Diary/Photo Journal

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. 

Sunset coming
into Playa del Coco

Several views of Playa del Coco

Just a beautiful beach area

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.

The best part was meeting David and Sherrie from Montana.  Again, we meet nothing but extraordinary people in our travels.  The life these two have led would fill volumes and if you did not know them, you would not believe what you are reading.  From living on a barge between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and raising abalone, to living on various sailboats around the Pacific, to living in their motor home and traveling the Americas, to living on a remote lake, to working on large cargo ships, to having their captain's licenses, to being EMT's, to being recreational vehicle technicians, to...to...to...

Dave and Sherrie, Oscar and Gerson at the campground community patio
and Oscar enjoying his music
Nightly dinner crew
Gerson, Louise, Sherrie, Oscar
David, and two other campers

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. 

I am proud to say that I did my first (and last)
load of laundry by hand and hung it to dry - uh, notice no undies on the line?  We felt Oscar
would probably "borrow" them

A colorful (and very large) lizard sunbathing
Tall masted
sail boat in
the harbor
while Gerson
was swimming
at sunset


I had to get the dorky
picture of our snorkeling equipment
Ocotal beach shots with
David bodysurfing and
Sherrie looking on

We did not know this was
a nudist beach

We found a cool blow hole

This bird is a frigate, or so
we think...kind of bat-like

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.

Various views of
Look closely at the
second pic, David is
bodysurfing while
Gerson is talking with
a local

Our view from Cindy in
Tamarindo and the beach
is just a tree's distance

The obligatory sunset pic

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 games. 
We also got a taste of a local fare....  And, we got to see some interesting inhabitants.

A baby bat hanging out in the shower
And a rather large grasshopper hanging
out on the wall

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 with Cindy. 

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