Friday, November 23, 2012

Costa Rica Part 2--Papagayo Gulf

This brings us to Day 5 of our epic vacation, waking up at the all-inclusive Occidental Allegro Papagayo Gulf.  I don't normally seek out this type of vacation, but we thought it would be nice to relax for a few days, too.  Well, the excitement started right after breakfast when we joined a group of kids feeding bananas to white-faced monkeys on the beach.  There were tons of them!  And just 2 days ago we were thrilled to see 2!  We had promised the kids some pool time so the adults sunned/read while the kids swam and then got some serious face painting.  On a tip from one of the waiters at breakfast we loaded up into the car and headed out to find the cataratas, or waterfall, de llano de Cortez. After about an hour drive and a small donation to a local girls school, we were stunned by the beauty of this place.  The water was cold at first, but we all (even Grandma!) swam under the falls.  It was breathtaking.  We made it back in time for amazing sunset views, frolicking on the beach, and the dance show.  Ok, so maybe this stop won't be all lounging by the pool!

Our view of the pool and Papagayo Gulf.

Trent feeding the monkeys.

Frank and Mom on the beach.

Me and the Captain!

Katreina and the  waterfall.  Amazing.

Grandma and Katreina are among the swimmers here!
Sampling fresh coconut water.
Checking out sunset at the resort.
My water babies.
Grandma and the entertainment staff.
Happy Thanksgiving!  Day 6 of the trip we decided to take a snorkeling/fishing/beach/caving tour through the Gulf and out into the Pacific.  The snorkeling was so-so, especially as we all got stung by some sort of nettle.  Trent rode my back and Katreina ended up crying.  Fun!  Soda fixed their moods and we were off the Pacific.  We saw tons of pelicans and frigate birds while we attempted to hand fish.  The crew then took us ashore for a delicious cookout, complete with a bonito they caught.  We played in the ocean, tortured hermit crabs, and explored some caves.  K and I almost got sucked through one!  On the way back we had some dolphins join the boat.  The big news of the day happened after we got back and the kids were playing at the pool, fighting over a ball when Katreina FINALLY lost her crazy loose tooth!  Colones or dollars?  That night we had lots to talk about as we enjoyed our Thanksgiving buffet feast!

Sailors on a powerboat. 
Frigate birds.
Hand fishing (that's the bait he's showing off).
Strutting their stuff on the beach.
Frank and his mom in one of the caves.
"All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth!"

We enjoyed our time at the beach, but we were anxious to arrive at a location before dark for once and we were all a little excited to get to Monteverde and the cloud forest so we left right after breakfast.  This was a nice stop, with the highlight definitely being the waterfall.

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