Well, we're alive! But barely. I officially had my comfort zone ripped out from under me when we drove through (not across, THROUGH) a river. Make that three rivers. Full of crocodiles I'm sure. My 2nd "what-the-heck-were-we-thinking-quitting-our-jobs-and-selling-our-house-and-getting-ourselves-way-in-over-our-heads-by-moving-to-Central-America" moment. We spent yesterday driving on some of the most crap-tastic roads we've ever seen. Which is why we decided to put off Tamarindo (5+ hours of potholes, no thank you!) and instead aim for a small town named Samara. Halfway there we notice a sign saying CHECK DEPTH OF RIVER. I look at Andy and see the light of a wildman in his eyes and he fills with excitement over our first river crossing. Um, why didn't anyone tell me about this before the 2+ hours of pothole dodging?? I guess what you don't know can't hurt you...well until a croc is ripping your arm off. I say ok, we obviously need to turn back and find another way when all of a sudden Andy starts driving at the river! I start screaming (and I may have shed a tear or two) as I beg him to please stop. He does and we decide to try to check the depth. I'm scared to even get out of the car because I'm sure 20 monster crocs are waiting for me in the muddy river water. I notice we are surrounded by massive turkey vultures, which seemed like a bad omen, as if they were just waiting for some more idiot American tourists to die trying to drive through a river. Andy assures me it's not very deep and that we can make it. My last thoughts are that I can't believe we're going to die this way.....
Needless to say we made it, I may have over-reacted and apparently driving through crocodile -infested rivers is just an every day thing around here, so I better get used to it. Especially since we had to drive through two more.
And it was so worth it because as soon as we drove into the town of Samara, we fell in love. The town is pretty small, a combo of beach bars, funky restaurants and taco stands. It has a very safe vibe to it and there are no beach hagglers trying to get us to spend money on crap we don't need. About an hour into our arrival here, I'm already researching apartments to rent. This place just feels like home for some reason.
We check into a cute bed & breakfast right on the beach (well almost on the beach, the only thing between us and the beach is a cool beach bar). The beach is very mellow, with small waves. Unlike Santa Teresa, where you can't even get in the water. We immediately go for a swim and easily spend two hours in the ocean. We walk up and down the beach for a while and get some good sunset pics. Andy did find a cool ring that he bought from some lady, to act as his Costa Rican wedding ring since we left ours at home. It looks like at least a $50 ring but only costs $4. A good sign, I say.
We choose to eat at Gusto Beach, the bar across the street from us, and have delicious banana & strawberry coladas. We order pizza and fish & chips. We head back to the room to do some apartment hunting online and to plan our next day. Sometimes things just seem so meant to be. I find a local rental company and email them our requirements. Close to the beach, affordable, with A/C, pet friendly, for only three months. She immediately replies that she has a client who is leaving for the U.S. for the exact three months we are wanting to rent, his 2 BR house is 1/2 block from the beach, 5 minutes walk from downtown and all the restaurants, has a fenced yard, is in our budget and has A/C in one bedroom & ceiling fans throughout the house. He is going to email us some pics and we may try to go check it out before we leave.
The next day we head to Puerta Carillo, only about 7 minutes from Samara, and find an amazing hotel up in the hills, about a 3 minute drive from Playa Carrillo, which is another gorgeous swimmable beach. We get a very nice room with a kitchen and laundry station, and A/C of course. It has a very nice pool, breakfast is included and its only $90. We decide to stay 2 nights. We swim in the ocean each morning and again each day at sunset. I could definitely get used to this.
We ate at the hotel restaurant for dinner, Andy had the best tuna steak of his life (it was so fresh & delicious) and I had a carbonara pasta. The breakfast was also delicious, fresh fruit, coffee, o.j., and pancakes. We're both pretty lobster-y from our morning swim today so we're recovering in the air conditioned room right now, and thank god for the aloe lotion I made especially for this trip. Wishing I would have brought more!
I don't ever want to leave.
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.