"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

January 31, 2019

Jan. 31 - Dominical, Costa Rica

“Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness.” – Ray Bradbury
We've really enjoyed our time in Dominical...maybe it's the house we have more than the town itself. We enjoyed sitting on the deck watching the birds, the sunset and I really enjoyed the pool. We've done a few strenuous activities, but mostly we've been unwinding and relaxing. Here are a few pictures of the town of Dominical and a few beach pictures. We haven't spent too much time on the beach, because it's just too dang hot! 

Regular readers of the blog know we love to walk on the beach and beach comb, but that's hard to do when it's in the 90º range every day, so we've spent our days in the cool waters of a waterfall or at the house relaxing.
Dominical is a very small beach town with one paved road...the other two or three roads are dirt. It's a very laid back friendly town.
The Baru River runs down the mountain and meets the ocean in Dominical...it's very pretty. 
My favorite part of town are the little booths that sell things along the beach road...it's like a little craft market every day.
We didn't eat out much this past week, because we loved cooking in our outdoor kitchen. Here are a few of the places we did make it to. The beer at Fuego Brewery was good, but the food wasn't anything special. We both had the Pineapple Ale.
La Parcela was on a point over looking the ocean just south of town...the setting was nice and the food was very good.
While we were enjoying our coffee this morning we felt the house shake...come to find out there was a small earthquake just off shore. The blue dot is us and the red dot was the quake.
I'm going to miss this view...anytime of day, it was amazing.

Jan. 30 - Pozo Azul Waterfall

“Traveling’s not something you’re good at. It’s something you do. Like Breathing.” – Gayle Foreman
After the last two, very busy days, we decided to relax at our house and take it easy all morning. By noon we were getting a little restless and decided to find a cool place to explore for the afternoon. The weather in this part of Costa Rica is very, very warm this time of year. I guess it always is, so going to the beach was out...it's just too hot to go there except in the morning.

Today's adventure took us to Pozo Azul Waterfall, just five minutes drive south of Dominical, in the little town of Dominicalito. Our first stop was for lunch at a local soda and then we were off to the local swimming hole. Parking was on the side of the road and it only took a few minutes to get to the pool. The name Pazo Azul means ' the blue hole', but it didn't look very blue today. The muddy water could be because it's the dry season or that there were already a lot of people there stirring the water up by the time we arrived. The local kids like to swim here and we had fun watching the kids swinging from the rope swing. It's definitely not as impressive as Nauyaca Waterfalls, but much easier to get to on a hot day.
Pozo Azul Waterfall...it's the dry season so it's not to impressive this time of year.
I climbed up to the top of the falls...this view is looking down to the pool.
Looking up the creek that feeds the waterfall
I just have to add a sunset picture everyday...they are so amazing.
We've been feeding the birds and have seen quite a few, but we've had other visitors too. We even spotted a few toucans, but not close enough for a picture.
This is a Jesus Christ lizard...they can run across water and can get very large. 
Can you spot the Agouti near the bottom of the picture? 
This is a white nosed coati...looks like a cross between a monkey and a raccoon. 
This dog came for a swim one night...our dog would have loved this pool too. 

Jan. 29 - Nauyaca Waterfalls

“Wanderlust: n. a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world
Today we drove up to Nauyaca Waterfalls, they're one of the main attractions of the southern region in Costa Rica. Again like many other places in the mountains above the coastal towns, the drive getting there is part of the adventure. Although most of the road is paved, it's very windy and cars were fly around each curve...several times I thought someone would hit us head on. The falls are located in a canyon and there are two main falls. The top falls have a drop of about 147' and the lower falls are a stepped falls that drop about 65'. The lower falls forms a natural deep pool that's a great place to cool off on a hot day.

The falls are beautiful, but this is definitely a tourist place. The ticket office was easy to find along the highway. You pay for your tickets to the falls ($8) and for parking ($3) there. You can park at the office for free or drive the 1.25 miles down to the base of the trail and park. I highly recommend spending the money to park by the river. The hike to the falls is 2.5 miles...both ways! It was very strenuous on such a hot afternoon, especially for flat landers like ourselves. We had to climb up the mountain from the parking lot and then down (a lot of stairs) to the waterfall, but once at the falls we were rewarded with the incredible falls and a wonderful place to swim and relax. It felt amazing to jump in and cool off. This is not a hike or waterfall for everyone to visit, if you're not in good shape...DO NOT go! We hiked over seven miles today...first a short walk on the beach this morning and then the hike to the waterfalls. We may need to sit and relax tomorrow...maybe. 

A view along the trail to the falls.
The trail was mainly on a road...a little rough and mainly up hill going to the falls
The stairs leading down to the lower pool
The lower falls
Some people climbed up the falls to jump in...I swam over to the falls and the water was coming down pretty hard.
Looking down to the lower pool from the upper falls
The upper falls
Our sunset for the day
A video of the falls

January 30, 2019

Jan. 28 - Rafting Adventure

“Travel doesn’t become adventure until you leave yourself behind” – Marty Rubin

Today's adventure took us on a rafting trip down the Sevegre River. It's considered the most pristine river in Costa Rica, because there are no factories, power plants or manufacturing sites to pollute the water and only about 1,000 people live on the banks. We met our tour at Dominical Surf Adventures in Dominical at 8:00...kind of early for people on vacation.

We had a small group...just four of us. They use small rafts that can usually hold 4-6 people, but since it's the dry season and the river is a little low, they took two rafts. It was just the two of us and our guide in our boat. Rob was a great guide, he's from Brazil and leads rafting trips in Costa Rica, the States and Brazil. He made our trip very enjoyable. 

As with any of our outings in Costa Rica, just getting to the destination was an adventure. Part of the road up to where we put in looked and felt like it was a river bed. They stopped the van several times to pick up things to tell us about...teak leaves that turn your fingers red when you rub them, cinnamon bark, seeds from the palm that they make palm oil from and a leaf that smells like anise. We also stopped at a local soda in Silencio where we placed our order for lunch and then continued up the mountain. After our rafting trip we came back and had a nice lunch overlooking one of the palm plantation. 
When we arrived at the river the guides gave us a safety lesson and told us what we needed to know for our trip down the river. Then we were off...the day was beautiful, the river looked amazing and we had an incredible time. Half way through our trip we stopped for a snack and had a chance to hike a short distance to a waterfall, where we swam as Rob prepared a beautiful snack for us.
Look at the color of the water...it was truly amazing.
We paddled up river here so we could surf backwards...it was very exciting.
Enjoying the waterfall
Stan even got a free massage...can you tell the water was a little cold?
Our amazing snack...laid out on one of the rafts. Rob prepared everything on sight while we played in the falls. 
Our other guide, Ronny, picked leaves for us to use as plates.