Being in Costa Rica, I’m falling into a pattern of getting up early. It’s partly because I tend to go to bed earlier with no TV or worries of impending responsibilities but also due to an underlying excitement about what the new day is going to bring. We were up before the sun and set off on a walk to explore the neighborhood to the south.
After passing by some houses and small condominium projects, the dirt road ends and squeezes into a walking trail behind the camping area. We hiked along for a few hundred meters before it emerged on another dirt road although this one was narrower and in poor repair. There are a few private houses tucked into the trees and the occasional “eco lodge”. We turned at Villas Las Ventanas and came back up to the main road which led us down to the beach at Junquillal. We stood and watched the few surfers working the break before heading back to the house for breakfast.
I WhatsApped Chuck and he was up for a surf, so we hopped in the car and checked the waves at Callejones and Negra before opting to surf some beach break over in Junquillal. There was a small crowd of locals but the peaks were spread out and it was easy to find some space to catch your own waves. I managed to get to my feet a few times and was just stoked to be out in the warm clear water. I had failed to properly slather myself with sun screen and got a little red faced for my inattentiveness.
Back at the casa, PJ was already in a hammock, so I strung mine up and relaxed in the shade. I wrapped my strap around PJ’s rope and it proved not to be the best idea. When she stood up to go to the kitchen, I came undone and flopped unceremoniously onto the tiles of the deck. Luckily, I’ve learned from experience to hang the hammock low for just such scenarios and my drop was only about a foot or so.
We got in a little lounging then PJ went down to the beach. She came back up calling me down to check out the tide pools. The beach was quiet with just a few people hanging around. It was a super low tide. We tip toed around the reef looking at the creatures that had gotten stranded when the tide went out. PJ is like a kid, pointing out each new discovery with unabashed excitement.
Feeling the heat of the day, a dip in the ocean seemed like only logical course of action. We goggled up and floated over the shallow water above the reef. So cooling and refreshing. PJ spotted an eel poking out of the rocks. There were the usual colorful fish and frilly seaweeds to admire. We sat in the shallow water next to the shore afterwards and took in the scene.
To catch a new angle on the sunset, we were invited over to Chuck and Sharissa’s to lounge by their pool and watch the brilliant display. We sat chatting while the last few golden rays disappeared and the neighbor’s dogs came by to frolick on the lawn and get a few pets. Afterwards, we made the short drive down to the Gucamaya Lodge to meet up with Chuck’s nephew Jarrod for dinner on the spacious patio. I hadn’t seen Jarrod in close to twenty years but he hasn’t changed a bit. It was great getting up to date on the paths we have been walking. A wonderful meal with wonderful people then home to feed the cat.