Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Santa Teresa

This weekend I went on my most beautiful trip yet: Santa Teresa. It’s on the Pacific side on the Nicoya Peninsula, near Mal País and Montezuma. We arrived Friday night and were having trouble finding a hostel with rooms, and then stumbled into a slightly nicer hotel just as a torrential downpour commenced. Luckily, Alejandro and Katherine were able to talk the owner down to $12/person/night with their superior Spanish skills. 12 of us fit into 2 rooms, tripling up in beds where necessary, and we had a great time. We put on bathing suits and found a pizza place for dinner, and then hung out in the larger of the rooms for the evening.Saturday morning we got up at 6:00 to head down to the beach. The sun was just starting to come up (over the trees... oops) and I went for a pre-breakfast dip. As soon as the sun crept up at about 6:30 it warmed up the beach and the air, and we all relaxed (some of the boys went surfing) and I went for a little walk collecting shells. It must be sand-dollar season because there were millions! About the size of a quarter, you could see them flipping around in the wash and feel them hit your feet in the ankle-deep water. I picked a few up to look at the little tentacle-things moving on the bottoms. Chelsi and I wandered to find breakfast later in the morning (banana pancakes, my favorite) and then explored some surf shops in an attempt to avoid the sun in the hottest part of the day on the beach. We had a lot of fun in one particular store; making friends with the girl at the counter and returning multiple times (first we had to go get money, then we ran into the other girls and they wanted to go...) Pastries were lunch (one with cheese and one with dulce de leche), and then we headed back to the beach. I’ve been trying to read El Principito (The Little Prince), which I like a lot but it’s slow going because I have to look up lots of words. I also did some journaling and more swimming. The ocean reminded me of Nag’s Head, with sets of waves coming in to duck under. Amanda and I had a great time playing in the surf. I love the weekends when we don’t have a big plan – it’s so nice to relax and wander, I’ve stopped wearing a watch. We quasi-planned to have a bonfire Saturday night so we collected wood but weren’t positive about the dry factor after the inundation Friday night. I hit up the grocery store with Greg and Austin to get dinner (yogurt with granola for me, Doritos for Austin) and beverages, and then everyone reconvened in the bigger of the hotel rooms to hang out. Everyone had so much fun on the porch at the hotel that bonfire ideas were forgotten. Eventually we decided to venture out to check out the local bar that was hosting a salsa night, but upon hearing about the dos mil cover charge we went to the beach instead. Turns out the wood was too wet to start the bonfire anyway – we tried. Oh well. The beach in Santa Teresa is very flat and the tide was out so there was a huge stretch barely covered with water that looked like a giant mirror of the starry sky.Sunday morning I got up at 5:30 to go down to the beach with Brian, Greg, Amanda, Mo, and Katherine. I went for a swim. The sky, water, and sand were all the same color grey-blue and the moon was still up. As the sun came up I headed back to shower and pack up, and then Amanda, Andy, Alejandro, and I caught a bus to town where we had breakfast at a little soda and then got on the bus to go home. The ferry to and from the Nicoya Peninsula is one of my favorite parts of the trip – it’s about an hour long and a nice little change of scene from the bus. Fresh air, sun (or stars, at night), and the rocking motion I’m missing here in Costa Rica. It’s a car ferry like the one to Nantucket and our bus drives right on, recollecting its passengers on the far side. Sunday afternoon I got home in the afternoon and Kniccoa and I made our second trip to Bagelmen’s – it was just a delicious as the first time. Yum. Sunday night there was a special on the Discovery Channel on a family that sails around retracing the voyage of Magellan – it was interesting to watch and made me want to go to all of the same places. I’m not sure if this will air in English at home but it’s worth looking into, the name has something to do with “in two voyages” or something. Try
It was something of a reality check coming home from Paradise – San José has been cloudy and cool for about a week and a half now. Time to plan my next beach weekend trip – perhaps Playa del Coco? Only one more week of 8-12 Spanish classes, then I will be reveling in 3-day weekends every weekend!

¡Pura Vida!


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