2/8-2/9- Nicoya Peninsula

Trip Start Jan 11, 2014
Trip End Mar 08, 2014

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Guanacaste,
Monday, February 10, 2014

It was a very rainy morning; I sat on the porch and read,
listening to the rain, as I waited for Tanya and Carmen. They two pulled up in
Tanya’s beat up old Toyota and spilled out of the car to greet me. It had been
two weeks since I had seen Tanya and I had only met Carmen once, but this trip
to the beach was a rare event for the two women and they were very happy to
have me as an excuse to go! I stuffed my bag into the small trunk and we all
squeezed back into the tiny car. After running a few errands in town we headed
west! As we climbed the volcano it became cooler and rainier. As we crested the
spine of the mountains and began to come down the other side the climate
changed drastically. It was dry!? It felt like Colorado in the summer, the
grasses along the rode were tall, tan and dry and rustled in the wind, cattle
clustered around small watering holes in their dry pastures, many of the trees
had dropped their leaves for the dry season. A very different side of Costa Rica
for sure.

We took our time, stopping to walk
around the town of Nicoya. There was a festival going on for the town’s patron
saint. This included a horse parade, people lined the streets with grills and
coolers of beer, music played everywhere, horsemen and women trotted their beautiful
horses decked out in their best tack up and down the streets. The horses here
have a very unique gate, I am told it provides the smoothest ride of any breed
of horse…maybe before I leave I will have the opportunity to ride.  We did not stay around for the full parade; we
were getting hungry and were anxious to get to the beach.

Nicoya we stopped at a small stand to pick up some snacks and we selected an
assortment of little baked goods.  We saw
a sign for Vino de Coyol which is a wine made out of palms. The process is very
interesting, the tree is cut down and a hole is drilled in one end, the tree is
then left in the sun to ferment for two weeks, the sap inside the trunk is then
collected and can be fermented longer in bottles for a stronger product or
chilled to stop the fermentation. It is said that an enzyme in the drink holds
on to the alcohol and will release it when you step into the sun, even the next
day, just add sun and you become drunk again. I am not so sure about that part.
After walking through the “brewery” of palm trunks in the front yard of the bar
we ordered a glass each of Coyol. It tasted very nice, light and bubbly, kind
of like champagne. Very refreshing.  

                We were
hoping to make it to Samara in time for sunset but out hunger got the better of
us and we stopped at a bar restaurant with an outstanding view. We sat on the
porch of the restaurant and looked out over the rolling hills. I was proud to
be able to casually order my meal and drink without having to ask for help and
the waiter understood me the first time. Carmen showed me a new way to enjoy
the local beer, with hot sauce and lime, at first I thought it sounded terrible
but since the beer is awful I figured it couldn’t hurt it. I cautiously took my
first sip and was pleasantly surprised; it was pretty good…kind of like a
bloody mary.

pulled into the small town of Samara at dark, we drove straight down to the
beach and sat on the shore for a bit, stretching out from the long drive and
enjoying the stars. Then we stared a wild good chase around the tiny town
looking for the apartment, Carmen called friend after friend to ask how to find
it since the landlord was not answering the phone. We gave up after about an
hour and just rented another room, there were plenty of places around we were
tired. As we unpacked a sweet little kitten made herself at home in our
apartment. Carmen loves cats and we cleaned her up and played with her. After
unpacking we walked to a bar down the street and had a beer to take the last of
the edge off after the drive and apartment hunt. When we returned we found we
had accidently locked the kitten in our room, we put her out but she was soon
at the door gain. Carmen’s love for cats overcame her and she brought the
little thing in to sleep with her.

next morning we awoke at 5am to the sound of howler monkeys, and Tanya’s alarm,
we were determined to see the sunrise. We got dressed quickly then walked down
to the beach. It was stunning. We walked the beach as the sun rose, passing only
the occasional dog walker, beach comber, and yogi. I collected a handful of
shells and coral, the tide was going out so there were many shells on the
beach. Once the sun was fully risen we headed back to the apartment to make
breakfast. Carmen made “egg riders” which are a tortilla with an egg cracked
into a ring of onion with cheese then sandwiched between another tortilla. She served
them with tomato salsa and cilantro. We cut up fruit and packed things for sandwiches
before heading to the beach. As we drove by Samara beach it had become more
crowded, Carmen decided we should go one more beach down since the crowds were

pulled up to Cerrillo beach and parked under the palms, we unloaded our things
to a cement picnic table and headed out to the sand to enjoy the sun before it
got too high in the sky. We laid on the beach resting and chatting, taking
breaks to swim, for a couple hours before moving up to the shade of the palms. It
was a lovely relaxing day. We had a lunch of fruit and a typical Costa Rican
sandwich... refried beans, cheese, and tomato on bread…strange but not too bad.
I still miss peanut butter.

                By midafternoon
we had had our share of sun and sea and packed up, we had a long drive a head
still. We headed back to the apartment to clean up and pack up. As we packed
the landlord came out to offer us the kitten for free, she said she did not
want a female cat because she did not need any more kittens. Tanya and Carmen
seriously considered it but in the end decided it would be too stressful for
the kitten to have to drive so far.  Before
we left town we stopped at a small shop Carmen recommended to get my first souvenirs.
I had looked around Upala for souvenirs but had found that everything was made in
the USA or in China… I wanted things from Costa Rica!  I was able to find a couple of nice things
for a good price; Carmen has plans to bring me to get some other “very tico”
items. We listened to music and chatted most of the drive, becoming quitter as
night set in and out energy waned. Carmen has made plans to bring me to her
family’s coffee plantation my last weekend here, and next weekend we will go to
her house to swim in the river and possibly visit an aboriginal community which
makes very nice crafts.

                It was
a wonderful trip, I got to see the Pacific Ocean, spend some time on the country’s
famous beaches, and hang out with “the girls.” I can see myself coming back
here, but I think I’d want to do it as a tourist next time. There is so much
fun stuff to do here but I am working so much on this trip that I do not have
time to do it all. Oh well, there will just have to be a next time. 
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Mom on

Wow strange how different it can be in from one side to the other in such a small country. I'm glad you got to enjoy the Pacific Ocean, I know you had been looking forward to that.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Happy. I Love You.

sissy on

So glad your mixing business with pleasure. You have been working hard on your projects..you deserve the fun! Looks like a beautiful..day...love..the pictures. Especially the one with you and the girls. So enjoy seeing you and your new friends.okay...especially you! Take good care of yourself. Love ya..

Dad on

Looks like a place i would love to visit. I`m glad your having a Great Adventure.
Everyone should step out of there comfert zone.

Lov You Proud of you.

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