Our extreme Costa Rica experience was almost over! Snorkeling, shopping and a fabulous birthday celebration ended this amazing trip. We landed at Coco Beach at the Hotel El Colono, a beautiful tropical facility for the last four days.
Day 11 – January 17, 2020
The morning began with breakfast besides the luscious swimming pool before we left for an adventure. Enrique had told us the day before they had a day at the beach planned for today—the name of the beach in English was “The Poor Man’s Underwear Beach”—conjures up quite an image!
We piled into the van with Lucy directing, “Lin, get into the van” and greeting each one as we climbed in. We stopped at a Subways for sandwiches to take with us. Some people opted to go to a supermarket for their food. Lin squeezed in ice cream from the Pops ice cream shop, and away we went.
What an adventure with a change in plans—not “The Poor Man’s Underwear Beach” but La Playa Las Prisas and I didn’t get the translation down for that, and my translation app says “The beach in the rush!” Oh, well!
We stopped at a roadside stand selling sandias (watermelons) and refreshing pipas drinks (coconut), and across the road was a herd of Brahmas which fascinated many of us. The young man running the stand allowed us to use visit the garden behind the stand and then to use the bathrooms in the house on the property. Again a wonderful serendity along the way!
As we drove there, we wove our way over a rough, rocky dirt road with several cars in front of us, but I wasn’t disappointed when we arrived—a beautiful beach, wave crashing and lots of locals in family and friend gatherings around us! It couldn’t have been better! It felt like Costa Rican life at its best!
After lunch, several enjoyed a dip in the ocean or a walk along the beach. Victoria warned us not to pick up seashells because they would confiscate them at customs—I have a jar of shells I’ve gathered over the years in our second bathroom, so that was a bummer.
Leisure and laid-back is how I would describe this day. Next to us, a woman engaged the day from a hammock, and we made eye-contact, such an easy thing to do. She offered her hammock to me for a relaxing swing, so I climbed aboard—I love hammocks.
Later I asked to take a picture of her group, and they jumped up enthusiastically, then Liz danced a little in the sand with one of the guys. After I took their picture, they took ours! What a playful, fun atmosphere!
We left this slice of paradise about 3:30 p.m. with sand in my shoes and my heart which means I will return someday!
From there we drove to Tamarindo, a hustling beach town for the sunset. Our group parked ourselves at outside tables at a restaurant and did our own things. Some walked the beach, others shopped and others relaxed at our table. beause it was an opportunity to check email. I thoroughly enjoyed photographing the pelicans diving for their dinner and the horses and riders as they passed by!
I kept hearing this strange sound, and Enrique explained it to me as a Guanacaste yodeling, “Grito,” so I found the yodeler and he was eager to have our pictures taken.
As we waited for the sunset, I saw some young girls positioned their hands in a heart in an angle so it captured the sun, so I joined them and they took my picture. The sunset took your breath away—a truly tropical sunset.
Afterwards we enjoyed fire dancers down the beach. I talked to William, our driver, in Spanish and we shared some deep private issues in our lives. It was amazing.
During the evening, a trio came out and entertained us with live music which is always a treat. The evening ended with Pat singing her heart out with them—I forgot the tune, but it was a blast.
Day 12 – January 18, 2020
The next day began with breakfast by the pool and a fun time with Victoria’s family and close friends who came to join in the celebration of her birthday that night.
Afterwards, Lin and I wandered down to the beach, shopped, and I enjoyed a “sandia drink.” A young Costa Rican girl, Tatianna, sold me an ankle bracelet, and I immediately lost in the surf as I was walking the beach. I searched a little and realized what a futile effort, but I went back to Lin and told him. I decided to go up the beach once more to see if I could find her, but I didn’t.
When I got back to Lin, Tatianna had come by in my absence, and he replaced the lost ankle bracelet for me. She was still in the area, so I gave her another hug.
Lin had parked himself at a restaurant with a gorgeous view of the beach, so I joined him there. A guy behind us name Will complimented us on our relationship because I had asked Lin when he wanted me to return when I went searching for Tatianna. Will serenaded us and truly became an ambassador for Costa Rica!
After more shopping on our way back to the hotel, we joined the group to go to a country club to spend the afternoon. We swam, ate Greek food, swam and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere.
We returned to our hotel to prepare for the evening’s festivities—Victoria’s birthday party at her aunt’s house, and what a party it was! They served delicious food out on the front patio. We danced the cumbia and the salsa. I dance with Lin; I dance with Victoria! We all danced together—the Latin way of enjoying dance and music! I called a short square dance tip to demonstrate to our newfound friends our much-loved pastime. We sang “Happy Birthday” to Victoria, then she brought up everyone who was having a major birthday this year, and we sang to them! What a great evening!
Day 13 – January 19, 2020
Again a delicious meal besides the pool of rice and beans, eggs and lots of fruit. I had to fill up for sure.
A group of us went for one last shopping spree. I needed a long-sleeved shirt to wear snorkeling. Somehow Lin left me, so I shopped alone and had a marvelous time. When I got back to the hotel, I transferred my pictures to Jerry’s laptop as a backup.
Our last afternoon adventure had arrived—a ride on a catamaran to snorkel with dinner and drinks on board and a guaranteed gorgeous sunset. So away we went, having to be tendered from the beach out to the catamaran which held about seventy people. During the trip out to where we snorkeled, we saw pelicans and dolphins. People opted to sit outside or in the cabin.
Lin decided he didn’t want to snorkel, so I went with Greg and saw some fish, but not the variety everybody else did. My stamina from being sick the last year hampered my ability to do much, plus I felt bad with Lin alone on the boat. When I got back, he wasn’t there! Some in the group encouraged him to get in the water, and he waved at me from on the beach.
By being on the boat, though, I got great pictures of each one of our group as they came back—Monica was the first in the water and the last one back.
We ate our delicious dinner as we cruised, and then the crew hoisted the sail for a quiet, peaceful journey. Clouds hung over the western sky, and some bemoaned our chance for a beautiful sunset, but what a sunset we got with the clouds and boats on the water.
We returned to our hotel deeply satisfied with a day on the ocean. We had a little ceremony giving Enrique and William each a gift from the group. They provided us an amazing twelve days I will never forget, so I felt they deserved it. For some of us, it was a teary time!
Day #14 – January 20, 2020
I hate departure days, but this one especially! We had melded as a group, and it was hard to say goodbye. Lin and I organized our bulging suitcase and went to breakfast. The van left for the airport for the first wave; we were on the second wave.
Marian and Lucy had extended their stay, so they weren’t leaving, so Marian rode to the airport with each group.
Our last trip in the van! We drove to Liberia and flew home with an uneventful return. This trip changed my life forever with the “!Pura Vida´!” attitude of the Costa Rican people and the gorgeous country they have.
Lorana, Victoria’s best friend, asked me if I would ever come back. My response, “Not if, but when!”
~Whitey & Gladys Puerling were playful friends of Flippo’s who created a Fan Club. I thought it would be fun to recreate this group. Would you like to join the Marshall Flippo Fan Club Facebook page? Read interesting posts about Flippo’s life. https://www.facebook.com/groups/328325644382769/
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