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.