Written by Carolyn C. of Head Royce School
Day Eight: Sunday June 22nd
We awoke refreshed from a full night of sleep, and packed our daypacks for the day’s activities: beachgoing (twice!). First, we scarfed down our breakfast of eggs and tortillas and set off to a scuba gear rental shop, where we picked up flippers and snorkels. Next, we drove to the first beach, at the end of a short path through a forest. Soon, the bark and twigs beneath our feet mingled with sand, and we stepped onto the grey-ish sand and admired the blue water, which wasn’t choked with swimming tourists. The beach was completely to ourselves, except for a romantic couple and a few locals who sat in the shade of the trees.
We split into two groups to conduct research about the beach at the low tide and high tide marks by taking PVC pipe squares and taking note of any plant, animal, or other interesting thing that was in it, or happened to wander through it during the minutes we watched over the square.
The group I was with set out into the warm, salty, water first, and we held the square underwater and tried to make out anything inside the square, which was difficult as the water was murky with sand and no sea creatures or plants seemed to appear in the square. We tried another spot 10 meters away, but to no avail. Even though we spotted nothing, it was simply enough just to float in the water and enjoy the beautiful day and the surroundings.
We trudged back onto the shore in our flippers and peeled off our snorkels, and swapped places with the other group. We dried off on the sand as we watched our squares (more plants, but still no animals), and soon, we finished our survey and headed back to the van. On our way back through the trail, we spotted a few monkeys in the trees above us! Once we returned the snorkeling gear to the shop, we drove to our next stop: a national park, where we would walk to another beach to swim in. After we walked on a wide trail for a while, past multiple other tourists who had come to swim and take pictures of wildlife, we entered a narrower, sand-covered path and stepped onto a beach! The water was blue, warm, and tinged with salt. The water crashed into white foam behind us and rolled beneath us as we floated out further. We spent a few fun-filled hours practicing our body-surfing and just enjoying the chance to cool off and splash around.
Next, after we showered off the sand and saltwater and changed into dry clothes, we headed back to the van and to our lunch spot: a restaurant with an airplane inside, the wings spread wide over the tables. We took our seats in comfy chairs with a view of the seaside. Our lunch was delicious: not the traditional Costa Rican food we usually had, but my grilled fish sandwich and French fries were superb, and the fruit drinks were sweet and thirst-quenching.
Stuffed with our fill of swimming and food, we drove back to the motel, stopping for gas along the way. Once we arrived, we watched the end of the U.S. vs. Portugal game, then played word games and relaxed until dinner, which consisted of delectable rice, beans, shredded salad, and mashed potato. We ended our packed day with more swimming in the motel’s pool, and played more word games until we were weary and drifted off to sleep.