Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tamarindo (Part 4)

Since we arrived in Tamarindo around 8pm, it was too dark to take in any of the town.  I was anxious to go exploring the next morning (and more importantly to find a place to get some coffee).  Needless to say, I was a little less than impressed with my surroundings:

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This was just off the main (and only paved) road in Tamarindo.  The whole town is situated on the beach, and then has about 3 other “main” roads that were gravel (like above).  We rented a condo just on the other side of that gigantic white building.  It was a fabulous deal at $89/night (2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, living room, & pool)and about a 5 minute stroll to the beach.  Since it was off the beaten path we didn’t get a lot of the street noise, but we did have a pet.

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I named him Pepe.  We only saw him one night up near our ceiling.  And I preferred him to the random ants.

But, what the streets lacked in charm, the beach made up for.

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It went on forever, had hardly anyone on it, and had very little debris from the ocean.

And the ocean was bathtub warm.  The waves were mild, and there was no drop off for as far as I could walk.  Tamarindo is a surfing hub.  At least for beginners.  I’m not sure someone who actually knew how to surf would enjoy it because the waves would probably seem boring to them, but both Carrie and Michelle tried it out.

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They’re out there somewhere.  You could rent a surf board for $10 for the whole day.  I opted for relaxation. I rented a lounger for $6 (all-day) and grabbed my book.  Although Michelle did great and had a blast, her knees were scraped and bleeding from all her attempts and that told me I made the right decision!

We didn’t do any excursions in Tamarindo.  Instead, we spent our days roaming the town and our nights eating at some of the many beachfront restaurants.

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These dining experiences were often accompanied with some beautiful sunsets:

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On Thursday morning we packed up, checked out of our condo, and made the hour drive to the Liberia airport.  While we were waiting to check in our rental car something bit/stung me on my back.  After doing the “there’s a bug on me!” dance I had Michelle check it out and she couldn’t find anything, but it stung!  Fifteen minutes later, as we were in the shuttle going to the airport, I turned to my friends and said “You’re going to think I’m crazy, but my throat is really tight and my face is crazy hot and tingly.”  By the time we got to the airport my throat felt huge and Carrie said my eyes were kind of puffy.  Unfortunately, I have learned no medical terms in my Spanish lessons so I had a really hard time describing “allergic reaction” to the non-English speaking paramedics at the airport.  I was able to say “my face is hot” and “my throat is closed”.  A little dramatic but he understood and rattled off something in Spanish and all I heard was the name of a drug.  So, I pulled Carrie into the room because she is a Doctor of Pharmacology.  That guy understood “doctor” and I’m sure he thought she was an M.D. so he started handing her ampules of medicine.  She looked at them, found an antihistamine and told him to give me it.  So, my departing gift from Costa Rica was a shot in the butt.

I still don’t know what it was that bit or stung me. I’m not allergic to American bees.  But, Carrie and I also left with about 20 bug bites each from the beach that itched for over a week so as Carrie put it, I guess Central America’s bugs are a bit heartier than American bugs!

Despite the ending, it was an amazing trip that I’m very fortunate to have been able to take!  Everybody at home (Rob, his parents, my parents) pitched in to cover all my duties and I really appreciate that!  I look forward to going back someday to explore the other side of the country (and to zip line again).  I’ll keep working on my Spanish and make sure I learn some medical vocabulary!

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