We try everyday that we are here to have some sort of experience. I feel like everyday is a gift to be unwrapped here. We never quite know what it is going to be, how it will present himself, or when the gift will appear.
Yesterday, we had the great pleasure of taking an unexpected hike with some wonderful friends here. I got a quick email (luckily before our internet went down) about a Magical Mystery Hike to Punta Mala (Punta Mala means Bad Point or Bad End in case you were wondering) Anyway, we thought, “HOW FUN” and off we went to meet our hiking buddies. Our gracious “tour guide” (she really isn’t a tour guide, but LOVES to take people out to PM. We all agreed she could charge Gringos for the tour) is a wonderful expat from California that has lived here in Costa Rica for a few years. She, along with a gentleman from London, a sweet couple from San Francisco, a beautiful woman from Israel, and Greg and I (Alli made the mistake of NOT wanting to come along with us, which she regretted after our return) made our way down the beach North, walking, about an hour, at low tide. The things we saw and discovered along the way were truly amazing. From monkeys to mangroves, shells, crabs, lobsters, HUGE….I am talking gigantic pieces of driftwood, places that were once liquid, molten lava that cooled and had made some incredible art formations in the rock, and outcroppings in the water, that can only be seen at low tide that was lava rock that has lifted from the ocean floor to rise above the water.
We searched for sea glass. This was one part, I loved. Looking for this marvelous, hidden little treasure. I was like a kid at Christmas with the first piece I located. It rose up out of the sand like a viridescent crown jewel, just waiting for my eyes to see it. Gorgeous! I found three pieces. All different shades of green, and one piece if Amber. A tiny little Amber seed.
Once we made it to our destination, that is where the fun started. We made our way across the lava rock, searching in the tide pools for little fish and creatures that had been washed up in the tide earlier. We made our way to the edge of the outcropping, to see over the edge. It litteraly felt like we were standing in the middle of the ocean, and in a way, we were. Maybe not the middle, but we were out a good ways. The waves coming in were incredible, and intimidating. The narrow opening between these two lava formations was getting pummeled with waves. So hard and enormous, that if there was the slightest slip, you would certainly be meeting your death. During the full sun, I hear you can see Tiger Sharks in the clear water below where we were standing. But during the time of day that we went out, late afternoon, the sun was not high enough to see clearly. I stood there in awe of this ocean. Quite possibly one of the most powerful forces on this planet. We moved along the edge and made our way across a little stream, which was actually the tide making its way back in over the rock. Lot’s of little sea creatures peered up at us, and then quickly retreated to their rocky hideouts, even a little electric blue Pufferfish…..where is Alli we kept saying????
Yellow Pufferfish swimming in the Dragon Pool
Our next stop was our guide’s favorite spot, which she has named The Dragon Pool. It is a tide pool with an outcropping of lava that extends over your head that look like a dragon. It has such a likeness, that it makes you feel that when this lava was hot, and flowing, quite possibly this enormous, fire breathing, dragon was sitting there and was turned to stone. It was a magical place. Us four girls all climbed into the pool for a little “bonding time” We sat and stared at all of the tiny fish swimming around us, including a frightened little yellow Pufferfish. I had a hard time getting back out of the pool, it was such an incredible experience.
But at the ocean works, the tide was coming in, and it was getting later in the day. We climbed out, with one more stop to make.
There is a place that our “guide” wanted us to climb up onto the rocks for a photo. This place, perched high above the water was a little frightening (not really) it was right on the edge where the enormous waves were flooding torrents of water over the top. The others in the group gave a quick, “NO way, are we sitting on that!!” and with that, Greg and I went to make the climb on the slippery rocks to the top, to get a photo. It was really not as dangerous as it looked. But we did get SOAKED!!!! We sat, posing, with the ocean water, hitting the sides, lapping up over the tops of our heads, and laughing like two little kids!! What a way to end the trip.
We made the hour walk back down the beach to Esterillos Oeste, on the way back, just the icing on the cake.... I found a Sea Purse. This, I could hardly believe. The first trip that we ever made to Costa Rica our wonderful neighbors gave our three kids and I a Sea Purses on the day we left, explaining that these gorgeous, wooden-looking seeds will occasionally wash up on shore here. They are meant to bring you *Good Luck*, and are quite the treasure. We fell in love with these “seed pods” and brought them home with us, and still have them. Last year, I searched everyday for them along the beach. Scouring along on my runs and walks. I FINALLY found one…one in the whole 3 weeks we were here. I felt pretty fortunate. This time, I told Alli I would search and search and HOPEFULLY find another one, special just for her. Just as we were coming back, I just happened to look down and there it was, a gorgeous little Sea Purse. I was so excited to take my tiny treasure back and give it to its new owner, Alli. She was ecstatic to get the gift, and has now decided she wants to make the hike to Punta Mala.
Little Sea Purse
We made it back just before dark to share a few beverages with our friends. It was an amazing adventure. One we will not soon forget.
Today, we are heading to Playa Blanca.
We just tried a new fruta none of us have ever had. Manzana de Auga, which translates to Water Apple. Hmmmm, not too sure what I think about it, but when a sweet Tico man comes up with a huge box that he is handing out to everyone, you feel like you should not refuse his kindness. I did run across the street to the Low Tide to see if anyone in there has had them before. ?? We cut in to it, and gave it a go. A nice Policia came in for a drink, shook my hand, and told me they are "fantasico!!" They have the smell of apples, and roses. A soft skin, with a wet, juicy, white inside. A tad bit bitter to me, but Alli sat and ate three of them in a row. Hope she doesn’t regret that later today.
Manzana de Agua
Hasta Luego y Pura Vida