Sunday was exciting because I was able to go to the beach in Puntarenas with Ana Gonzalez, a teacher at Senora de Lourdes Escuela. She also brought her husband Carlos and daughter Maria Jose. The drive through the country side after leaving San Jose was picturesque with lush mountains, coffee and sugar farms throughout the hill sides. We had wonderful conversations in Spanish and English!
Puntarenas was beautiful for me but I was told it was not the most beautiful beach to visit. However, it was only an hour and 20 minutes away from Barva, Heredia a frequent place to swim for native Costa Rican’s. The sand was dark and a lot of drift wood washed ashore. We saw the Princess cruise ship docked on a long white dock. Many tourists got off to shop on the boardwalk. Vendors had some beautiful crafts and nice food for sale. To add to my mask collection of Central America, I bought one for only $6 which is a grumpy old man’s face made from a large bamboo tree.
Later we drove to a country club to change and swim at the beach. While driving in I saw a small iguana trying to get in as well! We walked along the shore before swimming and found interesting seeds with beautiful flowers coming out of them. Maria Jose, Ana and I swam for a long time. I did not want to get out of the very warm waters and relaxing waves. The mountains on the distant islands made this a beautiful paradise!
Afterwards we swam at the country club where I was the only gringa. I felt very connected culturally with Ana’s family at Puntarenas La Playa! Before we drove home, Ana and her husband treated me to a wonderful dinner at a restaurant, overlooking an inlet where people were swimming. Ana shared an interesting fact with me that there is a strong Chinese’s influence in Costa Rica. On our way back to Brava I photographed a large ship which read CHINA in large letters on the side of the ship.
I felt this was a wonderful way for Ana and her family to cross culturally share with me on the weekend!