Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tamarindo Day 4--Lola the Pig, Ceviche

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Our fourth day quickly became my favorite day on this trip. This time we decided to head south to the world-famous Playa Avellanas. I got to drive (yay! I much prefer driving as opposed to being a passenger when on dirt roads) so Gary could fiddle with the GPS which actually starting working! Not quite sure why, but we weren't going to complain. (See the Tamarindo Day 3 post for our fight with the GPS) Playa Avellanas is a beautiful beach and great for surfing; but, what it's really famous for is Lola's beach bar and Lola the pig! That's a picture of Lola below.

Photo by Luxury Living Magazine
Unfortunately Lola died of old age a year or so ago. She loved walking around, meeting people, and getting in the water! After Lola's death, the owners adopted a new pig called Lolita. We did not get the opportunity to see Lolita because she was sleeping; however, when she's awake, we hear she walks around meeting everyone and taking an occasional dip in the ocean--just like her predecessor!

Here's our view from the lounge chairs at Lola's:

Looking up from my chair, I thought the view was pretty spectacular, too:

And here's a look at Lola's:

It always amazes me how empty the beaches are. Playa Avellanas stretched on forever, and there was hardly anyone here.

I took a video of the full view of the beach and set it to some latin guitar music (I apologize in advance for my lack of video skills. Hopefully you'll still get a good idea of the beach):

While at the beach, I had a woman ask me where I got my swimsuit (made my day!), and we started chatting with her and her family. Come to find out they live in Santa Barbara which is where Gary works! It's a small world. They were staying for a few weeks with a friend that owned a house just a few miles south of the beach.

Another fun surprise was having this teeny tiny butterfly land on my finger. It was so delicate!

When I wasn't busy being used as a butterfly landing strip, I was dividing my time between relaxing on the lounge chair and going in the water. Again the waves were pretty big and the water was warm--a great combo! Gary spent most of his time reading a book.

If you're not familiar with Happier than a Billionaire, and if you're at all interested in Costa Rica, you need to get the book. It chronicles the story of an American couple who quit their jobs and move to Costa Rica for a better life. I'd describe the book as "comedically informational" because some of the situations they find themselves in are quite laughable, but there's also great information on how to handle the quirks of learning to live in Costa Rica.

I've had the book on my Kindle for quite a while, but Gary really wanted the paper version. While at our hotel in Tamarindo, one of the couples had just purchased the book at the local book store. Of course I alerted on that right away. They told us where to go, and we got one of the last copies there, which also happened to be signed by the author who lives just outside Tamarindo. I thought this made a great photo op!

Now for one last photo from Lola's. Thought I'd better throw this picture in just to prove I actually was there. This was after lunch as we were packing up to go do some more exploring. As you can see, I'm just thrilled Gary's taking my picture. haha

After leaving Lola's we headed a bit farther south to Playa Negra. Look at the beautiful walk down to the beach!

Again the beach was basically deserted, but you could immediately tell it was aptly named for the black rocks jutting out of the sand.

Eventually we decided it was time to head back to Tamarindo, and thanks to the now-working GPS we made it back safe and sound. We rounded out the day with a nice walk along Tamarindo beach, then ran into some of our fellow hotel guests who invited us to have dinner with them. Gary and I ordered some ceviche which is raw seafood marinated in lime or lemon juice and spices. The marinade actually "cooks" the seafood (no heat is used). It was delicious, and this is what was left over when we finished--not much!

So our last full day in Costa Rica was a wonderful day! Beautiful beaches, wonderful weather, and the making of new friends. We went back to the room to pack for our early, early departure the following morning. If only I had known what would happen tomorrow . . .

(to be continued!)


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