Friday, February 1, 2008

Costa Rica 19

We made our way back along the same path but in about half the time. I had expected that it would take longer, seeing as how we were getting pooped. I guess it went faster because we did not feel the need to stop and look at every leaf, bug or ant that crossed our path or caught our eye. We were tired, thirsty and, believe it or not, just a bit hungry! Even after consuming that great lunch at Pineapple Beach like a bunch of starved zombies.

We passed the entrance building to the park but Donald was no longer anywhere to be found. I was going to get me some more of that good pineapple for later! Still not knowing how we did it, we passed by the little grocery store where I had seen the giant fly in the window earlier. At this point, L suggested that since it was just a bit further along a different road, we should just keep going and visit the famous black sand beach. If we visited it now instead of waiting till later, we would have more time for a siesta or drinks on that great deck overlooking the water. As tired as we were, we agreed. He also wanted to show us this great garden at a hotel along the way that was famous for the frogs in the bamboo trees around it. He said it was only a few blocks and we believed him.

Down the dusty, rock strewn road we went. Picking our way so as to avoid twisting any ankles or tripping and falling on our faces. Also avoiding the multitude of cars slowly making their way along this road also. It seemed particularly busy with traffic. We discovered later that this road leads to several “swanky” resorts further along, also to the black sand beach and to the local soccer field, where a game was in progress. Thus all the cars. And mostly SUV’s! I spent most of my time walking as close to the edge as I could get and hardly ever looking up. I was having a rough time of it. Between the uneven terrain of the road and being so tired, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to see the beach….let alone another day! (as a personal aside, the reason I bitch so much about stairs, distances and uneven terrain is that I have such a hard time walking. Ever since my low back fusion surgery, the circulation to my legs has been bad and getting worse, thus making it extremely difficult for me to walk any distance at all without stopping to rest. Ok, personal medical history over but helps you to understand why I am so sensitive about distances) I would occasionally steal a glance ahead but I really had no idea how much further we had to go. I just saw this gravel road stretching out forever and L and B getting tinier and tinier in the distance. As long as I kept them in sight, I was fine. They know this and hardly ever wait for me to catch up. Or they wait and as soon as I have caught up, they take off again! So I never get a chance to rest!

Finally we reached the black sand beach. It was an expansive bit of beach just off the road. It led to some pretty dark and dirty water. Probably the dirtiest section of the Caribbean that I have seen. No way would I ever step foot in that water. Naturally, there were all kinds of people in the water, oblivious to my perceived vision of it. But the sand was black all right. Not just dark, black. For some reason, it was really damp that day and I found it particularly ugly. I don’t know why it was so damp, it had not been raining at all. No way would I have spread out to lie in the sun on it. It looked the color of solid sludge. L dipped down and held up a handful for us to examine up close and to prove it was just not dirty but really black. He says that when it is dry it sparkles like millions of diamonds are sprinkled on it. Wish I had been there on one of those days!

That little piece of wonderful now seen and checked off our list, we were free to make our way back to our sleazy hotel room. But first we had to stop at that little hotel with the frogs in the bushes. It was literally just a skip and a hop down the road. We entered onto the grounds, passing a very nice pool with maybe four people lounging about or in the water. L showed us where he had taken many pictures of frogs in the past, but then informed us that it was always after dark, when they come out of hiding and cling to the bamboo limbs! We were dying of thirst by that time and sat down at one of the tables in the pool bar/restaurant. Evidently there was new management or a change of policy. L returned very quickly from the bar, informing us that we would have to leave. The pool and bar area were for guests only. Staring daggers at the wait staff, we left. The funny part about it was that there was nobody there! Policy is policy I guess but they missed a chance for a good tip that day!

By the time we finally got back to the room, it was way too late to try to grab a siesta. While B and I cleaned up from the day’s adventure, L went off in search of ice. We were going to kill some time and relax before dinner by having drinks on that patio/deck and play some cards. By the time L got back with the ice, B and I had gotten all refreshed and had set up a table on the deck with everything we needed. L dropped off the bag of ice and left us to make drinks while he grabbed a quick shower. We drank and played cards until well after dark by the glow of the overhead lights on the deck. We probably would have stayed longer but the mosquitoes finally came out and we made a scratchy mad dash for the safety of our room!

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