Week of December 14, 2003
Of all the places that we looked forward to visiting, Costa Rica was at the top of our list. It's too bad that to get into Costa Rica, we had to cajole, sweet-talk and downright bribe our way into the country (they have an incredibly corrupt border system). But, we made it and happily eased into Playa del Coco on the Pacific coast.
Playa del Coco is a small beach town that has been seeing a migration of retiring North Americans over the past 10 years. Fortunately, the town still retains its charm somewhat and we settled in for several days. We found a small "campground" in the front yard of a retired music professor's home and coaxed Cindy into place.
The "campground" was owned by Oscar who after a few beers, would serenade us
with his guitar or keyboard. The music would run the gamut from a really
bad karaoke experience to feeling like you were in a bar with a lounge singer.
Oscar was a bit of a lecherous old man, but harmless nonetheless. I think
he really appreciated our being there because between us and another couple I
will introduce in a moment, we fed him excellent dinners of pork loin, fried
chicken, marinated chicken, egg burritos, etc.
So much of nothing happened in Playa del Coco and it was fantastic. We
wandered, swam, ate, drank, talked, laughed, cooked, sang and just savored each
easy day. We (Dave, Sherrie and us) did go with a local on a road trip to
a nearby beach, Ocotal, and enjoyed some snorkeling and lazing at a beach bar.
So, for the excitement of our time there, that was about it and that proved to
be exactly what we needed.
Gerson and I were going to head further south a short bit to Playa del Tamarindo and it just so happened that David and Sherrie were heading there as well. So, we stuffed their backpacks into Cindy and we ventured down to the next beach. Tamarindo, like Playa del Coco, is seeing a large influx of North Americans and also a significant number of wealthier Costa Ricans moving into the area. We found a terrific campground on the beach where we were footsteps away from the sand, the water and the stars.
Both Gerson and Dave were happy that their preferred futbol and football
games were shown on TV in the local bars. Gerson got to watch Brazil win
the international championship for the "under-20's" (similar to the World Cup,
but for players under 20 years of age), and Dave got to enjoy a couple of NFL
While in Tamarindo, we found that Dave and Sherrie were venturing to Panama
so without so much time as an eye blink, they were offered and accepted a ride