Costa Rica playas

Trip Start Aug 16, 2007
Trip End Jan 15, 2008

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Friday, November 2, 2007

On October 31, we crossed the border from Nicaragua back into Costa Rica. We ended up taking a taxi from the border to Playas del Coco because the first two public buses were full and we got too hot and frustrated to wait. We arrived at a motel called Cabinas Chale just outside of Coco at about 2:30 p.m. and were so excited to see the swimming pool. The town of Coco is pretty basic but has all types of restaurants and cafes so we had no problems finding a place to eat.

The next day we decided to hit the beach but Coco was a bit busy so we decided to walk 4 kms to Playa Ocotal. After 45 minutes we were both thinking that someone had told us a lie about the distance because it seemed like we had been walking forever. We finally saw the water and when we arrived at the beach we realized that the long walk was totally worth it. Ocotal is a sheltered little cove with clear water, large trees for shade and very few people. We were sharing the beach with four other people and about a dozen crabs - so needless to say it was really quiet and relaxing. The water was so warm and inviting that every time I said "this is the last time Im going in", I would immediately want to go for another swim.

At about 2:00 p.m. some local guys brought their truck down to the beach to load supplies onto a boat. When they tried to leave, they got their back wheels stuck. We watched with amusement as they tried to get out of the sand before the tide came in. Finally they gave up and found a guy with a tractor to pull them out! Before heading back to Coco, we stopped at a great little restaurant called Father Rooster for refreshments. We got to sit next to a family of jays that decided to hang around to see if anyone would drop crumbs.

While walking along the Coco beach on the way back to town we looked up into the trees and realized that there was a family of Howler monkeys a few feet above our heads. It was neat to be so close to them outside of a forest or reserve. They seemed really comfortable living close to humans. But that will probably change soon as the town has plans to build resorts on the coast. It was strange to see all of the bulldozers on the beach getting ready to pull down houses. We heard that most of the houses on the beach at Coco were built illegally and the residents had been given advanced notice to vacate. But it still must be really hard for those people to be kicked out of their homes so that the land can be used for hotels...

Back at our hotel we learned more about the bulldozing from an American named Bill who owns a bar on the beach. His bar is legal so they wont be pulling it down. But that same night, we met a family who used to live in a house on the beach and were told to leave. They seemed a bit unsure what to do next. Their four year old daughter Victoria kept us busy with her stories and games for the better part of the evening and couldn't stop talking about the pool at the hotel, so it was pretty clear that she wasnt too upset by the move anyway.

On November 2nd we lounged by the pool and took our time getting ready. We headed into town at about 1:00 and caught the shuttle to La Fortuna, to spend our last couple of days in Costa Rica beside the Arenal volcano.  
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Where I stayed
Cabinas Chale
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