Today we awoke, ate breakfast and packed up the Chery for our cross-country drive to the West coast. Over the mountains, around the volcanoes, through the jungles and across the dry desert like lowlands. The drive was absolutely beautiful! We could not believe how different the terrain was from hour to hour. Once we were closer to the West coast, we could tell the birds were even more unique. Chris saw a beautiful Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher with a very long tail siting on a fence. He tried to back up the Chery so I could take a picture but it flew away before I ever saw it. I spotted a Crested Caracara in a dead tree. This time I was luckier. We pulled over and I took some awesome pictures of him perching, then, taking off.
The closer we got to the West coast, the more familiar things seemed. Most of the signs were in English and yes, there were street signs too! We even passed a Walmart! I guess Costa Rican’s need “Rollback Deals” too. The air was warm and dry. It was a bit windy so the dust blew in the wind at times. It was definitely different then the mountains on the East Coast but a welcome change.
We finally arrived in at El Magroove, the relaxing part of our trip, in Playa Panama. This place was fabulous! It’s a small “boutique” hotel with only 70 rooms. The service is superb and the atmosphere is chic! Upon arrival, they greeted us with a cocktail. I felt like I was on Fantasy Island. LOL. In reality, this whole trip has been a dream come true so I kind of was… (Except not the island part.)
After we settled in our room, we took a walk around the beautiful grounds. The gulf was so calm and peaceful, it is hard to believe it is part of the Pacific Ocean. Everywhere you turn there was a quiet little place to sit and read, relax or meditate. (That is assuming the Howler Monkeys are not there. Then it is quite noisy.) You could lay in a hammock on your balcony, swing in the hanging chairs all around the resort, meditate next to the hot tub or sit poolside at the long affinity pool, in a private cabana, or at the beach. The comfiest lounge chairs were in the sand by the water. They also had loung chairs and tables in the grassy area below to the pool area. As we sat in those chairs to take it all in, an armadillo came out of the bushes and walked under everyones chair’s! I assume looking for some snacks. One lady screamed but I thought he was so cute. I never saw an armadillo in the “wild” before. Must be he prefers the resort life better than the actual wilderness. Locals walked the beach selling pottery, dressed and tours. They were very good about leaving you alone if you were not interested.
We checked out the 2 restaurants on the property. One was outside in the sand with a thatched roof and the other next to the lobby. The meals were all locally sourced so they were very fresh and tasty. We decided to eat a light dinner of shared appetizers. We ordered octopus ceviche & scallop tartare and of course I had a nice glass of wine! After a quick walk on the beach in the moonlight, we decided to go to bed early after that long 5 hour drive.
Oh, and finally a nice shower! The shower there was amazing!