Monday, we decided it was time for a road trip. We hopped in the car and headed south along the coast, toward Manuel Antonio.
It was a gorgeous day. The sky was the perfect shade of blue, with puffy wisps of cloud and a brightly shining sun overhead. While Thomas drove, I surfed the radio dial and made sure we were staying on course—we passed through fields and fields of palm trees, small towns, and expanses of coastline.
Almost 75 kilometers later, or about 47 miles, we had arrived. We were spending the day at the home of Costa Rica’s smallest, yet one of the most visited, national parks. We decided to forego the park for the beach and, after parking the car, grabbed some lunch at a restaurant and bar down the street. It was pretty good… I got a chicken sandwich and fries, while Thomas got a casado (typical Costa Rican fare). We enjoyed soda out of glass bottles and listened to the sounds of the beach from the upper level open dining area as we ate.
From lunch, we crossed the street and climbed down the embankment to the beach. I swear, it was like I had settled into a dream. White sandy beaches, turquoise waves, surfers and sunbathers galore. Together, we located a spot in the shade and set up camp.
Oh, it was wonderful. Even on a Monday, the beach was bustling with activity. We laid out, spent some time in the water (though the waves were pretty intense and more unpredictable than at Playa Jaco), did some reading—me—and took some photos—him. It felt like paradise, being there in Manuel Antonio. I wish we could have had more time there, and I hope next time we can visit both the beach and the park. (Right now, I can still hear the water crashing onto the shore, can feel the breeze on my skin.)
Eventually, we packed up and dusted off some of the sand we’d gathered. We stopped for some super refreshing smoothies, which were the perfect pick-me-up before getting back in the car for our drive back to Jaco. We turned on the radio and headed back through the mountains and palm trees, north along the Pacific.