Today is Monday March 23rd. We are in Costa Rica. We are at a Four Seasons Resort about a one hour drive from Liberia at Peninsula de Papagayo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. We left about 6:00 am Sunday and after a two hour layover in Houston flew on to Costa Rica arriving after dark. The time difference is one hour ahead of Seattle. On arrival our luggage was off quickly and clearing customs was quick. People from the resort were waiting and transferred our luggage to the hotel van. The drive was an hour and our driver, Alex, was a likable 28 year old who never stopped talking during the entire trip. It was pitch black out, with no stars moon as we drove along the two lane road, but that didn't deter Alex from giving us a verbal tour of what was out there in the black darkness.
As we drove along in the dark Alex would say: "You see on the right? Well, it's too dark, but there is a small lake there. And now on the right, if you could see, there are fields where the farmers raise grain, rice and other things." A short distance later, "You see these two bridges we are going over? These are important because they cross a river which is used for irrigation, fishing, swimming and all kinds of things. A year ago the water was over the top of the bridges and people had to leave." And a moment later: "Do you know what the people here usually eat for breakfast?" I say "No, Alex, what?" and Alex replies "Well, they have rice…" and then Alex began a detailed description of how to fix a typical Costa Rica breafast with all the ingredients, but in the middle, without warning, brought the car to a stop on the dark road. He turned on the interior light and turned towards us so he could demonstrate with his hands breaking five eggs and mixing it in. Apparently, Alex found it difficult to explain without hand gestures accompanying the explanation. A short distance later when he volunteered he enjoyed fishing, he needed to describe it in detail. When it came to baiting the hook, Alex again brought the van to a stop in the middle of the dark road, turned on the interior light and while talking also showed us with his hands how to get the small sardines, bait the hook and fish. There were several stops like that so we tried to minimize any questions in order to get to the hotel before day break. In fact, Any questions by us produced an encyclopedia of information. We learn Alex works a 12 hour shift from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am, lives 1.5 hours drive from the hotel and is married with three small children. He speaks English well, is sincere and very pleasant, so I am kind to him instead of shouting "Dios Mios! Silence please and just get us to the hotel!"
There were continuous descriptions of what couldn't be seen along the dark road. "You see those lights over there?" We peer into the night and see some porch lights, but no structure. "Well, that's a very nice private home." Then, "You see over there?" We look. A long distance from the road there we make out a small building with an open patio covered by a roof. Light bulbs hang from the ceiling and we can see some men are sitting on plastic chairs at tables. "That's a typical bar here" Alex informs us. This is actually the first time we can see what Alex describes as everything else we had to accept on blind faith. Soon we get near the resort and Alex pulls down a side road. "Do you see those lights?" We look and far below we see in the dark rows of lights, but nothing else. "That's the new marina. Right now there are only 144 boats, but when done it will have 400" Alex proudly advises us. "Yes, Alex," I say, "that's wonderful, but, we are really tired and would like to get to the hotel" So, he backs the van up to the main road and we start down a long hill to the resort below. We still cannot see anything beyond the reach of the headlights, but Alex is set on describing what is off in the dark. As we drive he tells us which holes on the golf course we are passing: "Over on the right is the 14th hole and here is the 13th. it has a pond so it's unlucky hole" and so on nonstop all the way to the hotel.
We arrive and I give Alex a generous tip for his family. There are young men waiting. They greet us by name, transfer our luggage to a cart and without any check in, drive us directly to our unit. We unpack. Have room service and go to bed.
This morning we see that we are high above a beach with a view of the ocean and surrounding land. It is 85 degrees and very pleasant. There are many bird sounds and green vegetation. We learned from Alex this is a very big property with several places to eat so we will explore today. I'll have a report about what we find out.