Pacific Ocean Beach in Costa Rica

Beach on Pacific Ocean in Costa RicaWe’d been talking about going to the beach today earlier in the week. Doug organized it for us, ordering a taxi for the group of folks heading out. It would be about a 2 hour ride, from the Rio Chirripo Retreat in the mountains above San Isidro, to the beach near Evita. We hoped to see a little more of the country, and experience a Costa Rican beach.

The driver arrived soon after breakfast and 9 people opted to go on the trip. We had a van that you could have squeezed 15 people into (including the driver), so we had a bit of extra room. It was similar to the bus we took from San Jose to the retreat back on February 10th, but narrower, and without a center isle.

Doug spoke with the driver, giving him directions about the trip we wanted to take, and asked the driver to wait for us at the beach, so that we could ride home in the same way. That would be much simpler than finding another taxi. The total cost ended being $120 U.S. Dollars, or 60,000 Colones.

GrenadiasOn the way, we stopped at a fruit stand to pick up some lunch. I love grenadias, so I bought a dozen of those and around 16 bananas. They had watermelons there too, but I’d had those for breakfast already.

Phillip picked out some pluots and some small papayas. They also sold chilled coconut water in plastic bags. Phillip and I each had one of these, and drank those in the van, as you could just bite a hole in the corner of the bag and enjoy.

We ate the fruit after we had gotten to the beach and spent some time frolicking in the water. The sand was soft and muddier than we are used to in Santa Cruz. The waves were gentle (due I understand to a sandbar called “The Whale’s Tail” out a bit from the beach). The water was quite warm, and was easy to get into without slowing up at all to get used to it.

There were few rocks or shells to step on, although Thomas did step on one little spiny one, which he later gave to Phillip (who enjoys collecting shells). We enjoyed watching some “slugs with wings” that live at the water’s edge. They go in and out with the little waves and then burrow themselves into the sand to hide. Personally, I thought they were still too exposed and if I’d been a sea gull I could have had a great meal. No sea gulls here though.

Van eating a grenadiaI ate all of the grenadias, most of the bananas and half of one of Phillip’s papayas for lunch. That was satisfying, and defintely held me through to dinner, which wouldn’t be for another 6 hours.

We stayed at the beach for about 2 and a half hours overall. It had been hot and muggy, so we were glad once the van got moving, and again when the van got high enough into the mountains to cool off.

At the beach we’d been in the shade most of the time, to avoid being burned. The sun is hot due to Costa Rica being only 500 miles north of the equator. It’ll burn a gringo like me in no time, if I stay out too long. Frolicking the water, playing frisbee, and a short walk to look for shells with Phillip were my moments out of the shade. I was still a pretty pink when we got back. I think I might actually tan from this, it’s not that bad.

Dinner BuffetBack at the retreat, dinner was buffet style, with whole, cut up foods: romaine lettuce, pineapple, tomatoes, mango cheeks, heart of palm. It was delightful to be able to choose the ingredients that appealed and apply the provided mango and tree tomato dressing.

Tree tomatoes are tangy. You just use the inside, and not the skin too like you would with a regular tomato. These are tasty little guys, and I got to taste one by itself because Robbie was eating a whole bowl of them. He says they taste like candy to him.

Looking forward to another night of 9-10 hours of sleep. Adequate sunshine and rest are certainly two healthy lifestyle components in 80/10/10 that I enjoy practicing here. Tomorrow I’m going to talk about my long run.

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