Day 2: Traveling to Drake Bay
A buffet style breakfast, including made to order eggs, was served in the Pura Vida restaurant at the Cristal Ballena. It sure looked good, but coffee was all I could manage to eat so early in the morning. I was anxious to get on the road as I still had new territory ahead of me and a boat to catch by 11 am in a town called Sierpe.
I arrived in Sierpe about one and a half hours later, after making a few stops along the way to enjoy the scenery. Everyone says that this stretch of road south of Dominical to Panama is the best in Costa Rica. I think I'll have to agree.
Having skipped breakfast at the Cristal Ballena, I was ready for a typical Costa Rica breakfast. And, I had some time to kill before the boat departed for Drake Bay. The Restaurant Las Vegas serves a reasonably priced breakfast and is along the Sierpe River.
Around 11:30 the boat was ready to leave with all its passengers (and luggage -- I think I packed too much). Off we went down the Sierpe River for about an hour, spotting a common pootoo (related to the owls), American crocodiles and several black vultures before reaching the river mouth where it empties into the Pacific Ocean.
We then traveled south for about 15 minutes before arriving on the shores of Drake Bay where staff from my lodge, Jinetes de Osa, was waiting to help carry my luggage to the lodge.
Nestled on the shore of Drake Bay, the Jinetes de Osa is a small lodge with 9 rooms including 4 presidential suites. The ocean is literally 20 ft from my doorstep, where the waves of the protected Bay gently crash with a soothing melancholy.
Upon arrival, fresh, tender and perfectly seasoned fish was served for lunch along with salad, patacones (fried green plantains) and rice. The afternoon was unplanned so I took some time to check out my new, temporary home and explore the area.
I explored part of a trail that meanders from the small town of Drake along the shore, passing right in front of Jinetes and by a few other lodges and crosses the Agujitas River via suspension bridge. I am told that this trail eventually goes all the way to Corcovado National Park, about a 6 hour hike from here. Rustic foot bridges and stepping stones assist in passing through the wet areas. Frogs chirp from the wet grasslands until they hear footsteps, then all falls quiet. I tried to stand completely still and wait for them to resume chirping in hopes of catching a glimpse of them, but no luck.
Friendly conversation passed the rest of the afternoon away until dinner as I sat and chatted with folks at the lodge's bar. Many of the guests have come to dive at Cano Island -- one of Costa Rica's best snorkeling and diving locations due to its plethora of fish and other marine life. They share their secrets as to how to not get sea sick and tell me of their day's adventures. Sounds like I have some great diving experiences ahead of me. I'm excited!