By Judy Pinegar
Waking earlier than usual (8 AM), we found another totally new menu for breakfast, this time including French toast which Ted reported as excellent (we didn’t have any). Our ride to the rental car agency (usavecostarica.com – good prices) arrived at 9:30 as promised, and we were taken to the other side of San Juan. The nice people there answered all our questions, set up the GPS and even helped John buy a cell phone or $36 (Others had quoted us over $100 to $300!).
In very short order we were on the road, although Ted scrunched into the backseat of SMALL 4-W Suzuki was a sight to behold! (And it got worse as the day wore on… not sure that was the right way to economize.) Starting out due west we came to the famous bridge over the Tarcoles River. Stopping at a restaurant with a parking lot guard (the site is also famous for car break-ins) on one side of the river, we walked on a very narrow sidewalk toward the far side of the river to see the famous crocodiles of the Tarcoles River. Although some are reputed to be up to 18 feet long, the largest (of about 8) that we saw was probably only about 14 feet long… but quite impressive all the same! It is said that the better way to view the beasts is in a boat with the guide dangling a dead chicken overboard… then you see some real action… but this was good enough for us.
Then off we went down the coast, past Jaco (say Hako), to Quepos, where we decided to have some lunch. The restaurant, El Gran Escape (recommended in Frommer’s was wonderful, with 6 kinds of fresh caught fish. John and I both had wonderful mahi-mahi – mine a fish sandwich and his – the catch of the day meal. Fantastic I would recommend it to anyone, and you could tell it would be a “happening” place later in the evening.
A few more Km’s and we were at Dominical, sort of a surfing village, unpaved roads, very close to the beach. We stayed at Cabanas San Clemente, on the beach, which I would only recommend to the bargain hunter willing to go sort of primitive. Unfortunately after a mostly dry day it rained quite heavily from Quepos onward and only stopped as the sun set over the beach. John took beautiful sunset pictures though. The water is not really warm, but much warmer than the Pacific in California… I am sure with some sun tomorrow I will be willing to go in!
Judy Pinegar is a writer and her articles have appeared in numerous publications.
Note most of my pictures are taken with a Samsung G20 camera with built in GPS. The GPS tagging really comes in handy when you get home and wonder where you took that picture. -John
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