A good night sleep, well not really, we had to get up for an early morning flight to Drake Bay and after our introduction to the “dark” side of San Jose we were anxious to move on. We met our travel companions at breakfast, Steve and Barbara. They left home in Minnesota, below zero temperatures and feet of snow; the warm morning air was quite delightful and the blue sky a source of great pleasure.
San Jose morning traffic would rival anything we have at home compounded by bridge construction and it is slow going back to the airport. Sansa Airline is a small regional carrier and the four of us were the only passengers on the 12-seat plane for the 45-minute flight to Drake Bay. As the plane climbed we promptly found ourselves over the coastal mountain range that separates San Jose and the Pacific Ocean. Beautiful verdant slopes and deep valleys with a sprinkling of homes but very few roads and none of them paved.
The flight along the coast was beautiful and as we began our descent, looking through the windshield all we saw was jungle until finally, at tree top level, a short runway appeared surrounded by lush jungle vegetation.
It was a smooth landing; we jumped off and were met by a lovely young man, Andres who would transport us to the Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge. Let the adventure begin.
The four of us climbed into a well seasoned 4-wheel drive vehicle to travel a relatively short distance on a dirt road, fording a river we learned is impassable during the rainy season, crossing a log bridge barely wide enough for the vehicle only to arrive on the shore of Drake Bay where we transferred, from the beach, into a small open boat to cross the bay.
The Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge spreads out along the far side of the bay, small cabins tucked between the jungle and the shore. Hammocks line the shore and look most inviting. When we arrived we were ushered into the dining room where fresh fruit and juice awaited.
After a walk around the beautiful grounds and an idyllic setting we were enchanted, yes, two weeks here would be lovely, two years even better, warm breezes and the sound of the surf it wouldn’t take long to lapse into dreamland in one of those hammocks, a world away from winter.
By the time we had settled into our cabins it was lunchtime, rice and beans and a conch salad.
After lunch Andres escorted us to Cocolita Beach on a trail through the jungle. Our first discovery was what at first glance looked like a stick in the trail but Barbara saw it move. A false Fer de Lance, lucky for us because the real thing is one of the deadliest snakes in Costa Rica.
Onward, flowering plants line the trail and I’m in heaven. We descend to a dark sand beach surrounded by volcanic rock leading to the warm Pacific Ocean, yes warm. Cano Island can be seen in the distance, a destination for scuba and snorkeling.
We aren’t there long before Andre spots a couple of scarlet macaws high up the trees. We spot two, four, maybe more as the put on quite a show for us. This is only the beginning as we crane our necks watching the colorful birds with great delight, what a discovery and it is only day 2.