Soon we were headed out to the ocean, spotting pelicans, frigate birds and large tuna fish breaking the surface of the water.
After about an hour exploring the coast, we anchored in a bay and were given the opportunity to don snorkel, face mask and fins and dip beneath the surface of the water into an altogether different world.
Coral, brightly coloured tropical fish, sea urchins, sea horses and a large turtle were spotted. I got quite carried away in my underwater world, and by the time boatman Andy called to me to tell me I should head back to the boat, I was somewhat surprised to see just how far I had travelled. Thank goodness for flippers. It took a good ten minutes of thrashing to get back.
Here I got the opportunity to try out our sports/underwater camera for the first time. I have to say I was fairly impressed with the results, even if the filming was a bit naff and I didn’t have the sound on (or maybe I did, but the camera was in a waterproof case).
When viewing the underwater film, be patient – there are fish!
After more sea bass ceviche and fresh fruit, we headed out to Monkey Rock. Not difficult to see how it got its name!
One downside of a boat trip is that you don’t realise just how hot it is. We reached the dingy (much easier to get down onto a dingy than to climb of it it). At shore, we walked over the wet sand…. Onto the dry black sand and then…. “Oooowww!!! Hot, hot!”. The sand was burning hot. Andy ran ahead into the shade of the palms whilst I tried to put my flip-flops on! I was fortunate not to have blisters, but most definitely my feet were tender for several hours afterwards.
Day 15 and our homewards trip to San Jose Airport. We had discovered that the snow we had left behind had returned in our absence! The flight was delayed by 3 ½ hours…. and the journey to the airport took less time than expected so it was a 7 hour wait to take off. How on earth (we wondered) would we cope with a temperature of -1 degrees which awaited us after the scorching 35 degree temperatures we had grown used to?
Costa Rica is a truly stunning country. Small, diverse and very beautiful. It’s people are kind, considerate and helpful. Nothing is too much for them and people will help you however they are able to. The people may not have huge monetary wealth, but they are some of the happiest and most content people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Their wealth is in their beautiful countryside, abundance of tropical fruit and warm sunshine. In fact the Costa Ricans have one of the best life expectancies. When you ask local people about this, they believe it’s because many people work in fairly physically demanding jobs (most of the agriculture / harvesting we saw was manual), enjoy fantastic family and community support and don’t have to deal with high levels of stress.
We were lucky to see so much of this lovely place and its varied wildlife, plants and trees. We got the feeling that there was so much more that we hadn’t had the time to see.
So who knows….. one day we may return. That’s a real incentive to maintain my fitness and weight loss!
Talking of weight, the scales told me I had GAINED about a stone when I stood on them on our return. I am pleased to report that with a concerted effort and lots of healthy eating, I have managed to drop that to just 4lbs in time for my first weigh in.
But MAN those cocktails were good!