbie turned around and dropped us at our door. 2 hours travel time. It was now just after 11 and when we walked up to reception they were more than glad to check us in. Now a full day in this little town. We dropped our stuff in the room and sought out the beach.

A much smaller beach than Tamarindo. Flanked by rocky cliffs on either side, the low tide makes for a really vast stretch of beach for walking or a run. We like to walk. A stroll down to the far end and back was then punctuated with a beverage on the beach. Slow, low key…watching the afternoon slip by with a beer in hand. This is more what we had in mind for beach towns. We couldn’t let the afternoon completely disappear on us, so we did a little window shopping and exploring.

We found a big grocery store. Nothing yet for us to buy, but always good to know what is offered. As we walked the aisles, we ran into that German lady again loading up on breakfast items. We have breakfast provided in our place, so I am hoping what we get is something better than what we might forage for on our own. There was a little rain, we waited that out before wandering back to our room for a costume change into something more ocean ready.

A dip in the ocean, then dip in the pool, another change back into drier clothes and we were off to find another beachfront table to have a snack at. As we step onto the beach, familiar voices greeted us. A couple from Alaska that had the room right next to us in Brasilito was relaxing in those beachside chairs we were eyeing up. Apparently they departed Tamarindo at 11 this morning, also with the plan to catch a bus but jumped in a taxi instead. Same price. Same destination. With some people it seems like we have almost fallen in sync with. They also pointed out our Floridian acquaintance from Flagler Beach was perched at a table a little higher up with beer in hand. A small world indeed.

We found our own table to enjoy the waning daylight. We ordered a bowl of ceviche and Casado con pollo. As dusk was merging into complete blackness, the outlines of those rocky cliffs were fading quickly to grey. A couple droplets hit the table, then the staff quickly started gathering items off the tables. Big rain on the way. We grabbed our drinks and moved inside just in time for the downpour. A good 30 minutes of intense rain that would not have been good to be caught in. Our waitress found us at a vacant table next to the LED lit bar and dropped our appetizer. This was an amazingly large bowl of ceviche and when followed up with the very tasty second plate we were stuffed. Now our bodies are trying to digest all this great food from just across the road.

We might have found that perfect little beach town. We will assess further tomorrow, over another order of that ceviche and walk along the beach.

A stroll to Langosta

Last night we picked up a few breakfast items to feast on from the comforts of our room before venturing out in the heat. The cereal here seems to be overly sugary and mixing it down with a bag of plain old rolled oats was perfect. Add to that a banana with a side of instant coffee and we were ready to start the day.

We figured out Samara will be our next stop. A couple more hours down the coast, but it will require either one $100USD cab ride or 3 buses for much less. Tomorrow we will do the buses. There is a time and place for taxis or shuttles, and shaving an hour off our travel time in exchange for an extra $90 it really doesn’t make sense. Buses will also add to our adventure after a few less adventurous days.

With accommodation sorted and travel identified, we set off on a trek to Playa Langosta. Right next to Tamarindo, there is a beach that spills out from a small community built up there. Google maps shows a few amenities as well, so we might as well wander over that way and see what the neighbor town is offering. We departed and headed into the center of Tamarindo. Last night we stumbled upon a poorly lit shortcut from the beach to our end of town, so we opted for this rough road. We found a little tipico restaurant to pop in for lunch, but it was only 10…so maybe later. As we exited the restaurant, the musician from the last couple nights happened to be walking down the same road. Sure this is a small town, but we havent run into anyone this many times without walking by their restaurant. We said our hi and headed to the beach.

 

The tide was low and we wandered along. Splashing in the sandy pools left behind by the retreating tide. Sea critters would scamper behind barnacle covered rocks and tiny fish hide in the shadows. Melanie also hiding under her umbrella to shield herself from the blazing sun was also enjoying the stroll, but was wondering where exactly I was taking her. I didn’t know much, but after half an hour in this direct sun, the trees at the far end of the beach looked pretty good for a bit of shelter.

We had made it to Playa Langosta. Sandy, but lots of rocky outcroppings. This would not be a good swimming beach, even with the tide all the way in. Beautiful for wandering aimlessly in the afternoon though, or a run on the beach. We made our way for the trees and up a little path into the community of Langosta. Packed dirt roads were all we had to go on. A little traffic to contend with many of those vehicles being buses. It seems that all the Tamarindo buses also make the circuit through Langosta as well for pick ups at the end of the line. We kept on. Houses getting fancier. Packed road was leading to paved…and sidewalks. Suddenly this was looking less shacky and more like a suburban community north of Mexico. This must be where the expats hide out from winter.

We grabbed a smoothie to reduce core temperatures and followed a short path down to a secluded beach. We didnt have any swim gear with us, and this wasn’t really a relaxing beach spot, so we just grabbed a couple pics of the white sands and dark rocks, then started making our way back to find a bottle of water. One of us forgot, so it was up to me to grab another bottle. This wouldn’t normally be worthy of commenting on, but as we are making our way up to the store a lady was taking her dog out for a walk. This lady though was only wearing a bikini, and not much of one. As she walked along, the few workers and truck drivers would just stop and rubberneck. It really was quite the site and I should have stopped to take a picture…but imagination is better here.

We made our way back to town down the dusty roads. We agreed that more clothes are probably better in all parts of the world, and to not leave without a bottle of water. We stopped at a local Soda and had the tipico Casado for lunch. Not the place we found earlier, but sufficient for our dining needs. Melanie’s chicken was tasty, but rubbery. Mine she figured tasted bloody…to me it was falling off the bone perfect. An expensive sunscreen purchase and we made it back to the room for a nap.

Sunset was not so spectacular due to clouds on the horizon. We found a table outside just off the beach and enjoyed a happy hour beer along with the really tasty ceviche we had the other night. After that, a stroll back through town to eat at the BBQ place from last night where we shared a 3 meat platter. One of those large crickets bounced off Melanie’s back and into the restaurant as we were about to pay the bill, but not near the same amount of excitement as last night.

Considering we are heading out earlier tomorrow, we came back to the room. As we passed The Black Sheep hostel, that same musician guy walked by. Strange that we keep running into him, but apparently his act starts at this place at 8PM. We just happened to cross paths again about 30 minutes before his start time. He must play every joint in town. Now we are in for the night and packing up our stuff again.

Tomorrow, bus adventures await us.