I'm feeling beachy...
Our main requirement for finding a good hang-out beach is whether or not there are perfect hammock trees. On Playa Del Coco there are not many trees, but we do find a tiny section of perfect hammock trees, littered amongst a well manicured grassy area. We couldn’t have planned a better hammock spot if we built it ourselves. We claim this spot as our own and grumble if we ever show up and find tourists hogging our hammock trees.
We love to tie our hammocks up and people watch. One afternoon a group of local teens post up next to us. We watch them for hours as they play games in the sand. There is one American kid and they spend a good deal of time teaching him the art of kicking the soccer ball into the ocean. One Tico stands at the edge of the waves, acting as the goalie and protector of the sea. They take turns showing the American how to kick the ball. Everyone laughs at his first few pathetic attempts, but eventually he gets it down.
After he learns how to kick the soccer ball, he then gets out a rugby ball and teaches the Ticos how to play. They sprint up and down the hot stretch of black sand, tackling each other and laughing hysterically. After they tire of this, they all run into the ocean together, to end their perfect afternoon. We watch as one Tico dives through the tube of each wave that comes, showing others how to do the same. They end the afternoon by hoisting a couple of girls up on their shoulders to play chicken, and take turns shoving each other into the salty water.
The locals sure know how to have fun and how to enjoy an afternoon at the beach. Each person has an enormous, genuine smile plastered to their face the entire time, and we have never heard so much laughter. It is infectious. They are completely carefree, dancing in the sun and soaking in the freedom provided by the sea. It is impossible to be unhappy on a beach in Costa Rica. Time spent at the beach is never wasted.
For Andy’s 37th birthday we invited our friends Julie and Kalin, from Samara, to come and stay with us for the weekend in Playa Del Coco. During one of our beach walks we met a colorful Tico character, by the name of Johnny D, who convinces us that we need to book a sunset/snorkel/booze cruise. For $70 per person we were taken on a 4-hour all-inclusive boat trip to explore the surrounding coastline. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the coast of Costa Rica, from the sparkling ocean, as the sun goes down.
Me, Andy, Julie and Kalin:
We started the boat trip with lemon drop shots (that were somehow pink and tasted like grenadine). We ordered all kinds of drinks, taking advantage of the all-you-can-drink part of the trip. Our new favorite cocktail is a Miami Vice, a mix of pina colada and strawberry daiquiri. Andy made his rounds, making friends with the crew members, tipping everyone with his bag of coins. Since he was the only one tipping he quickly became everyone’s favorite person.
Andy and the crew:
The ocean sparkled around us, as we cruised away from shore, as if the sea was made of diamonds. The Costa Rican reggae music set the vibe and the dramatic cloud cover made for spectacular photos. The crew took us to Huevos Island to snorkel, which is a private and secluded island known for crystal clear water and a dramatic variety of colorful fish. It was a beautiful place to snorkel. I saw my first trumpet fish, which looks like a miniature swordfish.
We snorkeled for quite a while, until they called us back to the boat for our dinner feast of sushi, salads, homemade pizza and chicken skewers. We then cruised by another, larger private island. The crew pointed out Michael Jordan’s house on the top of the highest peak of the island. We all waved, just incase he was standing on his balcony with binoculars, checking us out. Just below his house, on the same private island, the crew pointed to a very fancy, high-end resort, with a private beach. They said beers at this resort cost $15 and it is $2000/night to stay there. Um, no thanks.
We watched the sun go down, over the ocean, as the sky lit up like fireworks. We danced and took sunset photos on the rooftop deck, while meeting new friends. Being on a boat at sunset, in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by private islands and sparkling sea water is a special experience, one we will never forget. Sailing on a boat through the infinite ocean has a way of making your problems seem so small. It puts into perspective what is important and what is not. Life is simple, just add water.
You spend time on land, but you live life on water…
Some of the gorgeous scenery from our boat trip:
Booze Cruise Selfie:
I think it’s safe to say that Andy’s 37th birthday was one for the record books.
Monkey sh*t happens…
The next day we wake up and eat breakfast, then lounge by the pool for a while. We eventually venture out to try the Texas BBQ joint on the main strip of town. Next we head to Coconuts, which is a busy, redneck, country, football-watching bar where we feel at home. The bar was overflowing with loud, drunken Americans, especially Packers fans.
Suddenly 15 howler monkeys swarm the trees above the bar. They are eating leaves, swinging from limbs…and pooping and peeing on all the tourists below. Only in Costa Rica does a waitresses job duties include cleaning up monkey feces. Football bores me so it was nice to have my own, more entertaining version of television. Brought to you by Mother Nature herself. Watching drunken tourists dodge the bodily fluids from monkeys above is the best reality show. I have to admit, this is my favorite moment of our entire Costa Rican adventure so far.
Is it better to be pissed off or pissed on?
The monkeys tree-hop all afternoon, but keep everyone on their toes by returning to use the bar as their own personal urinal every 20 minutes or so. We keep jumping up to find cover under a tin roof, no one wants to ruin the day by getting peed on. Good thing the beer here already tastes like pee, as drops sprinkle down amongst the tables full of beers. Now we can say we drank monkey pee in Costa Rica.
We warn a guy who walks in to watch out for the monkey pile at the table he has chosen but he proceeds to step in it anyway. At least he’ll have a cool story to tell his friends. Better than stepping in boring old dog poop. Hey Gringo, you’re in Costa Rica, and monkey sh*t happens.
Please do not feed the fears…
Fear is temporary, but regret is forever. May you always do what you are afraid to do.
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. Everything you want is on the other side of fear. If something scares you, you must do it. Fear is the brain’s way of saying there is something important you must overcome, see it as a compass pointing you toward the areas you need to grow.
Too many people are not living their dreams because they’re too busy living their fears. Sometimes the things you are the most afraid of are the things that make you the happiest. When you overcome fear, you behold wonder. Fear isn’t real. It’s the product of thoughts you create. Fear is a choice. It makes strangers of people who would be friends…
Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain.
I’m scared of everything. The ocean waves & rip currents, Costa Rican drivers, sting rays, sharks, spiders, putting my deepest thoughts out there, in writing, for the world to judge…but I also love to do things that scare me. I’m not fearless, I’m fearful. But I’m also brave. Bravery is not the absence of fear, but the facing of it.
Why am I so afraid of everything? Maybe because that makes life more fun…doing things that scare you every day. I may be afraid of many things, but I’ve also conquered many fears. I’ve jumped out of a plane, swam with sharks, ziplined through jungles, been stung by a stingray in Central America, and moved to a country I’d never been to, and couldn’t speak the native language of. For being so afraid, I’ve sure done a lot of scary sh*t.
Wipe your tears, face your fears.
“The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” – Steven Pressfield
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.