Posing at the blowhole on Playa Pelada

Posing at the blowhole on Playa Pelada

For the past 10 days we’ve been in the Nosara in the western state of Guanacaste.   Since we left Turrialba we haven’t had a lot of practice speaking Spanish, since Nosara is big with American expats and is a surfing mecca.  The drive here was trial by fire with a standard transmission and Costa Rican roads.  Erica manned the wheel for most of the drive thankfully.  Not long after I took over driving the afternoon deluge began that required pulling off the road until our windshield wipers  could keep up.  Not long after that we took a wrong turn in Samara and were subsequently led across a river fjord by a very nice German guy who clearly wondered what the hell we were doing.  Think 3 young kids, Dad who can’t drive a stick to save his life, water up to the doors.  No biggie.  Thankfully I didn’t stall in the river.

Nosara has been wonderful and exactly what we were looking for before we head on to Cordoba.  It’s a pretty primitive surfing town south of much more visited Tamarindo.  We’ve been surprised at really how little there is here.  As the sticker on our fire extinguisher in our house says, “you are the fire department, think about it!”  There are essentially two main beaches, Playa Pelada and Playa Guiones.  Since it was Sunday yesterday, Guiones was “crowded” with maybe 200 people.  We rented a house from VRBO about 200 meters into the jungle on Playa Pelada.  The kids have had a great time exploring all the creatures in the tide pools at low tide.  The roads here are crazy!  Just dirt tracks in the jungle really.  We’ve had our token flat a few days ago.  Somehow we haven’t broken an axle.

There are some nice restaurants in the area but we’ve cooked in most of the time to save.  Lots of pasta with red sauce until we finally found some dorado to grill the other day!  Our efforts to find meat to grill in the Super have ended with a hotdog-like product that was coveted by the boys but left Erica and I a bit disturbed.  Elliott has developed an addiction to Nutella and all the kids are digging all the pineapple.

After a few days here we discovered some blowholes on the beach and a giant tree in front of the house that was home to about 4 iguanas.  We have regular visits from a troop of howler monkeys and the biggest bugs we’ve ever seen!  The boys and I had a great time learning how to surf together a week ago.   Since then we’ve rented boards a few times.  Since we seem to wear out after a few hours on the beach or the rain starts, so we’ve also taken a liking the pool and cocktails at the Guilded Iguana.  Buy a drink and the kids can swim in the pool!  We attempted a grownup activity the other night when we visited Lagarta Lodge to watch the sunset.  Our fellow tourists at the Sunset Bar were quite glad to the Vaughn family depart since apparently kids don’t seem to cherish a quiet, romantic sunset like adults.  Tonight we went to check out the seemingly abandoned Nosara Beach Hotel (otherwise called the Scoobie Doo Hotel by me) and ended up getting a personal tour of the renovation by the laborer and his 10 dogs.  Elliott thought it was hilarious that he asked why our Spanish wasn’t as good as Elliott’s.

We’ve had a ton of beach time and it pains me to admit we’ve all gotten our fill of beaches and inhaled enough saltwater to move south into winter in Cordoba.  Our tans, burns and rashes are complete.  Ben’s lost two teeth (by natural cause not by accident).  We’ve realized that kids still fight and argue in paradise!  Who knew?  Time to go to Argentina!  We leave Nosara tomorrow and spend a few days collecting stored luggage in San Jose before our flight Thursday.  Ciao!

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