While we are used to celebrating on New Year’s Eve, it seems that the Costa Ricans celebrate more on New Year’s Day. This became apparent at around 4.30am when a large truck pulled into the little clearing next to us and began to unload. By 6am we were surrounded and when the music started up at 8am, we were already packing away. Leaving our spot involved the moving of several cars and a tent, as we had been assimilated into a large family campout. Not really wanting to in the centre of that, and needing to leave anyway to give our batteries some much needed solar, we drove around to another spot.
It’s not such a wild spot, just a parking area off one of the small village roads, but it does have a whole bunch of amenities including wifi. Before too long, we were joined by the others as the party had continued to spread up to their campers as well. Having had very little sleep, we weren’t best pleased when this spot became full of people whose favourite game was to run around whooping like a kind of monkey till the early hours. Still, it was New Year and we hoped that soon things would quieten down.
Therefore, it wasn’t until the next day that we tried surfing. The others had planned to leave already, Jaro having less time left on his visa, but we planned to stay and spend the week there. We had had a great time playing around in the waves, they were perfect for us to improve on and finally we had a beach without huge crowds of people, rip tides or horrible rocks to worry about.
We had a lovely week, relaxing on the beach, watching the other surfers and improving our own skills. After the New Year madness, the car park was quiet at night and the cats were happy enough to run around in the trees along the shoreline. We also discovered that we were parked under a tree that regularly attracted toucans, which was pretty cool.
It’s safe to say the cats were enjoying themselves too.
Towards the end of the week, another camper arrived and we met Juan and Laura from Cuba. They had been travelling for around the same time as us, I was surprised we hadn’t bumped into each other already. It turns out though, that they had camped at Playa Blanca with David and Katie. As always, it’s a small world.
They told us they were camping at another spot a little further down the coast and the following day we walked over to check it out. It was a bit further from the surf break, but a really lovely peaceful spot. In fact, it was good timing. A local guy who liked to sell coconuts to foreigners and then talk about how he hates foreigners was starting to get funny with us staying there. The guy who had been letting us use the water and toilet now wanted more money. We took it as our cue to leave and head down to spend a night or two with our new friends. We had enjoyed an excellent week of surf and it was about time we started heading back north again anyway.
The spot around the corner had a lovely refreshing breeze and was so peaceful that we ended up staying two nights. Dolphins regularly swam past close to the shore and a flock of parrots was another regular sight.
Then it really was time to get going, we said goodbye to the others who I am sure we will meet again on the road, and headed north. Firstly, we stopped at the ‘fuel station’ again and used the last of our cash to buy fuel. We hadn’t filled up the emergency roof fuel and the tank was on empty. It was only around 45km to get to the nearest fuel station, but the roads weren’t kind. We resolved that this time we would definitely buy back up fuel once we made it out.
Luckily for us, we made it to the fuel station. We then realised that we couldn’t fill up our back up fuel canister because the sun had rotted through the container. The UV is simply brutal. Another thing to add to the shopping list. After having restocked with everything, we continued on towards a nice spot for the evening, a viewpoint for the whales tail. This is a section of coastline that juts into the sea and from the air looks very much like, you’ve guessed it; a whale’s tail. It’s a national park and therefore you have to pay to get in and to camp, but there is a free viewpoint from the mountains behind and we thought that if anything it’s probably better seen from higher up. So we arrived at this lovely spot, and were joined in our appreciation of another beautiful sunset by several friendly locals.
It would have been the perfect time to send the drone out for a photo, but Steve isn’t really the best right now and so we haven’t got any photos of what it actually looks like. Here is a picture from google though, so you can use your imagination.
In the morning we headed down to see if we could camp there, but it’s now all shut off and guarded. Also being a national park it’s not pet friendly. Instead, we continued to head back up the coast and opted to spend a couple of nights at Dominicalito, a lovely peaceful beach we had stopped off at before but never stayed at.