Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Costa Rica Recap: Day 3

We slept later than expected given our early bedtime. I guess we needed it. So we were up around 9:00 and went next door for breakfast. The soda (small, casual restaurant - usually open-air; bug spray is needed to dine out - or do anything else - in Costa Rica) is right across the street from our hotel and the owners are so friendly and happy to see us.

Most of us go for the gallo pinto. Haley decides to try a ham and cheese omelet. It's odd how much they love ham in Costa Rica... it's on every menu in some form. They put it in omelets or fry up a slice to go with gallo pinto. They add a slice to hamburgers and ham and cheese sandwiches are always available. I'm not a huge fan of ham, myself. Aaron loves it, but can't touch it or he'll get terribly ill, poor guy. We apply Lizano liberally to all our meals; that stuff is great. Rylen is especially fond of it.

There are more batidos (fruit drinks) for everyone. We are definitely getting our 5 daily servings here in Costa Rica! You can have your batido "con agua" - with water - this means that they blend up your fresh fruit (sometimes picked on the premises!) with water and sometimes ice to make a slushy drink. Aaron mostly did this, since he can't drink milk. The kids and I preferred our batidos "con leche" - with milk. This made for a thick, smoothie or shake-like drink. Delicious! I particularly loved the banana and blackberry drinks. (Two separate options... though a banana-blackberry batido would probably be very good, too!)

This particular soda made the batidos VERY thick... so they were piled up above the top of the glass and it was a race to eat the batido before the heat (already - at breakfast) could melt it all over the table.

After breakfast we suited up and headed for the beach. The sand here is what they call cocoa sand... it's super fine and soft and really looks like when you open a can of hot cocoa powder. It's great for sitting on and playing in, but REALLY sticks to you like you wouldn't believe.

Brekken was still unwilling to try the water, so Aaron took him to walk and explore the beach while I played in the waves with the other kids. There is a large driftwood log where we sat and waited for the waves to wash over our feet. After a while this is boring, so we moved to sit on the sand in front of the log. This was very fun until the waves got too high and we moved back to the log.

Sitting on the log the waves were rushing in almost waist high. It was exciting but starting to get a little rough so we decided it was time to go. As we start to leave, a last wave knocks into us. Preston and Haley jump away but Bubba moves the wrong direction and I have to lunge and catch him before the wave knocks him over. That works except that I lose my balance as our big tree shifts with the force of the wave and I get knocked down and dragged by the wave a foot or so. Kids are good though.

Every inch of my body is now covered in fine cocoa sand. The kids are pretty coated too. We shower off the worst of the sand at the hotel's outdoor shower, and decide that's good enough since we are planning to go to another beach for the rest of the afternoon. We go back to the room just long enough to gather some towels and extra sunscreen and bug spray. While we are there, my foot hits a patch of sand and water on the tile floor and I astonish the family with my ability to do the splits. It hurts a lot though.

I am eventually able to get up and grab my things so we can continue our beach day. We head out to beaches that are recommended in the area, but it seems that the beaches are only recommended for low tide. At high tide every beach in this area is covered in high, pounding waves. They are big and curl and break as they approach shore. Great for surfers, bad for swimmers. Especially bad for little ones who just want to play in the surf. The children are very angry when we admit that we won't be able to go to a different beach right now after all. We console them by saying we can go back to "our" beach after lunch.

After giving up our search for "soft water" as Rylen puts it, we decide to check out a waterfall we saw marked on a map. We haven't researched this one, but figure we could go check it out. After a lot of driving on steep dirt and rock roads we come to the waterfall trail entrance. Not only do you have to pay 5000 colonnes (ok, so that's only about $10 each in US funds, but it adds up fast with 6 of us) each to hike it, the trail is extremely steep and looks like rough going. Even if we got down, coming back up would be a nightmare. It's just not suitable for children. The children are angry again that we wont try the hike to the waterfall. They do admit, however, that 4-wheeling through the jungle was pretty cool.

We go back to town and stop at the super to pick up dinner items that we can fix in our little studio kitchenette, then go back to the restaurant from/last night for lunch. As always, things just take longer than planned. By the time we finish dinner and come back to the room, darkness is really falling. We decide its not safe enough to go to the beach because its just too dark to be able to keep a close eye on everyone, even at low tide. The kids are mad again and complain all through getting showered and changed into pjs, but by 7:00, everyone is in bed in anticipation of getting an early start tomorrow. We have promised that we will get up early so we can hit the beach at low tide before breakfast.

Everyone else - including Aaron - is long since asleep. I am headed that way myself... just as soon as I take care of another patch of clinging sand that I've just noticed and put some treatment cream on my sunburn. Even 80 spf is not enough protection for a redhead in the Costa Rica sunshine!

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