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”.