We had our breakfast and prepared for our 8:00 a.m. pick-up. Today we would be leaving Monteverde and heading to a different area of Costa Rica, the northwestern-most province known as Guanacaste.
As we were leaving, there was a rainbow, or more accurately a "mist bow" visible from the hotel. With the sun shining, and the mist from the cloud forest, the "mist bow" traveled with us.
We've certainly never seen a traveling rainbow, especially one that was present for so long. And there were times we could see both ends.
It traced a mountain in the background making it look like it was on fire.
On the opposite side of the road, we had an incredible view out over the mountains and down to the Gulf of Nicoya.
The rainbow and the views made the 12 kilometers of rough, rocky road tolerable until we finally found pavement.
After an hour and a half or so, we made a pit stop in Limonal. While there, we were treated to about twenty Scarlet Macaws in the trees.
There are a few populations of this native bird in the Pacific areas of Costa Rica, and it's one of the few wild birds that can give the Quetzal a run for its money in the beautiful colors category.
There were also a couple of non-native Blue & Gold Macaws mixed in with the group. They must be pets that have escaped and integrated with the scarlets.
These two were certainly cuddly as they preened each other.
From there, we drove north on the Pan American Highway until a turn-off on a dirt road taking us to Llano de Cortez waterfall, one of Costa Rica's prettiest.
It's more of a local knowledge waterfall than one where lots of tourists go.
We only stayed a few minutes, as it was a Saturday and several families were there with more on the way.
From there, we passed through Liberia where there is a fairly new international airport, and we continued on to the Pacific Coast.
Around noon, we arrived at Bahia del Sol in Playa Potrero just north of Tamarindo and Playa Flamingo on the Pacific.
We got here about an hour before check-in, and one of our two rooms wasn't quite ready yet. So, we put all our stuff in Steve & Esther's room and took a little tour of the facility.
We have standard garden view rooms, .....
but the property is small so it's a short walk to the pool, .....
the open air restaurant, ....
and the beach.
It's a quieter area along the coast than many of the more popular beach towns where condos and high rises have sprung up. In fact, Bahia del Sol is the only resort on the expansive beach Playa Potrero.
The Guanacaste Province is dryer than other regions of Costa Rica, and it's known for its beautiful beaches. The drier air and bright blue skies are a bit of a change from the more humid Caribbean side, and certainly quite different from the cooler, moist cloud forest area of Monteverde.
Apparently there is a little wildlife, too ... as we were greeted by this long, skinny Vine Snake on the wall separating the property from the beach.
We decided to have lunch in the restaurant, and we quickly noticed that there were a lot of kids, some dogs running around off leash, a lot of people, and a lot of noise for a small "boutique" hotel.
We certainly didn't have a very good first impression. Later we found out that locals (not Ticos, but rather people from other countries) are allowed to use the resort at their will as long as they purchase a minimum amount from the restaurant.
Clearly, there was a group taking advantage of their privileges and they were loud, inconsiderate, and running the limited staff ragged. They acted as if the hotel was their own public pool and not only did they bring their dogs (which aren't allowed), but they let them run around off leash in and around the pool area and even in the restaurant. At one point, I took a photo of one dog walking on the swim-up bar.
Apparently, the hotel needs the revenue from these locals, but we considered going somewhere else because of them. Eventually, they left and after getting unpacked and unwound, we started to enjoy this little gem of a place.
I went for a little walk outside the property to get my bearings and discovered a small grocery maybe a half a block away if we need it. There are also bars and restaurants a short walk down the road.
Steve had walked the beach to the north, and we intersected when I came back. So, we walked south on the beach for awhile before returning as the sun started to get low in the sky.
Linda & I found a couple of loungers and watched the sunset over the nearby peninsula.
It was a gorgeous evening, ....
and we look forward to doing some relaxing as we have only one scheduled excursion during the four days we are here.
After the sun went down, it was "happy hour" with half-priced drinks from 5:30 to 7:00, so we took advantage of that and enjoyed the sounds of the waves for awhile before calling it a night.
Our Pura Vida was shaken a bit today by an overly aggressive transport driver causing some tense moments and a group of obnoxious daytime guests at our little haven away from the crowds, but by the end of the day we were feeling much better.
Until next time. Pura Vida! :)