Costa Rica: Tamarindo + San Jose 27.01. - 07.02.07
Posted at 06:31, 27 January 2007 in South America
27.01.07 San Jose
Today most people of the group headed home, so it was another saying goodbye-day for me... one of the last ones I guess, as soon it will be me saying goodbye ;-) Dallas and Celeste, a Canadian couple with whom I will be going to Tamarindo, we strolled along the shopping street of San Jose. You would not believe all those shoe-stores...!
28.01. - 04.02.07 Tamarindo
At 6.30am (!) we were picked-up and a nice little comfy van drove us to the Pacific Ocean side, to Tamarindo. This place is only a 4-hour drive from San Jose and is famous under surfers, due to the great waves. I had a bungalow right across the street to the beach, so 2 minutes and my feet were in the warm sand :-)
What struck me most was the huge beach at low tide, the ocean was way out. And at high tide, the water came all the way up, probably due to the upcoming full moon. Quite interesting...
My friends were at another (very nice) hotel, but it was no problem for me to join them on their hotel-pool.
So my days here were very easy: a walk along the beach in the morning where I collected beautiful shells, then doing nothing all day but working on the tan - well, we dipped in-and-out of the pool to cool down ;-), and in the evening have good food in one of the beach restaurants. Sounds like a holiday, right? Well believe me, it felt like one also, no travelling, no busrides, no early hours, no listening to guides talking... just relaxing - aaahhh :-)
But we did one thing: Tamarindo has a Nationalpark, where from October to February the Leatherback Turtles come to the Playa Grande to lay their eggs in the sand. Even thou it was the end of the season, we booked a tour to go and see this with rangers. But on Wednesday night unfortunately no turtle came to the beach :-( Anyway, it was a funny excursion, as you are picked-up at 11pm, then you cross a river, then you walk along the beach to the ranger station, where everyone then lays on the beach and waits... and waits...and waits - until 3am, that is when the rangers "give up" searching the beach for turtles and you go back to the hotel.
As it was full moon, it was very romantic to lay on the beach...
Well, we did get to go again on Thursday - and oh my god, when we walked along the beach to the ranger station, all of a sudden "things" crawled in the sand...! Guess what: we were just on time there to see little baby turtles hatch out of their eggs in the sand and crawl into the ocean. Wow, they were soooo small, so cute! The ranger told us that they were Olive Ridley Turtles, so not really the turtles that normally nest here...
Already happy with this sighting, we at 1.30am then got "the call" at the beach, meaning that rangers had spotted a Leatherback Turtle coming ashore. So like in a military operation we were led to the spot and got turns to watch the turtle. Now here I was impressed - puh, this turtle was HUGE!!! At least 1 1/2 meters long! It was a very special moment to see her dig the hole in the sand, lay about 60 eggs in 10 minutes, and then cover up the nest with sand - patting it like a child baking sand-cakes ;-)
A great nature-sight, I was totally excited!
On Sunday then it was time to leave the beach-life again :-(
Apparently a lot of "Ticos" (how the Costa Ricans call themselves) go to the beach over the weekend, and then everyone drives back to San Jose on Sunday evening... Great - NOT! It took us over 6hours to get back!
But I guess this was my last busride on this trip :-)
In San Jose I checked into the Costarican Backpackers.
05. - 07.02.07 San Jose
I figured, for the last 3 days of my trip I want to do the "real traveller's thing" again :-) The Backpackers is really cool; cozy pool with lounge chairs and hammock area, free internet - and the great mix of travellers from all over the world. Well, I guess that is one of the things I will miss after this trip: meeting interesting people from all over...
San Jose does not really offer good shopping (unless you need shoes I suppose). So all I did was getting the very last souvenirs and presents. On the way I stopped by the National Theatre. But honestly... I have had enough sightseeing now.
So hanging out in the Backpackers was my favourite thing to do :-)
And then... yes, then it was Wednesday the 7th of February... the day to return home.