On the very first day and the very last day, we went to the beach. To be truthful, we practically the entire trip on the beach, walking around here and there just because we could, lathering on sunscreen and striding into the water and enjoying the sand.
We went to a few different beaches on Costa Rica’s western coast, actually, all of them breathtaking and lovely and better, so much better than I ever imagined they could be. After all, prior to this adventure, I had only ever been to Florida, and while Florida beaches are pretty, they didn’t, and don’t, hold a candle to the ones we explored in Costa Rica.
Anyway, the first day. Shortly after arriving and making ourselves comfortable in #2 at Hotel Tropical Garden, our lodgings for the week, we threw on our swimsuits and practically ran to the beach. It was almost the beginning of sunset and we swam out, close enough that we could still touch, but far enough that our fellow beachgoers on the shore were hard to discern.
The water was warm, heated by a tropical sun close to the equator, and we rode the rolling of waves, one after another, steady and sure. Together, there in the Pacific Ocean, we watched the sun dip lower into the sky, finally sinking behind the peninsula way off in the distance. In a brilliant show of color and light, Playa Jaco was ensconced in brightness and mist, with dark sands and puffy white and pink and orange clouds.
Our last night in town involved a trip to the beach, too. We decided to check out a few lookout points along the coast; we’d passed them while traveling the main road out of Jaco earlier in the week. We had beautiful views of two beaches: Playa Jaco, our beach, to the north, and Playa Hermosa to the south. To say the least, it was a spectacular little adventure. I stood there and took in the sights of the shore we’d spent almost an entire week frolicking about, the sand and the waves and the mist, the landmarks that were now familiar to me.
On this evening, though, we chose to continue on and watch the sunset from Hermosa. Immediately, I knew it was the right decision. Hermosa is a long, sprawling beach that appears to go on for miles, with black volcanic sand, a steep shoreline, and a seriously strong surf. We walked quietly, taking it all in, immersing ourselves in the slowly fading brightness of the day.
The sunset was… gorgeous, in a word (though I could use so many to describe it). It was the most perfect, glittering sunset I have ever seen. Standing there, feet in the sand, the ocean breeze blowing my hair all over the place, I felt an immense, indescribable sense of oneness—with the beach, my surroundings, my past, present, and future…wherever it may lead us. It was truly an experience unlike any other.
Someday, we’ll come back to these beaches… I hope it is sooner rather than later. I will dream of them until then.