The first time I ventured out past Puerto Jimenez proper I went out to Playa Preciosa. It really isn't all that far to go out to Playa Preciosa, you simply head out of town on the road that goes to the left of the airport runway instead of the road to the right of the airport. However, when you are new in town and you still don't have your bearings outside of the main road through town, anywhere seems like a long way from here.
On a beautiful Sunday morning, I decided to practice some of my Costa Rican Zen and take a ride out of town. I took my camera and a bottle of water along with my towel and left with the intent that my morning ride was as much about the journey as the destination. On a one speed bike down a dirt road in varying degrees of smooth (not), I headed out of town in the most leisurely fashion that I could while remaining upright.
As I write this, I am reminded that one should not head out for a bike ride when the sun is high in the sky, and you don't know what will be waiting for you at the other end without at least one large bottle of water and a good layer of sunscreen. My bottle of water was small, and I forgot the sunscreen…
Back to my ride. The road out of town was quiet and beautiful. You pass through a mangrove forest that is remarkably similar to the live forest in the Wizard of Oz. There is something quite eerie about the mangrove trees. I passed them and continued in relative shade past some local houses. A woman was sitting outside of her house with her guitar playing a beautiful song. I stopped and asked if I could take her picture and with a smile on my face and a song whispering through the breeze, I made my way down the road. I stopped to watch the egrets flying in the fields. I watched the leaf cutter ants as they marched their way across the road. Then I was hot. That little bottle of water disappeared rapidly but I didn't care. While I was reminding myself it was part of the journey, I found that suddenly I was there. Straight ahead of me the road dead ended into the beautiful turquoise water of the Golfo Dulce. The palms were blowing, the sand was beautiful, the waves were breaking. I parked my bike and headed down to the beach.
I nursed what was left of my warm bottle of water as I walked down the beach. I didn't know it that day, but The Pearl of the Osa is just down the beach and there you can get ice cold drinks and get into the shade. Warm water aside, I enjoyed my walk on the beach. I watched a pair of dogs playing tag in the waves as they made their way to the shore and the birds as they soared and dipped into the water. Then I got back on my bike and made my way back down the road to Puerto Jimenez. The way back always seems so much shorter, and I got back to town at noon. I was not just hot, I was HOT (remember larger bottles of water and sunscreen) but, I had found the “beautiful beach”.
Just another day in paradise here on the OSA!