Nov 22, 2007
Playa Grande y Tamarindo
This weekend my Marine Bio class had a field trip to Playa Grande on the Pacific Coast, about 15 minutes away from where I was last weekend in Tamarindo. It was a pretty crazy and eventful weekend, but quite unforgettable. We stayed at a hotel called Kike's which was small, but at least it had a pool and a bar. And apparently, there isn't very much to do in Playa Grande except surf, so that bar is the one hang out spot for locals. When we first arrived, the first thing I thought was, "great, all Gringos." But actually, after talking to some of them I realized that they WERE locals, and they had just moved there a year or 10 years previously after falling in love with the place.
So each of us had to choose one night to do "beach patrol," which really just meant turtle watching. Initially I was not excited at all because first of all, I was completely exhausted and they had told us that our chance of seeing one was really slim, and additionally, they said we had to wait for all of the tourists to go before us. So we didn't actually leave until 11:30pm. BUT, lucky us! The tour guides confirmed that a turtle had just crawled up into the sand! So we trekked along the beach for about 10 minutes in complete darkness, and then we had to wait awhile to make sure that she would for sure be staying there. The tide was really low, making the sand kinda dry and not an ideal condition for nesting, but lo and behold, she stayed! We walked up to her and she was HUGE! You don't even understand how excited I was. It was one of the most amazing occurrences I've ever witnessed, watching her dig out the hole with her hind flippers, and then lay her eggs! They didn't permit us to take pictures, but here is kinda what she looked like. Plus this is something I will never ever forget.
We walked over to the hatchery where they incubate the eggs and it turns out that this mama had about 60 yolked eggs. Amazing... I still can't believe I was able to witness that. Even though my legs were literally eaten alive by the sand fleas, it was totally worth it.
The next morning we had to do some beach cleanup, in the BLAZING sun. I almost thought I would pass out, but I didn't, luckily. And the beach was soo nice. After that we pretty much had the entire day free to sunbathe and body surf in the humongous waves.
Since we had gone the previous night to turtle watch, our teacher said we had the whole night free too! So we decided to go to Tamarindo, since that's where our other friends were staying. Here we are ready for the fiestas! Of course it would all be bio-related haha.
We went back to Babylon, where it was Lady's Night and where they were serving us free drinks! AND I finally met a cute boy who could dance well...
Ask me for details later if you'd like. :)
Pretty much the entire night was inebriated debauchery. I was completely enjoying myself until some of my friends decided to become emotional, stupid and super loco drunks. TOO much unnecessary drama! I won't go into details here. But I will say that the sleeping situation was pretty hilarious. Those of us from Playa Grande had to crash in our friends' hotel that night, so we ended up sleeping like 2 or 3 to a twin bed! Of course none of us got any decent sleep whatsoever.
The next morning we walked over to the estuary to meet the rest of our class and were suddenly bombed with the news that we had to walk through the mangrove forest! You see, this forest is not your ordinary forest. It consists of trees that grow only in mud and tiny roots that poke out of the ground...dangerous for our barefeet!
It was totally unexpected, but it's something I'd never done before so it was quite an adventure. We climbed trees, walked through mud at times up to our chests, and yes, all of this in my clothes from the night before.
I love this picture of my friend Tyler, holding up a dead snake. Totally survivorish.
Well, quite an adventuresome and eventful weekend I had. I had tons of fun, but I think I'm going to take a break from Tamarindo for a little while...