“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

TravelHaven Journal – Costa Rica Adventure 9

Pacific Sunset and El Avion

Mike, Kaley and I decided to go to the beach, even though it was about 4:00 and would be getting dark soon. Our plan was to take the bus (200 colones each) to the beach because it was about a mile away. Turns out the bus doesn’t really keep a set schedule. When we had asked what time the bus would be at the bus stop by our hotel, we were told that it leaves Quepos every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour. Well, we watched for the bus while we ate lunch to see what time it got to our stop. Oh, It stopped on the quarter hour .

Great! So we decided to get to the stop at 4:40—just in case it came a little early. But, while I’m waiting for Mike and Kaley, the bus goes by at 4:30. Ugh! So much for our plan. When they get to the lobby, determined to go to the beach but not wait another half hour for the bus, we decide to hoof it. After all, it was all downhill so it shouldn’t be too tough. Right?

It was one very long mile. We get to check out some restaurants along the way, but walking downhill isn’t as easy as it sounds—especially a fairly steep and gravelly downhill. We finally get to the beach—just in time for a beautiful sunset! That made our choice worthwhile.

Kaley and I get in the water, which was beautiful and pretty warm, while Mike stays on the beach to watch the backpacks. The bottom was sort of rocky (which probably explains why everyone else was a ways up the beach from us) but it was glorious! We had been waiting the whole trip to go swimming in the Pacific Ocean and it didn’t disappoint us.

I take a turn watching the backpacks and, after a bit, we decide we better go find the bus stop before it’s totally dark since we sure as **** weren’t going to walk up that steep hill!

Well, we found more bars and restaurants, a couple of shops, and, finally, after asking in our very limited Spanish, the bus stop. The bus arrives after about twenty minutes to take us home.

When we get back to the hotel, Mike and Kaley and I decide to go to the place across the street for a light bite and a drink. This is El Avion where you eat under the wings of a real Fairchild C-123 airplane that was involved in the Iran-Contra scandals of the 1980s. When this plane’s twin sister was shot down over Nicaragua, the CIA’s airlift of weapons and supplies to the Contra rebels came to an end. El Avion’s owner bought the abandoned Fairchild for $3,000. The aircraft was disassembled and shipped via ocean ferry from Caldera to Quepos – because it was 10 inches too wide for the antiquated Chiquita Banana railroad bridges. After hauling all seven aircraft sections up the Manuel Antonio hill, the C-123 finally found its current cliff-side resting place. And the food and drinks were great!

Then, it was back to our rooms for another good night of sleep to be ready for white water rafting the next morning.