Costa Rica…Part 4…A New “Friend” In The Pool…Excursions Get Booked…Falafel Restaurant and A Sudden Scare.

It is now Monday morning. You know our routine (if you don’t please read the previous blogs). And this morning we add on a quick swim in the ocean. Melanie went further than I…I am always fearful of things in the water, and I mean things like crocodiles. We are not far down the beach from the estuary where they reside and occasionally they take to the ocean…very, very rare…but none the less I was watching for them. Silly I know…since the water has many surfers and swimmers in it already.

Ride the Waves at Playa Tamarindo

I wanted to add here a cool thing that I forgot to mention about the Tamarindo Diria. They have a live beach cam, that shows both ends of the beach and you can tune in to watch, in real time every day, to see folks you know, the scenery and the sunsets. My sons watched us on the beach several times and it was great fun for them. So if you go to Tamarindo, be sure to tell friends and family to tune into the beach cam and watch your antics…you can access it on the Diria website. Nice touch, Diria!

So after our swim, we got dressed for the day and headed to the lobby to look at the adventure tours booth. We decided that we would do a couple of tours, one per day, to get us active and out into other areas of Costa Rica. We chose three: one to a volcano, an estuary tour (yep, more crocodiles) and an animal sanctuary and coffee tour. They were booked for the following three days and so today we had a free day.

We walked around Tamarindo, checking out shops, surf shops, gelato shop (yes, we had some and in the future I will share a wonderful story from this shop), and found a whole new section on the main street that we had missed; the rotondo. It is a really nice little area right on the beach with beautiful shops and many unique items made in Costa Rica. Melanie also bought herself some really cool long sleeved surfing suits…perfect for preventing a sunburn on our adventures. After sauntering around for a couple of hours, we head back to our room and change to go swimming.

One of the Beautiful Shops in the Rotondo…All Hand Made Bathing Suits And They Are Gorgeous….Suspiro Esmeralda Bathing Suits…on facebook …have a peek.
Melanies’s New Surfing Swimwear….She’s Rockin It…Hang Ten Hija!

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, the Diria, which is located on both sides of the main street, has several swimming pools. As a guest you are allowed access to all of the amenities, so we decided to check out the other part of the Diria across the street from our ocean front accommodations.

The pools are beautiful, and really quiet at this point. Many people head to the beach during the day and hit the pools in late afternoon and evening. After deciding which pool we wanted to hang out at, we set our towels down and hopped in. Melanie had never seen nor been to a pool with a tiki bar in it, so being the great Mom I am, I took her over to experience ordering a drink while in a pool…Turns out she is a natural…lol.

We walk around the pool, exploring its little islands and the waterfall. As we near one outcrop of land, I say to Melanie “look there is an iguana”. Melanie looks and sees this big iguana, napping peacefully in the shade. It was so cute and we spend some time just watching him. Since our drinks had run out, we head back to the bar.

We swim for a bit and then decide to walk around the pool again. Melanie and I walk over to where we had seen the iguana, and he is gone. There is a man cutting the grass so obviously his peaceful nap was disturbed. So Melanie is looking for him and I walk a short distance away and am standing in the pool, next to another little island. I look up…and see…the iguana…wide awake and standing right at the edge of the land. Before I could even tell Mel to come over…the iguana…slides into the pool. He is about a foot away from me. He swims right beside me and heads towards shore on the other side…not where Mel is standing. I am in shock…I didn’t know that they swam, and I was afraid that he might touch me…freak out…and cut me with his sharp claws….yes I processed all of this in a split second. I yell to Melanie “Mel…the iguana is swimming in the pool….the iguana is swimming in the pool”. Yep, I am slightly hysterical at this point. Mel comes just in time as we watch him smoothly exit the pool…as a note the pool sides are slanted in some spots for easy entry and exit…apparently the iguana got that memo. He strolls along poolside as if nothing happened. I now need therapy. If you think I was thinking about crocodiles in the ocean…guess what…I now fear iguanas in swimming pools. Looks like the only water I will feel comfortable in will be my bathtub. UGH!

The island directly left of the tiki bar is where the iguana was and….hopped into the pool. I was standing right beside it…about 2 feet away…He swam straight across to where you see the lawn chairs in the foreground of this shot…the pool sides slope into the pool…so he literally swam over until his feet touched and walked out of the pool….ah…those memorable travel moments.

We exit the pool…quickly…and the pool area immediately. We decide to swim at the pool on the ocean side of the Diria. So we head across the street, get settled in, grab a beverage and jump into the pool. It is refreshing and relaxing…well its refreshing…I am on iguana alert…high alert. Finally I relax and enjoy the water. I am swimming away and talking to Melanie and then I see it…I look over towards the lobby area of the Diria and there strolling right out the bush…onto pool side…right where I am swimming…is…an…iguana. Ok, that is it…I make the decision right then and there…no more pools for me today. And so we head to our room to get changed and decide what we will do for the evening. Just so you know, I still get goosebumps over this traumatic event…even when typing this story for you.

We decide on a falafel restaurant for dinner…and it was a good decision. Even though this place is very popular and busy, we are seated quickly at a nice table beside the half wall, which is covered with beautiful shrubs (this is important). We place our order and the drinks are quickly served. There is a young man playing guitar…I think he just stood up and played…and he was really good. We are sitting there chatting and enjoying people watching…when out from the shrub…which is right beside me…something pokes its head out…I scream, which causes Melanie to scream…which causes everyone in the restaurant to look at us. Once we get focused, we see the scary creature is…a cat. It heard our screams and did a quick retreat back into the bushes. Everyone in the restaurant was laughing and eventually, frayed nerves calmed, we did too.

I have mentioned that the customer service in Costa Rica is fantastic and our waiter certainly was no exception. He brought our food and scurried away, leaving us to enjoy our meal. When he returned a few minutes later he asked us how we were enjoying our falafels and we said…”we didn’t get any yet”. He looked hurt…not by our words but by the fact that we had been let down and not served our full order. He didn’t apologize or say a word. He merely walked to the kitchen and got our falafels made and then brought them to us. And ps…they were delicious…the best we have ever had. What is interesting about this is that our waiter did not make a big issue out of the scenario…he simply and wholeheartedly fixed the mistake. Really, we couldn’t ask for anything more than that. The look on his face was enough for us to know that he was genuinely hurt that he had let us down. Wow…think how the world would change if we all behaved this way…caring enough to make even the small wrongs right. If you are in Tamarindo you must go to the Falafel House on the main street…you won’t be disappointed. Check them out on Facebook.

The Falafel Bar…You Must Stop In For A Delicious Meal And Great Service…ps….Notice The Fence And Shrubs Where El Gato Poked His Head Out And Scared Us.

We walk over to El Be for our nightcap and then head to the room. Tomorrow is an all day excursion to a volcano…and spoiler alert we do far more than check out a volcano.

Have you ever walked through the jungle alone…I did and you can read all about it in my next blog.

Live your Life….Jan

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