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Tamarindo, Costa Rica

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Day One: Saturday

The drive from San Jose, C.R. (SJO) to Tamarindo is ~250km and Waze quoted 4 hours. The road was 99.9% two lanes and paved, but with various qualities.

Its not a long distance to cover, but slow vehicles plus misc. construction really slowed us down. The drivers here are pretty fearless. They pass on double solid lines going up a blind hill all the time. Motorcycles just drive down the middle line weaving in and out of cars, narrowly missing mirrors. Pedestrians walk on the shoulderless road, only 12-18” from vehicles at times.

Our Airbnb was a lovely loft with a pool on site and a shared kitchen below. The covered patio provided a breeze and a vantage point to see birds, iguanas and even monkeys passing through the trees.

Downtown Tamarindo is bustling with a mixture of tourist and locals, with everyone going in different directions. People cross streets without looking or warning and the roads are “almost” wide enough to accomodate one vehicle in each direction, plus the solid row of parked cars on the curb. The driver must keep one foot hovering over the brake at all times as you coast through at 5 mph. Then there is the smell of various appealing food and the occassional sewage.

After hitting the pool to cool off (only ~91F, but felt MUCH hotter), we walked into town to explore. We settled on a beach front table at El Be! where it was soon happy hour, then sunset. The band was great, the drinks & dinner were good and the sunset was beautiful.

Day Two: Easter Sunday

Didn’t go to church. Maybe first Easter not in church?

Explored the town more and tried new breakfast options. A “Tico” breakfast and weird avocado toast with stewed tomatoes on top.

Went to Playa Avellana. Met a nice man who said he would “watch” our car for $2,000 CRC ($3USD). Obvious racket, but he was super nice… did his best to tell us about surfing spots in very broken English. He had a small house on the beach there.

Enjoyed watching surfers and fishermen. Watched our second Costa Rican sunset. They really do have lovely sunsets!

Afterwards, back to Old Town Tamarindo for dinner. Great vegetarian platter on the beach.

Day Three: Monday

Light fruit breakfast (more on that later), then on to surfing lessons for Ronnie.

Kelley booked a massage that afternoon, but shortly afterwards, she started feeling kinda yucky. Very tired, had a mild temperature.

Yucky turned to pretty bad and by late evening her temp was 103.58F. I picked up a COVID test at the farmacia, but it was negative. We used cool towels to get her temp down, but her moderate temp persisted through the night. By morning, other symptoms appeared to us both; Montezuma’s Revenge!

We suspect the fruit from breakfast, but can’t be sure. Pro tip; only eat fruit you peel yourself, or stick to hot, cooked foods.

This is when we named the trip: Dueling Baños

For the next 5 days, we took turns in the bathroom, getting to know each other more intimately than we ever had before. It didn’t ruin the trip, but it definately put a damper on things, at least for several days. Ronnie didn’t fully recover until back in the US.

-> Next Stop: Manuel Antonio