Peace on Earth

Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
Trip End Aug 27, 2010

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Guanacaste,
Thursday, December 24, 2009

As we write this late on Christmas Eve, we wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday season.

We know there's snow in Canada (and maybe even in Europe?), but alas, it won’t be a white Christmas for us this year. Not even a pearly white beach as surrogate snow. In fact, there’s more black sand here than white, eluding to this country’s active volcanic past (and present).

However, the sand and beaches have provided much enjoyment and adventure for us. From our balcony we can see the far end of the beach and a rocky headland and noticed that at low tides a small sandy area appears on the headland – aha, a chance to explore beyond the end of the beach? So, after consulting tidal charts, one morning we set off to see what lay beyond the headland…. We found lots of tidal pools which contain a fascinating and endless array of life and we caught a glimpse of what looked like a secluded resort….hmmm, looks worth exploring….and that’s when the adventure really began. Sarah in her haste to investigate the cactus that Alex had found among the rocks was at once inspecting the cactus and nearby rocks a lot closer that she wanted! As the tide turned it created some quite spectacular crashes and eruptions of foam through some of the crevices in the rocks (somewhat masking Sarah’s whining). Derek, in a quest for the perfect picture, maneuvered himself onto a rocky outcrop on the other side of the crevice in and settled in to take the aforementioned shot of the rest of us "apparently" getting soaked by the waves…..however the plan backfired and a particularly large wave erupted through the crevice and drenched Derek and the camera (it dried out ok, but not sure Derek has ... call it karma for the lack of sympathy for my elbow bruising!)

Since our last update we have also made the 5km trek into town….twice! The kids were troopers and really didn’t complain all that much considering the conditions. Our first trek was followed by an unusual event (at least unusual in our limited experience of Costa Rica)….it rained! And it continued to rain for most of the day. We took advantage of the weather to finish our Xmas shopping and catch up with internet stuff – we also bought new wedding rings as we left the real ones at home.

Xmas shopping is a little limited in Playas de Coco. It is very much a tourist town and most of the stores are either souvenir stores or grocery stores. There are also lots of restaurants, bars and tour operators. The majority of the tourists seem to be either American or Canadian which may be the reason that it seems to be relatively expensive here. It’s a small town with just the one main street – though we’ve also discovered the less touristic areas which we assume to be more typical Costa Rica through our taxi rides and walks into town. These areas are much poorer and undeveloped. One surprising item of note is the Tico’s insatiable desire to burn things…. we frequently encounter roadside fires, smoldering remains or can smell the smoke in the air. More often than not they seem to be burning leaves and other yard waste.

This has been the least stressful Christmas Eve ever…..there were few gifts to buy, very little food needed and there was no snow or cold weather to contend with! Instead, we swam in the pool, walked on the beach, swam in the ocean, made new friends and watched the Polar Express!

Our Christmas day plans start with traditional scrambled eggs n’ smoked salmon (delicious… if you’ve never tried it) accompanied by Bucks fizz to get the party rolling. Gifts this year are in short supply although looks like Santa is in the Coco beach vicinity (we’re pretty sure we spotted him on his bike downtown yesterday… probably picking up some last minute gifts)… I expect that everyone will have something to open in the morning.

What’s left of the day is up in the air, but I’m sure it’ll be memorable however it pans out…

Enjoy your Christmas day whatever you’re up to and don’t overdo it on the turkey.

Until next time…
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