Santa Teresa

Mantas and jungle life
Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica


I was up early. 5am of course.

W drove down to Mal Pais – about 30 minutes away, along the coastline. Then when back in the main part of Santa Teresa, I went to the beach for a bit. I’ve not been to this particular beach before. It was so busy. Pro surfers. Surf lessons. People lounging. Dogs running around. Busy.

For lunch I was so excited to be going back to Olam. This is my favourite cafe and I have been looking forward to coming back here. We ordered a Mexican burger and a vegetable curry to share. And I got my favourite smoothie – strawberry, pineapple, banana and coconut. The food was good. But not as amazing as I remember. And I did end up feeling a bit sick afterwards. Perhaps from all the mix of food.

But I wasn’t feeling great. After hanging around, and cake planning, we went to a few shops to buy cake ingredients. Surprisingly difficult and required a trip to several different shops.

We had a bit of free time in the afternoon. So I made some cinnamon rolls. As you do. Because we spotted some in the airport yesterday. And we really wanted some. They turned out so well!

Then we headed down to the beach to watch the sunset.

We were the only ones there. It was so pretty. We sat on a large piece of drift wood, watching the shiny sand and the pink sky.

For dinner we made a transitional yucatan vegetable stew. Pumpkin, corn, plantainand carrot. It was so delicious.

 

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Of course I was up at 5am again. Like what is wrong with me. We left just after 7am, along the beach road and had a raccoon running in front of us. I think this is the first raccoon I’ve even seen!

I’m going diving today!

After gathering equipment, we set off down to the beach where the boat is launched from. There were quite a few of us on the boat today.

An instructor taking 2 guests fun diving. Plus me and another guy (who I know from Malaysia) going off by ourselves.

It wasn’t as wavy as I remember it being. Much calmer. But the visibility wasn’t any better. And there was so much surge.

There was a manta right as we dropped in, so briefly.

The rest of the dive we saw a white tip, some nudibranch, large schools of fish – Panamanian spade fish, which are so cool. Nothing particularly new. On the surface we saw mantas again – some jumping. And others swimming near the surface by the boat.

They have been seeing the giant oceanic manta frequently here for the past couple of weeks. I’m pleased they are still around!

The second dive was near to the first, again a manta very briefly, right next to me. But not much else.

We were back on land about 2pm. I was so hungry by the time we got back to the dive centre at 3pm.

And the smoothie shop next door was finally open! It was shut the whole time I was here last time. I had a mango smoothie bowl, it was so good.

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I hadn’t realised we were staying down in town for dinner. I was a bit unprepared and only had a sarong. Which I turned into a dress.

But we still had a few hours to go before that. So went down to the beach for the sunset. It was so orange. Reflecting off the wet sand. This area of the beach is so busy, full of people.

For dinner we went to a pizza place. I’ve not been here before. They happily made a vegan one. And it was huge.

But I was so hungry and it was so good.

Straight to bed when we got home.

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Wednesday 5 April 2017

Another early morning for me at 5am!

When will I get used to this time difference.

And then we left around 7.30am. More diving for me again today.

This time, just one guest. We saw mantas on the surface before we even went down. And whilst descending, two swam past. The visibility again wasn’t great. But on one of the rocks, was a manta circling. Then a large stringray came swimming past. More manta. More stingray. It continued like that. The manta was with us for the whole dive. Not always visible (due to the terrible visibility), but always there. Again, the large schools of snapper and pananamic spade fish (I love them) and we were surrounded by hundreds whilst doing the safely stop. During the surface interval, jumping mantas.

Second dive at a nearby site, more mantas. It was ridiculous. So good.

One of the best days of diving ever.

And a smoothie bowl for lunch again. This time acai. So good.

After a bit of hanging around, we made it back. Didn’t do much else in the afternoon. I was so tired.

 

Thursday 6 April 2017

I was undecided about going diving today. But I went anyway.

It wasn’t as good as previous days. And only saw the mantas very briefly for a few seconds.

For lunch we went to a new place which wasn’t open last time I was here. Cafe Social. It looked like something right out of Bali. Cute chairs and wooden tables. And a very modern desk /coffee making area, full of glass jars.

When we got back it was cake making time. Ready for the party tomorrow. We had to make 2 cakes. And it took all evening. We made vegan chocolate cakes. With a chocolate avocado ganache filling (which was so delicious). And a water icing top. They smelt good, so hopefully they taste ok too.

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Friday 7 April 2017

Today was Marina’s third birthday. And no diving. I lazed around for a few hours. Then it was party prep. I squeezed so many lemons, I lost count.

At 12pm, we were at the school. It was chaos. A class of 30 3 year olds.

They all liked the cake though – and it did taste pretty good. From here, we headed to the beach to set up the birthday party. I don’t know how, but I’ve not been to this beach before – playa hermosa. And it was really pretty. The usual jungle falling onto the beach, surrounded by jungle steam.

We put up flags, had tables and chairs, a piñata, lemonade, sandwiches, fruit and guacamole with crisps. It looked really cute. And loads of people turned up. The sunset was great.

My final night in the jungle.

 

Saturday 8 April

I slept until 6am, this is so silly.

Today is the first day that we’re not out and trying to leave at 7am. It was so nice to laze around a bit. I

m so tired, I’ve been on the go since landing and really just needed some time to do nothing.

I made pancakes for a late breakfast and then we headed off to town at 11am. Such a lovely sunny day.

Along the beach, the pelicans were gathered around the fishermen. We stopped off at the dive centre for a while.

A chance to get a last smoothie from the shop next door. I got mango and passionfruit banana ice cream. So good.

A few hours of sitting around doing nothing, then we went out for a final lunch. The place we were going to go to was closed. So ended up at the Bakery. Every time I’ve eaten here the food has been great.

I shared two plates with Cindy – avocado tacos and a Mexican salad. With a beet and ginger juice. So good.

Then the final drive back to Tambor airport. So sad to be leaving. I love it here. My flight was supposed to be at 5pm. But when has a flight here ever been on time. Whilst we waited, 4 private jets landed. Craziness.

We finally had a plane and set off just before 6pm. The sunset was blood red. So cool.

I’m staying near the airport, and there was a free shuttle to the hotel. It wasn’t far, barely a 5 minute drive. And a Walmart next door. I’ve never been to a Walmart.

It was huge. Selling literally everything – garden things, furniture, kitchen stuff, clothes. And food. A lot of the food was American, which was disappointing. But I did manage to find the Costa Rican bits and pieces that I wanted. Plus some bananas, mangos and watermelon for the next couple of days. After some watermelon for dinner, I had an early night.

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