Tuesday, July 19, 2011


We joked that this could be called Ricardo's Panaderia Trip - a panaderia being a bakery.  We visited several, and I think the focus was a chocolate doughnut, and maybe some brownies.  I'm not sure, I've been enjoying the bottled iced tea - black tea with peach, green tea with green apple, peach tea light - all of it delicious and refreshing and unavailable in St. Thomas.  Plus full of antioxidants and vitamin C and probably all kinds of chemicals.  Tasty nonetheless.


We spent some time in Santa Cruz, in central Nicoya Peninsula - a nice town,  but small and nothing too exciting.  We had a snack (or tea), and moved on to Nicoya, further south - again, a snack (tea), some people watching - and we agreed that maybe we should just head south to the ocean again. 

We drove through more ranchland and hills, with the occasional monkey family in a tree watching us - and at one point a HUGE blue morpho flew by in front of us - this morpho was the size of a sparrow or wren, which isn't big by bird standards but makes a really big butterfly, flashing shining blue while crossing our path.

Nicoya is the upper peninsula on the Pacific (as well as the name of the major town in the peninsula), and there are all kinds of gorgeous (and not so gorgeous) beaches along the way.  Sámara is on a little horizontal section of land, north of the famed Cocos Islands (diving heaven), and seems to be more attractive to an international set of people as well as Ticos.   We drove through town, basically a few blocks along the sea, and looked at a few hotels - after chatting with a young Frenchman, he referred us across the street to a new place, owned by a young woman from Venezia, who has a lovely king-size bed for us, in a green and lavender room, at a great price.  We're a block from the sea, there's a tropical mural right outside our room, and she has a tiny white kitten with bright blue eyes - how could we go wrong with this place????  

We settled in and headed to the beach for a bite - quesadillas, while sitting and watching the surfers and the little interpersonal and family dramas on the beach.  The Scandinavian boys who "caught" the surfboard of their hero surfer who wiped out, and patiently held it while he swam in to retrieve it; the older woman standing on a driftwood log, looking ready to burst into an aria; the dogwalker with three large pointers and setters; older siblings looking out for younger ones; surfers and surfer wannabes and

really was a phenomenal surfer; the guy who surfed standing on his head; a grandstand of proud parents photographing their children while they were on the waves in surfing school; the massage therapists working on clients in little tentlike structures (almost like a chuppah) right on the beach.  And of course the dogs chasing waves and each other, and a few Ticans selling horse rides.
 It was all there, and more - with a grey-green sea and foaming waves and crashing on the shore.  So beautiful, so relaxing, and I could just sit there all day and not accomplish much other than stare out to sea.
As I said, the beach faces south - there 
was a lovely breeze - and apparently to the east and west there are wildlife refuges and national parks where
turtles nest and hatch - we'll look into possibly going to see if they're hatching tonight or tomorrow - or maybe arrange a dolphin and/or whale watching boat trip.  Or we might just sit on the beach and read and relax.  Or I could draw.  Or just daydream.

Who knows?  This is vacation, life is good, pura vida. 

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