Finally on Monday we decided to venture out for gasoline, this time driving in the opposite direction to the seaside town of Nosara, which only recently got its first gas station. We were eager to give them some business.
With a full tank of gas, we made our way to nearby Playa Pelada, a beach so picturesque it took my breath away. Cliffs encircled the beach in a crescent shape, and the sand was white and coarse with beautiful broken shells from the waves that pounded the shore. Perhaps most charming was the addition of small wooden boats, with hulls painted a brilliant aqua color that matched the bright tops of the thundering waves.
One of the rock outcroppings formed what’s called a blowhole, sending water shooting up into the sky with each incoming wave. Camille and I sat next to the blowhole, screaming and carrying on each time the water blasted in our direction. It was great fun.
After the beach, we had lunch at the nearby restaurant Marlin Bills. Nosara has a big ex-pat community, and our waitress and the owner were American. As we waited for our food another couple sat down near us, also American. The gentleman wore a “Volcano Brewing” t-shirt, which is one of only 2 craft brewing companies in the country. Of course Lee had to strike up a conversation.
Turns out Joe and Helena are from Boston, but moved to Nosara 8 years ago. They live up on a mountain, where he’s built an honest-to-goodness English pub. The pub doesn’t keep regular hours, but opens for parties and special occasions. And if you call and ask to come up, that’s special occasion enough.
So Wednesday we found ourselves in the mountains outside Nosara, putting the car in 4-wheel-drive as we climbed the gravel road up to the pub where we’d be the only guests. The road was steep and it was raining and I’m not sure I was breathing the whole drive up. But once we reached the Black Sheep Pub and I began to breathe normally again, I realized we were in for a treat.
Joe has taken such great care to build a beautiful pub, complete with imported, antique pub tables from Boston and ambiance oozing from every surface. The bar was dark and warm and cozy, and he had local craft beer on tap. Lee was in heaven.
As much as I liked the bar, my favorite spot was the Beer Garden. The outdoor covered area boasted a beautiful view over the mountains which were swirling with clouds and mist from the afternoon shower. The Black Sheep Pub felt like a very refined bit of comfort in the midst of a beautiful and wild land. These people felt that way too.
Joe and Helena couldn’t have been nicer, and we hung out for several hours hearing stories about their lives in Nosara and sharing tales of our own. They were charmed by Camille, even letting her behind the bar to work the (decorative-only) taps.
It was a rich experience, one of those great moments that won’t be listed in a travel book and can’t be arranged by a tour guide. It just happens, and you say thanks when it does. And cheers.