The first time we visited this country a little more than five years ago we sat on a beach gazing into the Golfo Dulce in awe and wonder, looking across the peaceful and huge gulf to the Osa Peninsula, which is one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet. It was a ‘moment’ of remembering, we knew this place – totally a deja vu, we fell in love with the Golfo then, and now five years later we actually came to visit it again, and to see the Osa.
The anticipation of getting to visit there has been building up, especially after all that we have heard about it and read about it, as well. A friend invited us to come and stay at his little finca for a few days, and if we like it perhaps we could live here and care take it for him while he takes some much earned travel time. The drive in was spectacular, some of the truly old country that still exists here with a way of life that is unique to a very unique place. We had some pretty spectacular peeks of the gulf on our way in as we found our way to a nice little casita to stay in for a few days on his beautiful little finca. We settled into the casita just in time for an intense thunderstorm and a downpour that lasted for an hour or so. Lightning hit right outside the casita and shook the earth, we could feel the heat – Mate and I both jumped when it hit! After the storm passed we headed over to our friends house for food and to talk story for the evening.
When it was time to go to bed I got the futon on the floor and the thought of all of the creepy crawlies that had taken up residence in the cabin since the last visitors was running through my being, and in fact there was a nice huge spider
that came out just before dark, and a toad had taken up residence inside, and I closed the blinds to keep as much out as I could and a lizard jumped off and onto me, and of course I yelled. I am no wuss, I consider myself tougher than most and I have camped outdoors throughout my life, sometimes extensively, but tonight I wasn’t a very happy camper…as I remembered the huge scorpion that had crawled onto my thigh the second night of living in this country, that house had not been lived in for three years and things like scorpions move right in. What had moved into this house other than what we had already seen? There are no screens, all the windows are open to the world, game for anything living in the tropics.
Well after shooing the toad outside a couple of times I was lying on my bed when Mate yelled – a really big bat, one that I had never seen before, flew in and bumped his shoulder and landed on the night table next to him…stuck like glue! It was about 4-5 inches across and flat and looked like a rubber bat, very unique. He wouldn’t budge so we took the table outside for the night. Back to the futon. So far sleep was going to be really elusive for me…I can hear the clucking of the geckos in the house, at least I know that they are feeding on the bugs!
Eeeeeeeeeeeee….eeeeeeeeeeee, the buzzing around my ear – shoo! Eeeeeeeee, hovering around my ear – shoo, darn it. Eeeeee…eeee…eeeee, inside my ear! Get out and let me sleep!
Well the bugs found me quite palatable most of the night, and Mate only found one small scorpion on the floor, and another toad, and a different bat flew through the house, and of course there was the fair share of cockroaches moving through the casita…what fun, I am so looking forward to another sleep tonight! LOL
This morning the symphony of the jungle was early and busy, I could hear the howlers and the birds outside – incredible! I could also hear a bunch of birds really screeching at each other in the trees beyond the river, I couldn’t see them, but I guessed that they were macaws, the great red ones that are so abundant here. A couple finally took flight but I was too slow and my camera aperture was set for inside the trees and not the sky so I missed them, but at least four flew over in all of their elegant mastery – wow! These birds are something.
After coffee we headed down the peninsula for the beach, a favorite beach of our friend. We passed through the quaint little villages along the way and we really slowed down when the pavement turned to a gravel road full of potholes. We were driving over a river and stopped as there was a very large caiman (at least six feet) that was on the little island in the middle of the river – and lo and behold there were seven little ones there beside her!
She slipped into the water and we watched for a while, our friend mentioned that he had not seen it (now clearly a ‘her’) for a few weeks, and now he understood why! This was her spot, she was almost always there, but she had been away on a nest and now had a brood of youngsters. Pretty cute, even if!
Moving along down the road through the dense jungle of the peninsula we came to a beautiful beach with awesome rolling waves, we parked and jumped right in without any hesitation! There was not another person in sight; this very long sandy beach was ours for as long as we wanted to stay. We thoroughly enjoyed the water, the gulf waters are so different than the coastal beaches, unbelievably clear and warm, the color an amazing sea green, the water was perfect for swimming – what a joy! We feasted on some ceviche that we had made the night before and got our fill of sand and salt, until the thunder once again started to roll. We had been watching the sky darken across the gulf, and the rain showers were evidently moving our way, so it was time to go.
Passing again through the largest town of the Osa we stopped to buy a few groceries and enjoyed the people watching in a ‘new’ place for us. What an awesome third world Latin American beach town! Fishing boats and taxi boats and a ferry boat moored and waiting to be of service. An unbelievable creation of what is supposed to be a house boat was for sale – unfinished – very obviously this idea was a bust, it would be rockin’ and rollin’ in the winds of any storm in the gulf! Oh well, a dream gone for some reason.
Back in the casita the day is starting to wane, the rains have settled in, and I just noticed a ground dove nesting just below the roof on the wall beam…what does this evening have in store for me? Well I am pretty tired from playing so hard at the beach, with little sleep last night, perhaps it won’t matter and I will just sleep well. Tomorrow we head back to what is still our home here in this country, but we take with us a wonderful, however very brief, memory of our first stay on the Osa. The good news is that we will return, we now know that we have a friend and a place to stay any time, and there is even the potential to help out this friend while he travels – we shall see how it unfolds. The Osa is a very magical and mystical place, carrying the very primordial energy of a part of the world still very much undisturbed (comparatively speaking!). The Golfo is incredible beyond words, the feel of it is enough to invite your soul to stay…and in fact, as it was the first time we visited here a piece of me was caught in the spirit of the place, unable to let go. The Osa beckons for our return, and we shall for an extended stay with some fishing – soon! We barely even got a chance to experience her, this will take more than a few days to get deep within and explore the mystical essence of a place of this magnitude, absolutely a must do. For now, we have one more night…