11.01.2012 - 11.01.2012
After our first day at Mal Pais we decided that we needed to find a beach with a bit more jungle around so that we could find some shade to hide under. We asked our wonderful hostess at the "Blue Jays Lodge" and she suggested that we head to Cabo Blanco to a beach there. Cabo Blanco is a gorgeous nature reserve at the tip of the Nicoya peninsula that we definitely wanted to see but we thought we could only get there from Montezuma. "Oh no, it's only 3km down the road from here, and there is a great beach right in front of it if you just follow the fence towards the ocean." she explained. She also told us that there was a great little lagoon for swimming right in front of the beach created by dead corral and low tide, but we had to get there between 10am and 2pm. We were sold.
We started our journey down to Cabo Blanco dodging the ATV bandits we described in our previous entries, but as we got closer, the traffic died down, and the road got narrower with the size of the potholes probably scaring the bandits away. After a good 45 minute walk we finally reached the fence to Cabo Blanco and saw the small jungle path leading to the beach.
As we entered the beach we were floored. This was the most beautiful raw and natural beach we have seen in a long time. I think the last time we have seen anything this gorgeous and untouched was in the Phi Phi islands in Thailand. The pictures speak for themselves.
We spent a good 2 hours here alternating between swimming in the lagoon and drying on the beach and then decided to check out the rest of Cabo Blanco. We left the beach and headed for the fence we saw earlier. We heard that entry was not free, but the fence was open, and there was no one there to take our money, so we marched on.
The path was through a gorgeous jungle with some more completely empty and raw white sand beaches. We walked along spotting all types of lizards including a really cool chameleon that was bright green but unfortunately disappeared before I could take a picture. There was also some type of weird ant eater/ferret looking tree dwelling thing that I did manage to get a grainy photo of but just barely.
All of a sudden the path started to get much steeper and as we got to the top of the hill the view we saw was breath taking. It's hard to capture in words or pictures how gorgeous this area was but here are some attempts.
What happened next only Kristine can adequately describe so here she is:
As we rushed toward a deserted beach ahead, we could hear someone yelling for us. We stopped, turned around, and waited for this guy who looked as if he had been running for quite some time to catch up to us. As he approached us, I could see that he was clad in a scuba diving shirt a couple of sizes too big, swim trunks that seemed too big, and scuba diving boots to match. As he tried to catch his breath, I noticed that he was equipped with a snorkeling set and an underwater camera. He was way too pale to be Costa Rican. Turns out he was from the UK and had only been there a few days. He was also accompanied by another guy who only had bathing trunks on. That's all. Just trunks.
The fellow with the huge clothing told us that we were not allowed on the beach since it was in was considered an "absolute nature reserve". This means that only researchers are allowed on this stretch of beach. The fellow telling us that we had to leave was a new graduate of Marine Biology and was volunteering at the reserve. His job: to take pictures and shoo tourists away.
Derek kept trying to imply that his get-up would probably NOT shoo away Costa Rican tourists but he didn't seem to understand the joke. His companion was a German researcher who couldn't understand how I was from Canada. He kept referring to me and circling his face. Finally, I got it! "Ohhh! My skin color! Yeah -- my background is Filipino!" I guess the universal sign for "what the heck are you" can be achieved by pointing to your own face and circling your finger around it!
They politely escorted us out of the "absolute nature reserve" and pointed us towards a path that would lead us back to town. It was funny to be shoo'd away by a glorified "shoo-er" dressed like a prototypical tourist that didn't speak a word of Spanish. I would love to be around when he does the same to tourists who speak only speak Spanish!
Since the boys didn't escort us all the way out we decided to take this opportunity to eat lunch at one of the deserted beaches At least now we knew why they were all deserted! Don't worry boys we made sure to clean up after ourselves!
And as if this day did not provide enough excitement already we also ran into a monkey troupe crossing our path. Apparently they were having a nice family picnic at the beach too and were just heading back home.
What else can you possibly ask for in a day in Costa Rica?? it was a good one!