In a rare early rising of the Iseman family, weíre all up before 7. Characteristic lack of packing ability, however, delays departure until 8. The hotelís smiling proprietor shares his secret route in broken English; supposedly weíll be at Playa Hermosa by 11:30.
Try more like 1:00. I think breakneck speed (yes, coming from me) on shit roads and inability to realistically describe distances combine to make ticos (slang for Costa Ricans thatís not offensive; think Aussies or Brits) grossly inaccurate at estimating travel times. We arrive at Playa Hermosa, the nearest beach, to quickly leave: apparently, a tiny town on a small beach without waves is 3 strikes in everybodyís book but mine. 2 hours later, we arrive at the universally agreeable Tamarindo, a larger town on a big beach with decently-sized waves.
The waterís by far the warmest Iíve ever swam in; combined with the transparency, Iím feeling like Iíve let a salty bath sit and shook the water around. Rainforest runs right to the water on both sides of the mile of beach, and itís definitely not just for decoration: a hike with Adam becomes gradually scarier with crabs, something hissing at my foot that was almost definitely a scorpion, and noises in the high grass that my mindís eye matches with some snake akin to an anaconda. Locals try to overcharge us for a dinner and then we pass out shortly after twilight, all content after too much traveling eventually paid off.