April 6, 2013: Columbus Did It…Why Not Us?

We decided today was a day to explore the unknown, venture out to new paths, go where no man has gone…well, we were just going to places we had not been before, but I wanted to add some literary drama for effect.

The day started out with beautiful sunshine and a wonderful breeze that blew away the humidity of the last couple of days. The monkeys were not very active so it was a quiet morning and the coffee was the normal magnificent. Wilbur was skimming the pool and it looked so inviting, I had to take a dip while waiting for Jackie to make her presence known to the world.

After Jackie awoke and had her morning brew, we decided to travel south to beaches and places in the opposite direction of our normal travels. We were going to Santa Cruz for the Farmers Market and the maps showed a Hwy 160 that would take us to Ocional, a coastal villageĀ about 75 km from here and midway to the bottom of the peninsula.

When we arrived in Santa Cruz, most of the farmers had already broken down their stands and only a couple were still there, so obviously we are not yet true Ticas, preferring to enjoy our morning coffee rather than shop for fruit so we settled for a bag of potato chips from the mercado. However, Villa Real has their market on Mondays, so we will leave earlier to catch that. After driving around the town, we headed towards Hwy 160 for our trip.

The highway was newly paved and we drove past Pura Adventura, the zip line / horseback ranch we had been to in our earlier travels. Our first planned stop was Playa Junquilal which is a beach that Kurt always recommends. Now I guess we have to define what is considered a “highway” in Costa Rica. After about 5 or 6 km of paved road, we now encounter dirt and gravel roads, which constitutes a “highway” here. Onward we bump for about 20 minutes until we get to Junquilal, a beautiful beach with estuaries to the north and south. The beach was populated with about 8 people, and the waves were quite active. We had to test our toes in the water and found it fairly cool, so we figured that since the waves were exceptionally high and the water cool, there must have been a storm off the coast causing it. The next thing I know I am being greeted by a young boy, Kevin, who is staying at El Sabanero with his family and we met up with them for a bit. The kids were loving the ocean and the parents enjoying the peace of the beach, but we had new trails to blaze, so off we went.

The gravel highway had several turns which we took that ended up being dead ends to deserted beaches. We did a lot of back tracking to what we thought was the highway (who would think to put signs on the highways) until we reached the ultimate dead end about 25 km south of Junquilal. I guess Ocional was not meant to be today.

So we turn around and head towards Playa Negro and Avillana, and then east to Cana Fistula. By this time, people were filtering back from their day’s activities and collecting around the pool. Kurt and I decided to get our geek on and we both were figuring out how to make the camera surveillance system work. After about an hour, we stumbled on the solution and got it up and running. Jackie and I opted for dinner in the lodge this evening and Donald made us a wonderful Alfredo dish, which we ate along with a couple of the other residents. As is usual, the dinner evolves into conversations about a world of topics: genealogy, world politics, local banking laws…the list goes on.

But the breezes are lulling us to sleep so off we head to the cabina for another restful night in paradise.

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