Sunday, October 7, 2012

Take Another Road

Kym, Katrina and me our last morning at Laguna Mar

Kym and Katrina enjoying tropical rain.

As we made our way towards Tamarindo we weren't in any hurry, which made it easy to do a little exploring. We had the  opportunity to just take our time and stop wherever seemed intriguing. We started by stopping at Azul Plata, a German Restaurant located just north of Playa San Miguel. When we arrived at the restaurant, after driving quite a distance up a steep, rocky driveway, we found it was just someone's house that had been turned into a restaurant. We asked if they were open and the German owner and his wife said yes and promptly handed us a menu. Realizing, we were the only visitors there today and possibly the whole week, I assumed we would be waiting awhile for food. But low and behold, we were promptly brought homemade garlic bread that was amazing. Only 10 minutes later our food came; pizza, potato pancakes and a German dish of homemade noodles and some sort of beef medallions. I was in awe, I had no idea German food was so good (I have probably told Kayla 20 times now that we need to go there!) Just as we were paying our bill, October reminded us of its reputation and we were faced with a downpour of warm rain.

Climbing the waterfall.
If Caylin was here, she would be at the top.
We drove for about 10 minutes before the rain stopped and we were met with beautiful blue skies; gotta love tropical weather. But the blue skies came not a moment too soon because we found a waterfall on the side of the road and we all got out to take advantage of the photo opportunity. We did a little rock-climbing to get towards the top and posed for the picture, promising my dad we wouldn't fall.

Waterfall photo

Katrina and Dad posing in a waterfall
Punta Islita Hotel pool

After making out way down the slippery rocks, we were back in the car heading north along the coast. Normally, it isn't possible to take to coast from September to December, but since we haven't had much rain we decided to try. We made our second stop at Punta Islita  Hotel just to show Kym and Katrina the swim up bar that is right on the beach. While at the pool, we met a great family from New York who ended up going the next day to Costa de Oro to help Kayla and Victor release some baby turtles.

Then once again, we were on the road. We made it to the first little surfer town, Samara, around 2:30, perfect time for some ice cream and refreshments. We decided we wanted to spend time in Tamarindo today so refrained from walking around town and headed north.

Passion Fruit Hotel Pool

Passion fruit flower

Our next stop was in a small town called San Juan, where we stopped and looked at the Passionfruit Hotel. As the name states, there were passionfruit everywhere as well as other flowers in the well groomed gardens. After wandering around for a little while, the hotel owner recommended we head down to the beach to watch the sunset before we got back on the road.

When we arrived at the beach, we were met with Caribbean blue water and course white sand. Upon second look the white sand was actually little bits of coral. With this knowledge, I was sad we hadn't arrived earlier so we could snorkel in the bay. However the sunset didn't disappoint.
Sunset over the peninsula.

And again we piled into the car hoping to make it to Tamarindo in the next hour. When we arrived my dad surprised us with a room at the beautiful Daria Hotel. We were all every ready to eat at this time so we quickly ran up and put our stuff in the hotel before walking around town. We decided to eat at a little beach-side restaurant that had its tables right in the sand!

We ordered a few tapas including a beautiful Caprese salad that had a rose shaped tomato. We asked the waiter about his happy hour specials that had ended just minutes before. He said that since we were celebrating Kym's 21st  birthday he would honor it. The menu said buy one get one free and there was a list of 10 drink options. Kym ordered a Mojito and I got a Margarita.

Happy 21st Kym!

Minutes later the waiter returned with 4 drinks.  2 Margaritas AND 2 Mojitos! We realized that that apparently Costa Rica happy hour is the same as Mexican happy hour; everyone gets 2 drinks!

After a great meal and yummy drinks, we wandered around town before calling it a night, with plans on getting up early to enjoy the buffet.

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