Costa RicaCosta Rica

Making the Best of a Rainy Day

Destination: Playa del Coco

A strange sound jarred me out of a deep sleep and, disoriented, I groped for my cell phone. The backlit clock read 3:02 a.m., and my sleepy brain struggled to understand what had woken me up. "COCKADOOOOODLEEEE-DIOOOOO!!!" came the horrific screech of an off-tune rooster -- his internal clock clearly broken. What ever happened to waiting until the sun came up?

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It was pouring outside, and the pitter-patter of rooftop rain helped dull the rooster cacophony from outside. Determined to salvage the last few morning moments, I dove under my pillow and shut my eyes. 

Over the next three hours, the rooster duels invaded my dreams, but I didn't fully awake again until the scent of a cheese and tomato quiche wafted into the bedroom. Leigh, the B&B host, served a delicious breakfast with toast, homemade mango jam, fruit salad, and a strong cup of coffee -- the ideal menu to gear up for a long day.

Unfortunately, cloudy skies and torrential downpours at 8:30 a.m. cut the day's planned activities short, and our canopy tour adventure was quickly canceled. With nothing to do, we settled down to read local magazines and bide our time, harboring hope that the skies would soon clear up.

Before lunch, we grabbed our umbrellas and walked to an oceanfront cafe, whose food unfortunately did not match its high prices. Cesar enjoyed the most expensive meal he had ever eaten, beef loin in a gentle miso sauce, and I ordered bread with a cheesy tomato sauce dip and a side of salad. Irritable from the poor service and exorbitant prices, we felt the restaurant's only redeeming quality seemed to be its view, which opened out onto beautiful beach and a tiny patch of blue sky.

Several beachfront minutes later, we headed back to our bed and breakfast. That evening, we planned to watch the sunset from Leigh's friend's house, which was nestled in Coco beach's surrounding hills. We bought a bottle of wine, hopped into Leigh's car, and wove up the mountain, climbing up to a scenic point known for its views.

We arrived at Bonnie's house where the view was, indeed, incredible. The home looked out over the bay and its adjacent mountains, their greenery studded by homes and continuing development. The scent of Italian food wafted through the house, and Bonnie met us with a smile as she led us into her home. Out on the porch, we watched twin rainbows paint the sky.

Climbing up to the third and highest floor, I was delighted to find a dome on the upper balcony, homage to my University of Virginia's famous architecture. Bonnie, a native Virginian, proudly showed us around her beautiful home, and we watched as the sun dipped down over the horizon. Clouds dotted the sky, obstructing our view, but the rains held off long enough to take some beautiful pictures of Playas del Coco from afar.

After the sunset, we dined on pasta in a thick Bolognese sauce, delicious Italian bread, and crunchy salad, chasing it down with hours of intriguing conversation. Finally tired, we headed back down the mountain, ready to end another day.

Making the Best of a Rainy Day in Pictures

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