Almost like paradise

The WorldTravelerCosta Rica has so much natural beauty to offer. It is difficult to set priorities in terms of excursions. On top of that, it is the high season and a lot going on. Since I don’t want to sit on a crowded beach, I decide to go to a remote little place in the southwest of the country. The journey there is not without its difficulties. But I’m already used to a lot of things and I’m not deterred by the cumbersome way to get there. And I will be rewarded for my efforts!

Costa Rica is a country of early birds: My flight with SANSA leaves already at 5.30 a.m., which means that at 4.30 a.m. I am standing in the mini check-in hall and – after a tourist group has spent a lot of time at the counter because new people have joined them again and again – I have to put myself on the scales together with my hand luggage. This is a bit unusual, but I don’t think it’s that bad. At least it doesn’t show that my hand luggage weighs more than the allowed 4.5 kilos. When I then see the mini airplane, I realize why the passengers and the complete luggage have to be weighed: The Cessna Caravan can certainly not carry more than 20 passengers. The co-pilot greets us right away with first names, everything is very familiar. Even the view leaves nothing to be desired. However, we always fly just above the mountain peaks, which seems a bit scary to me.

Welcome to Golfito

6.30 a.m. we land safely in Golfito on a runway that looks like a country road. The passengers who want to fly back to San José are waiting next to the runway at the fence. Our luggage is unloaded from the plane and we can take it with us right away. It seems that there is no terminal at all. Now I only have to kill more than five hours, because my public water taxi only leaves at noon. A private one would cost 60 dollars, which I finde exaggerated. First I make a small round trip with the public bus and then I get dropped off at the marina. In the tourist information I hear that sometimes the water taxi does not commute at all – namely if there are not enough passengers. In the nearby Open Air Bistro I ask my way to the captain, who fortunately confirms that he leave on time. I spend the remaining four hours reading, eating and drinking coffee. The crossing to Playa Zancudo takes place in a rather small boat – with only two passengers (including me). The captain speeds like a hangman and the waterfowls make sure they get away in time.

„Sol y Mar“ in Playa Zancudo

After a three-kilometer walk from the pier in the sultry heat I finally made it: The „Sol y Mar“ in Playa Zancudo feels like the last property in the village, but it all looks very inviting. I get a friendly welcome from the owners Rick and Lori, an American/Canadian couple, and sit down at the bar at ′mal Now I have earned a cool beer!

My „Cabina“ is simple but very spacious and equipped with everything the tourist needs (for example WLAN). A palm tree covered garden separates the cabins from the beach. I spend – besides long walks on the beach – a lot of time in the hammock, but often with the view upwards. Since now and then a coconut thunders past me …

Of course I also want to go swimming, but the waves right in front of the cabin are a little too high for my taste. Further to the right on the beach I find, as I believe, ideal conditions: The water looks as calm as in a swimming pool. I go in and in no time I am drifted very far towards the mouth of the river. With pain and misery I make it out of the water. When I tell this to Rick, he says, „Oh, man, there are the crocodiles!“ And he shouts out loud: „She was swimming with crocodiles!“ Now all people in „Sol y Mar“ know for sure that the Germans are a bit crazy…

Pura Vida

Apart from that everything is super relaxed – „Pura Vida“ (Enjoy Life), as the Ticos say. On New Year’s Day I go to yoga at eight o’clock in the morning, in the afternoon I go on a boat trip on the river, together with some birdwatchers. It’s amazing what you see when somebody points it out to you: Dark spots high up in the trees could be sloths, monkeys, iguanas. And the deafening roar, which I have not been able to interpret at all because there are no lions in Costa Rica, comes from howler monkeys… We also see a lot of parrots flying in towards evening, as well as pelicans and a capuchin monkey swinging from tree to tree. By the way, we have not seen any crocodiles. But Rick says: „You already swam with crocodiles!“ When he’s right, he’s right!

And if I’m ever in the area again, I’m sure I’ll stop by to see Rick and Lori – if they haven’t already sold their cabins by then.