Settling In

Our first full day in Costa Rica, we went absolutely nowhere. We’d spent so much time traveling the day before, and were in no hurry to get back on that horrendous road to the house.
The first order of the day was coffee, which I’d thankfully remembered to get at the store. I had not, however, remembered to get sugar. I like a little bit of coffee with my cream and sugar, so we improvised, soaking our milk in Cookie Crisp cereal before adding it to our mugs. It was delicious. Don’t judge me.

Making my own coffee creamer

Camille was in the pool by about 5:30 a.m. Granted, her body clock was two hours ahead of Costa Rican time, but it was still awfully early. The sun rises just after 5 a.m. and sets just after 6 p.m. We’re told the Ticos (what Costa Ricans call themselves) are usually up before 6 and don’t generally stay out late. Camille is a Tica at heart and is fitting in well.
Every day we go down to the beach a few times to walk on the black sand and explore the tidal pools. I love the coastline, with big waves crashing and thundering on the rocks, sending sea spray into the air. High on the beach the sand is powdery and fine. Closer to the water, the sand feels more like soft little pebbles and is dotted with many colors. In our three days here, I’ve seen a total of 6 people on the beach, one of them on horseback. It feels very private.

Path to the BeachRocky CoastlineWalking with Camille to look for shells

The rocks form wonderful tide pools, full of fish and snails and shells and so many hermit crabs. Camille has been collecting the shells, particularly a certain variety with holes in the middle, which she intends to use to make necklaces.

Exploring the Tide PoolsSafe from the big wavesMaking shell necklaces

As much as I love the beach, Camille LOVES having a pool. If we are not at the beach or eating, she is in the pool. I check her nightly for gills, certain she will soon grow some. She’s been learning to do flips, diving for shells and rings, and practicing with a snorkel in preparation for some future snorkeling trips. 

GogglesDiving for ringsFlip!Snorkel

So far, every afternoon our blue skies turn grey and big thundershowers come roaring through. We sit on the porch or in the house, reading books or writing or painting. Then the evening sky clears again, and if the clouds part soon enough we get a nice sunset over the ocean.

Rain ShowerSunset at Playa Azul

Our second full day here, we braved the roads and headed out to the beachside surf town of Tamarindo. It’s about an hour away, and is also home to a large grocery store (we were running low on Cookie Crisp for my coffee). We walked the beach and found a nice restaurant for lunch before stocking up on food to take home.

Playa TamarindoFruity drinks by the shore

By now we were wanting to fuel up our SUV, and I used my limited Spanish to ask a local for directions to the nearest gas station. I caught bits of his response – the name of a nearby town, and “to the right of the cemetery.” But fearing getting lost again, we just headed back toward the house to ask our property managers for directions to a closer gas station.
Oops. Turns out there is no closer gas station, and we would’ve been much better off to try to find one while we were in Tamarindo. With a quarter of a tank left, we should have just enough to get back to a major town. But that’s it.
There are several small villages around here I’d like to explore, but they’ll have to wait. The next time we crank the car, the mission will be to get gasoline in a bigger city, and I don’t dare waste gas getting to and from these nearby villages. So we’re stuck here until we’re ready to make that trip.
Not a bad place to be stuck. Not bad at all.
My Tica under a palm tree

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