Costa Rica: Driving through local life, sunsets and... some rivers (part 3 of 5)
We have taken our doze of organized adventure and activities in the mountains around Monteverde and start our trip towards the Pacific. We will skip the Caribbean side (this time) as there are still torrential storms over there.
This is our first longer drive and we run out of mobile credit, we have no GPS, we have a fairly useless paper map with 5 big cities marked on it, we speak no Spanish and we get lost in a village, where there are like 10 people (out of which 5 drunks), just when it starts pouring rain.
At some point, looking for someone across the streets, I see a heavily hangovered guy, covered in tattoos, smoking in front of a bakery (?!) with his buddy. I ask "Donde vamos por Samara?" (this is when reggeaton gets useful, thank you Romeo Santos). The tattooed guy responds in perfect English "How can I help you?" (and this is when 50 Cent gets useful, I guess?). He takes us to his own bar (!?), where we actually manage to get wifi in this village and get back on our bumpy road towards the Pacific, having on top of that, received a full guide for the party places at the seaside from our tattooed buddy.
The beauty of doing nothing on the beach
Samara is our first destination. We have lost some time on the road, so we quickly throw our things at a tiny backpackers place by the beach, where no one speaks a word of English, and we head to the beach. Samara is a tiny village, however, provided with enough very cozy beach bars and restaurants and as many surf schools. There is not much to do there, though... and we love it.
All we do in Samara is lay on the beach, get bitten by fleas, witness by far one of the most spectacular sunsets in our lives (not exaggerating), get drunk on the beach...ah and see a scorpio on the patio underneath our room.
From there on, we know - "always check bed sheets for scorpios" (common knowledge apparently).
We do have a long chat with the owner of the restaurant, who gets us pretty drunk with Margaritas. A French man from Marseille, who lives now for 7 years in this tiny Costa Rican village with his French wife and daughter. We ask him how he has decided to leave the Cote D'Azur and come here (he doesn't come from a bad and stressful place, after all). It is sunset time, he just smiles secretively and points at the red sky over the ocean "Just look at this!".
No plans sometimes lead to the greatest finds
Can we have another "Nothing on the beach", please? Oh, thank you very much!
Hangovered as we may be, we head to our next ocean destination, Santa Theresa, but we want to have an exploration day and break the drive into two parts. After 1,5-2 hours of driving, we have randomly chosen a beach as a good middle destination. Where is this beach? The GPS brings us to the most deserted bushes, through which a tiny gravel road passes, to a no-exit road. The beach is is supposed to be here? We pass through a line of palm trees and there it is...
The most gigantic, absolutely deserted, with no single human being, fine white sand, wild, quiet, divine beach. Only us, the seagulls and plenty of coconuts to snack for the day!
Kilometers of Paradise, just for me and Jenthe. In the beginning we think we will just make a jump in the water and then go, since we still have a way to drive and no food either. But it will be a crime to leave. Jenthe specializes in creative methods for breaking coconuts with zero tools. We stay there for hours, oblivious of what's next.
A bubble of an idyllic moment, which is bigger than the time it has filled.
Big roads are overrated, we take "the more interesting ones". Already when taking the car, the rental company warns us to never cross any rivers. I am thinking to myself "who on Earth wants to cross a river with a car", up until we almost fall into one, when the road magically disappears into the river!!! The first one, we don't dare to cross, it really needs a boat! But when we turn around and look for alternative roads, we gradually realize - there is no option but to cross the freaking rivers with the car, so we look for "smaller" rivers.
We make a strategy where, I bravely walk in front of the car to check how deep the water is, and where the most shallow part is. Until the 5th river to cross, naughty Jenthe is brave enough to pass me with the car, while I am diligently walking through the river...inspecting.
The "river" roads, however, bring us through the most authentic villages, which we will see through our trip. I am so enchanted by their relaxed "Pura Vida" life.
"Pura Vida" literally means "Simple Life" - it is the Costa Rican philosophy of living.The typical rural village: There are several houses, very far from each other. In front of each little house, there is a an open porch with a rocking chair looking at the street - every single house! They clearly like to sit on their porch and look at the street...The tiny village it may be, there always is a church, and a football field. The football field is always filled with kids playing, and their parents watching together from benches on the side (we saw at least three on our way). Pura Vida!
When it is nearly dark, we finally make it to Santa Theresa. Check our unexpectedly cool experiences by the ocean and the turtle saving operation here.