Costa RicaCosta Rica

Samara Day 1

Destination: Samara

As I sit typing away in my tent 5 days before Christmas on a perfectly sunny, calm, serene day at the beach in Samara, Costa Rica, I am reminded of all the reasons I moved here. The fact that I am at the beach in December and not bundled up in a winter parka is reason enough. It brings me such peace of mind to know that at any moment I wish, a tropical beach is just a few hours away from my home.

Though Playa Samara is a good distance (5 hrs on a good day, it took us 8 hours because of broken down vehicles and accidents) from San Jose, it is "vale la pena" or "worth the pain" of the drive to be here. The road to Samara is pretty good most of the way, but there are some large potholes during the last 10km of the drive before you arrive in town. (We're talking pot holes big enough to swallow a VW beetle!)

There are other beaches only 2 hours or so from San Jose, but Samara is one of my favorites. It is yet to be over crowded, the beach is beautiful and tranquil, and the currents are usually safe and swimmable (is that a word?).

We are staying at a cozy campground, Camping Cocos, located at the east end of Playa Samara. We have beach front camping for around 1500 colones per person, per night. After the long day's drive, we set up our tents under the high shade of the coconut palms. It looks like our tents will stay shaded during the heat of the days ahead.

There are a few other campers here, but everyone is quiet and keeps to themselves. There are cold water showers and flushable, clean toilets and there is even a simple lamp, provided in the form of a single light bulb at each camp site. There are a few old plastic chairs, some with only 3 legs, an old wooden table and an old grill grate, perfect for cooking over a campfire. There is enough here to scavenge for a makeshift kitchen.

Evening approaches quickly. I always really look forward to the sunset. It's my favorite time of day. I love to watch the sun as it appears to kiss the ocean surface and sink below the horizon, casting fading hues of orange, yellow and red, Ahhhh.

But in Samara, because the beach actually faces south, the sun sets over an outcropping of land that juts out into the ocean. It's still pretty, but not the same. Not that I'm complaining. I sit in the cooling sand until its almost dark. I am so happy to be at the beach.

Macaroni and cheese will have to suffice for dinner tonight. I'm too tired to cook anything more elaborate. It feels nice to crawl into the tent. Since its only the first night, its not too sandy inside yet.

Samara Day 1 in Pictures