Up an “attem” early. The sleep was good, but our backs were starting to pay the price of sleeping in so many different beds. The birds, as always, started to sing and wake the world at 5am. By 6am the motorcyles and atvs chimed in.
Mickey was still feeling shitty so I left him in silence most of the morning. I know how I am when I’m sick. The best thing you can do for me when I’m sick is walk away and come back when I feel better. Unfortunately, when you are sharing tiny quarters and travelling in the same car, even the smallest irritant can make a sick person quite grumpy. I did my best not to be excited. Not an easy task considering we were in one of the most Bohemic settings I’ve ever seen. My mind was curious and amazed and how young all the travelling women were. They were teenagers and Uni kids, there were young couples with very young children, there were out and out hippies and surfer boys everywhere. I kind of felt a little old but then I remembered, “I come from this kind of community, these are my kind of people”! Alas, my mind settled and gently took in the free spirits all around me.
We wanted to have breakfast on the beach, so we walked about a kilometer along the shoreline. There was nothing open beachside yet, so we ventured up to the main drag to find coffee, at the very least. We passed by one shop with a Canadian flag flying from it. The owner waved and asked where we were from when he saw us pointing to his flag. We had a nice little chat. He is from Calgary and owns a sports clothing and surf board store.
Finally, brewed yumminess were located in a roastery which was very similar to a Starbucks. I started to sense that the commerce here was mostly North American. The Roastery was American and another cute clothing store further down the main street was owned by a cute young man from Calgary as well. He had some very nice dresses and homemade crochet clothing. I will be sending him one of my samples as soon as I can.
It was only 9am and it was already 28 degrees, so we decided to hit the first beach on our path. It turned out to be the Funky Munky beach and we swam until we cooled down a little. I mean, it’s not like a cooling down you get in Canadian lakes because the ocean is not cold, it’s quite warm. But the wet skin in the breeze makes it worthwhile. I still could not get the hang of the waves, so I opted to sit in the shade and watch the surfers while Mickey danced with the waves. He’s quite graceful. I was astounded what surfers need to do to catch a wave as well. They swim for about 5 minutes on their boards and each time a wave (not the big one they want but still big) is about to pound down on them they dive and swing their board over themselves. It was fascinating to watch them do this. Finally, when they get the wave they want, they squat jump onto their boards and ride the wave back to shore only to swim back out and catch the next one all over again.
Mickey wanted to take me to a cove where the waves were not as aggressive and we found one called Playa Hermosa. It had a turtle crossing and lots of tiny little hermit crabs. I was thrilled to hold one in my palm and giggle as it tickled my fingers with its tiny little claws. These were not the same crab that scared the shit out of me in the dark. Those are land crabs, (stock photo used because they are too fast to capture on camera) and they can be seen everywhere, mostly splattered by vehicles all over the road, but I digress. The beach was very nice, and the waves were a bit calmer. I was still not getting much enjoyment from being knocked around by water, but I stayed in and tried my best. The water was warmer in the cove. We swam for another hour and then needed to refuel. We set out in search of sustenance.
The thing about driving around these small towns is, one leads to another and then another and there is so much cool scenery along the way that before you know it, you’ve driven past breakfast, straight into lunch or dinner. We intended to stop in quickly at a Soda (la mom and pop eatery or café with homestyle cooking like casados) somewhere near Cobano but we really didn’t find one that shouted at us so we drove to Montezuma. This is where we experienced our first traffic jam. In each town there is a speed bump just before every school and right after the school area to slow down all drivers. Trust me, people drive super fast in Costa Rica so this is a good idea for kiddies. The school was on the road we needed to access but the parents picking up their kids jammed up the very narrow and busy road for about half an hour. We were getting hungry and now Mickey was on the hunt for a seafood soup he remembered having once upon a time. Best place to get one of those is right by the ocean, right? Damn Skippy!
We came upon a restaurant that was right along the ocean, but the sign said closed on Mondays, so we walked for a bit to find something else. We came upon a cute little Soda called Soda Artesano and we were equally happy to see a very large Great Dane making use of the cool ceramic floor for her nap next to her Parisian parents. She was very large and very quiet. I automatically thought of Mimma Saffioti‘s Zeus. This was the female version of Zeus.
Service was good, the place seemed to be a local favourite as many people stopped to chat with the owner, shouted from the street their loud Spanish salutations and generally, a very happy environment. Mickey was satisfied to see the seafood soup in coconut milk on the menu and I opted for some fresh tuna with curry sauce. The food was absolutely delicious. The tuna was grilled to perfection, I tasted Mickey’s soup and instantly regretted not ordering it. DEEEVINE ! Yes, I spelled it like it tasted ! Mickey and I had established another mealtime tradition. We both made sure to taste one another’s dish and we almost always split each plate between us to get a variety of flavours in one sitting. I am also growing very accustomed to the Imperial beer, they have light and silver as well. I like the light. Mickey had fresh mango juice and it tasted nothing, I mean nowhere even in the vicinity of fresh mango juice in Canada. I imagined the cook squeezing juice from a mango tree behind the restaurant, that’s how fresh it tasted. Wow ! I can 100% say that the food in Costa Rica is outstanding. You will never, ever go hungry.
After the lovely meal we decided to head down to the beach to check it out. This beach was different from any I had seen so far. There were large rocks and more boats. I guess you could say it was a bay or a cove. I captured a man and his dog playing with a coconut. Ahhhh paradise!
We discovered on our way out that it was indeed Tuesday and not Monday so we could have eaten at the restaurant on the beach. I tell ya, you quickly loose track of time and days in paradise.
Before we knew it, it was close to sunset and we didn’t want to be on the road for that, we wanted to be at Banana Beach. After snapping a quick shot of a picturesque church and some graffiti, we headed back to the cabin. We swam again for a little while and I was starting to get the hang of the rolling waves without the white water. I could just lightly jump, or pirouette and the waves would gently lift me up and over. I liked that feeling. It was very “floaty”.
I am not a great swimmer so I tend to take a lot of small dips, whereas Mickey could ride the waves for hours. I managed to get some stunning pictures of the sunset. One thing you can always count on in Costa Rica, the sun sets at 6pm faithfully and everyone and their caballo (horse) comes to the beach to watch. I felt like part of the landscape being on the beach with tourists and locals alike. Everyone loves a sunset.
Another fine day in paradise. Tomorrow, we set out for Playa Avallana (which when pronounced in Spanish sounds very naughty) Phonetically it sounds like Playa Avagina so Mickey and I quickly dubbed it Vagina Beach! I can get behind that, quite frankly, in paradise, and quoting Gordon Downing, “I can get behind Anything.