Wednesday, January 7
We woke up around 9 am and did yoga on the observation deck above the hotel grounds overlooking the ocean. The hotel had free breakfast that was quite delicious with fresh fruit and tasty bread from the local French baker. Our plan for the day was to spend an afternoon on the beach and at the recommendation of the the hotel manager have dinner a few miles down the road at a beach club that was hosting a special BBQ Dinner at sunset on the beach.
Most of the hotels on this strip of the Osa Peninsula are located at least 20 minute walk from the beach due to government regulations that prohibit building directly on the beach, and also because there is a river that runs parallel to the beach that makes some of the areas quite swampy and difficult to cross.
We could ride our bikes to an easier beach access but didn’t feel like suiting up and riding in the heat, so at the recommendation of the hotel manager we were going to go through one of the nearby hotels jungle routes to get to the ocean. The sign at the beginning of the route noted that it was a 20 minute walk to the beach and about 45 minute round trip hike, marked with yellow tape along the way.
It was a hot day and we had a pretty heavy load of yoga mats (we use them to lie on the beach), towels and a bag with food and water. We descended down a set of stairs from the hotel grounds and started walking along the narrow trail, going deeper and deeper into the jungle. We were fascinated by hundreds of ants on the ground that were carrying pieces of leafs 10 times their size along a complicated network of highways.
We crossed a shaky bridge over a swampy river, and kept going until we reached a wide river that separated us from the ocean. We could hear the ocean but could not figure out how and where to cross the river. The marked trail veered away from the river and around seeming to be leading back to the hotel. We were quite frustrated, exhausted and soaked in sweat.
We could not believe we walked all this way and had to turn back without reaching the ocean. We walked back feeling defeated. When we reached the hotel, I took a quick swim in their pool, and we had a refreshing fruit shake at the restaurant before heading back to our hotel at the top of a steep hill.
When we told our story to the hotel manager she said that usually that river could be crossed on foot, but recent rains must have expanded it dramatically. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the hotel’s pool until it started drizzling, and it was time to go to dinner.
We were picked up by a taxi cab and taken to the beach club, which was supposed to be located near the best strip of beach in the area. Our plan was to enjoy the beach, swim in the ocean, and join the BBQ dinner at sunset. Unfortunately, the increasing rain ruined our plans. We grabbed a beer at the club and walked to the beach in the rain.
We have seen a lot of beaches on this trip, and I have to say this one was one of the finest yet. Even in the rain with heavy clouds above it, the beach looked magnificent, and we were the only people there. We felt sorry for ourselves, gave our love to the pristine beach and walked back to the club. Due to the rain the BBQ was held at the the club’s restaurant instead of the beach.
The dinner was okay, if a bit overpriced. We caught a ride to the hotel from an elder British couple, Margaret and Phil, who own a home in the area and were very enthusiastic about our story. They gave us a few recommendations for South America from their own travel experiences. We watched an episode of Survivor before retiring to bed.
The next day we were going to cross the Panama border. To our delight we got a tip from the club’s owner to cross at a small border at Rio Sereno instead of Paso Canoas on the Panamerican highway. He said the ride to that border was beautiful and it was a much easier crossing with almost no traffic and/or hassle.