Costa Rica Day 1: How Hard Can it be to Find the Beach?

We arrived in Costa Rica on the evening of April 17 after a long day of travel.  Not bad travel. Fine travel. Just long. On the 3-hour drive to the condo, we were treated to this: 

(Note to self: Never, never swim in a Costa Rican river.) 

Our condo was nowhere near the crocs in their river, so I could rest well after a fantastic dinner at Victoria's Restaurant immediately across the street from our place. Okay, it was Italian. In Costa Rica. But after the previously mentioned long day of travel, gourmet pizza across the street was perfect. A Costa Rican crooner sernenaded us and rain beat a staccato on the roof.

The next day, Monday, was planned as a 'rest' day. Hah. If you know the Sibson's there was no rest! The concierge suggested that we take the bus to the beach. Every 30 minutes, it stopped right outside our condo. But Tom and I wanted to walk. Of course we did. The concierge told us it was a maybe a 'short, easy walk'. (Note to self: Look up Tico definition of 'short' and 'easy'.) 

One thing is for sure - it would have been a lot shorter if we didn't get lost. Twice. Getting lost in and of itself isn't such a big deal except that we were located way up high and the beach was way down below.

This is before our children decided they'd be better off if they abandoned us to go live in the jungle:

We saw some Howler Monkeys, too:

The first time we took a wrong turn and ended up at a private, gated community, a German man suggested that we just walk through the jungle. The road, he said, was just about 50 meters across.  A jungle. In flip-flops. So no, we hiked back up where we connected with a briskly walking British man intent on some exercise as well as some beach time. The second wrong turn brought us to another private area where two little girls were swimming in a pool.

Playa? I asked, desperately, pointing one way and then the other. Playa? 

They looked at us solemnly and pointed the way we'd come. But all was not lost because once we arrived on the beach, it was ridiculously gorgeous. Like some crazy cliche of a beach: 

And so our long adventure was rewarded with a clean and beautiful beach. Once we arrived there, we made up for the long walk with hours of swimming and resting under the umbrella.  Though this felt like an adventure to us, the real adventure was waiting the next day. More on that later.