Two Sisters and a Mother in Costa Rica Day 6

Published: September 2nd 2018
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We had another early start with coffee and stale German pastries, before heading to the lobby for our 8am pickup for our Sail-Snorkel-Rum-Punch-Lunch trip. We had arranged for the sailboat-lunch-snorkel cruise from the hotel the day before. A woman from the boat tour picked us up and drove us in her car to a beach in Playas del Coco where the sailboat was anchored off shore. The harbor, set in a secluded cove, was filled with other sailboats and fishing boats. A dingy soon came to shore to pick us up and carry us to the sailboat.

We were the first to arrive but soon were joined by a French family of four, bringing us to only 7 of us on board. The seas were calm yet there was enough breeze to get us underway. We were looking to escape the booze cruises on large catamarans with unlimited alcohol and little interest in wildlife. Fortunately our hotel connected us with the perfect group. Ours was a semi-private sail on a 50 foot boat that charted a course from Playas del Coco out into the Gulf of Papagayo. This area in the northwest Guanacaste region is surrounded by high volcanic cliffs and rocky Pacific Ocean coves. The peaks of several volcanoes could be seen amidst the clouds in the distance. Breathtaking scenery on a peaceful sail in the Pacific.

On the way to our snorkel experience we sailed past the Four Seasons Resort on the Papagayo Peninsula. It was exclusive, private and beautiful but not the kind of retreat that we were looking for. Instead it underscored the value of the place where we had chosen to stay. As we sailed along we had a real treat when a school of bottlenose dolphins began to swim in our wake. A mother and her calf swam alongside allowing us to get a much better view of these playful dolphins but they left us almost as soon as they came. We were able to see a ray which we were told was an unusual siting, and a Pacific Green turtle although not as clearly as the dolphins.

The captain anchored the boat in a quiet cove where the snorkel experience was to begin. Each of u had been lucky to snorkel in crystal clear and calm waters in the Gulf of Mexico so this Pacific experience was a bit disappointing with little fish to see in the rough (and colder) murky waters. Exhausted and clearly not in shape for the rough currents, I gave up snorkeling well before my daughters and was told to check out the cave on the beach. I swam over, left my snorkel gear, and began to explore on terra firma. I walked the sandy beach to the nearby "cave" that was hidden in the rocks. there was rushing water coming in on the tide with two hollow tunnels carved into the cave. Since the tide and current were quite strong I was only able to maneuver half way into the cave but the roar of the water that echoed inside the closed in area was quite wonderful. I called the girls in to check it out and we were able to explore deeper into the cave (the cave reminded me of the rocky caves in Bath, in the Virgin Islands) and around the beach before heading to the sailboat for our lunch.

We heard the call for lunch and so swam back to the boat. The lunch was fantastic. Everyone enjoyed a delicious couscous and vegetable salad with fresh fruit and pita for lunch and we were offered water and rum punch throughout the sail. The Frigate Birds followed us on the way home and as we got closer to Playa Hermosa we passed the famous Monkey Head Island viewable from Playa Hermosa Beach. I understand you can also hire fishing trips from the hotel and if we had been able to stay longer I think we might have done just that.

Most of us were ferried in to Playa Hermosa at our resort. Mandy opted to jump from the boat and swim in, getting a real immersion experience. We spent the rest of the afternoon reading on the beach at Bosque Del Mar, lapping up sun, watching fishermen come and go. True Pacific ambiance.

Playas del Coco looked so intriguing and, after learning how to get there from our morning driver, we decided to venture out on our own for dinner. It was dark when we arrived and the town was not well lit. We had a vague idea of where to go as someone had mentioned Soda Terisita. We walked up the beach and down the beach passing small restaurants but no sodas until we looked back and realized we had passed it several times. It is an unassuming little corner restaurant with local Tica food. The meals were good but not as good as those in La Fortuna. We had Sea Food Rice and a cassava plate. The server was very nice and wanted us to return tomorrow for lunch.


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