Being our last morning in Manuel Antonio, our goal was to get up early and paddle around the rocky outcrop and into the park on paddle boards. We were in the water by 7:30 and stroked our way out to Cathedral Point and then around the corner to Manuel Antonio Beach. About an hour into the trek, I started feeling a little funky but continued around the rocks to take in the views of the park from the ocean.
The waters around the point were bumpy and washy from the waves refracting off of the large rock cliffs lining the point. Once we cleared the headland and got back into the bay at Playa Espadilla, the ocean surface was smooth and we took a rest and swam in the warm water. By the time we rode into shore in front of the hotel, I was feeling much better and ready to tackle today’s move down to Dominical.
We checked out and said our farewells to Edgar at the restaurant then wound our way through the sinuous roads leading out of Manuel Antonio and into Quepos. From there it was a straight shot down the Costanera through more palm groves to Dominical. We stopped at the “mini-super” in Savegre to get some refreshments. The young man running the store was totally chill and happy to engage with a couple of random gringos stopping by. We bought a few sodas and chips. As we were leaving, he grabbed a couple small bags of Japanese peanuts and said to try those also. We tried to give him some Colones, but he insisted that they were his contribution for the road trip.
Savegre Mini Super, a little something for everyone
A few more kilometers and we arrived at the Tropical Sands Hotel in Dominical. Amy met us at the gate and got us situated in a room upstairs with a small kitchen. I hadn’t anticipated being upstairs but we found a place to stash the boards by the gate and moved in to the last room on the end. It’s a nice little set of rooms with lots if tropical foliage on the property. Carrying up our bags had us working up a sweat, so we grabbed our body boards and hit the beach. We had fun catching waves inside but the sets outside looked really surfable. I ran back to the hotel and traded the kick board for my surfboard and went out to catch a few waves. A fun afternoon at Playa Dominical.
Our room on her upper left
Being Sunday afternoon, the beach was a party. Lots of locals out for the day along with tons of gringos either passing through or hanging out long term. Music was bumping and laughter filled the air. I sat back on a log and got some love from a Cali look alike that took a shine to me.
Long cold showers back at the room gave us enough revitalization to make it back out to walk down to the river for the sunset. We joined a crowd of weekenders gathered to catch the golden show. Some lounged in the cool river while others sat on fallen trees or stood in awe like we did.
Afterwards, we strolled into the small town center to have some dinner at the Rincon. We got scolded for forgetting masks but were allowed in for one time only without. The food was good, the guy was grumpy and the dog snubbed PJ’s offering of fish. Back on the street, we picked up a few groceries and replenished the colones at an ATM. Plenty tired from an action packed day, we returned home to cool off in the room.
I’ve had a few people ask, “what’s a Casado”. The dictionary definition is ‘married’ but in Costa Rica it is the typical plate of food at any small diner (soda). Plate of the day, I guess. The best value on the menu consists of rice, beans, choice of meat, salad and usually a fried plantain, or picadillo (chopped salad – squash, potato, etc.) or sometimes a fried egg tossed on top. Muy Rico!