We are in the midst of the great “Costa Rican Windstorm of 2009.” Over the past two days the entire country has been battered with severe winds, especially in San Jose where the winds were recorded at over 85kmph! So to say the least, we have been stuck inside for the most part. The weather has also dramatically reduced the temperature of the water, making it less desirable to swim in. In addition, our power, or the entire town’s power I should say, has been on and off for 3 days straight. Two nights ago we had no power throughout the entire night and into the early morning. We awoke to our refrigerator creating a massive river to the door, luckily the power shortly kicked on after that and our perishables were saved.
However yesterday the wind subsided just enough to let us go out and explore by car for a few hours. Our good neighbors Darrell and Cathy took us for a drive up the coast and showed us the towns of Playa Flamingo, Playa Conchal, Brasalito and Sugar Beach. Each town had its own particular identity and beauty. Some of the houses we saw that sit on top of these beautiful cliffs were simply amazing. We finished up our day by enjoying a few cocktails with our neighbors at a really awesome bar called Outback Jacks. They had Christmas lights all over the bar and restaurant and provided a very fun ambience to watch the sunset to. Check out some of the pictures we posted from the trip.
This next story was the most exciting experience we’ve had since we arrived here in Playa Grande. But first let me give you a short background on the situation. Playa Grande is part of a national marine protected area. This is one of six beaches in the world where the endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle will come to lay their eggs. They come up at night during high tide to burry their eggs in the sand. The eggs incubate until they are ready to hatch and the baby sea turtles swim out to sea during the night for their first time. This is a critical part of their survival. Since the turtles are an endangered specie, Costa Rica takes their survival very very seriously. There is a local Marine Biology Center/Lab that monitors the turtles’ return and also recovers the laid eggs at night and puts them in a safe nesting area until they hatch. The marine center has volunteers from all over the world that help out with this process. The marine center patrols the beach at night to make sure no one disturbs the turtles laying process. Sooo with all that being said, on our daily morning walk yesterday, Rachelle encountered a newborn baby Leatherback Sea Turtle on the beach. The poor creature had been beaten up by the surf and wind, and did not have any energy left to make it out to sea. We did not get any pictures but the baby turtle was the size of the palm of a hand. We attempted to release it into the ocean out past the surf, but the little guy just didn’t look like it was going to make it. So, we picked him up and carried him to the Turtle Marine Biology Center/Lab where we left him with the local biologist, who graciously took the turtle under his care. It was one of the best experiences of the trip so far.
While stuck indoors we finally came up with a game-plan for the remainder of our Costa Rica trip. We will be leaving Playa Grande on Monday and head for the cloud forest in Monteverde, and the volcano in Arenal. This is where we will be doing the zip-line and canopy tours of the forest, it is supposed to be incredible. We will then head to the Caribbean Coast and stay in the town of Puerto Viejo for a couple of days. This is supposed to be a very laid back, reggae influenced town that welcomes beach bums…sounds perfect for us! We will then be crossing the border into Panama where we will visit Boca Del Toro, a very popular tourist destination. We are both excited to visit Boca Del Toro for its amazing beauty, crystal clear waters, and not to mention Carnival celebration! After that it is off to Belize. We will keep you all posted as our travels continue.