Tag: Jungle

Playa Dominical, Costa Rica

Playa Dominical, Costa Rica

Our last stop in Costa Rica.

Beach Score: 6 out of 10

Not the most scenic beach. Though it’s probably because it looks like many of the other surf beaches we visited — namely Playa Grande, Playa Guiones, and Playa Santa Teresa — and thus its score suffers from redundancy. The sand isn’t whiter. The views aren’t prettier. It did, however, seem to have some good waves. If that’s your thing (as it was with my father-in-law, who caught several).

Craft Brew Score: 7 out of 10

We ate comida and imbibed cervezas one night at El Fuego Brew Co. The design of this place is awesome. Completely open floor plan overlooking the jungle and with filtered views of the sea. Modern yet tropically rustic. A rainstorm plummeted the brewery while we ate, drank, and were merry, firing smells and slights and sounds down from El Fuego’s metal roof and making the merry that much merrier.

The beer was tasty albeit flat. As has most of the craft beer we’ve tried thus far in Central and South America. Perhaps it’s just a Northern hemisphere thing. Northern hemisphere temperament. US and European beers have a more carbonated kick. And proper carbonation — and temperature, on the frontier of freezing — seems necessary in tropical climates. Drinking flat, warm beer near the equator is the equivalent of drinking a slushy near the Poles.

Whale Tour Score: 8 out of 10

Spent one day spotting humpbacks in the waters outside of the Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. While we didn’t see as many whales as when we visited Bahia De Magdalena in Mexico, it was a fun and scenic (where the picture above was taken) tour nonetheless. See video of a mom and her calf below.

Cafe Score: 9 out of 10

Unfortunately we discovered this place after we dropped Andrea’s dad and sister off at the airport. Cafe Mono Congo. Perched just up the mouth — would that make it down the throat? — of the Rio Baru and Pacific Ocean. The coffee and tea, brewed through a traditional chorreador, a wood stand holding a cloth bag, was exceptional. The breakfast burritos were the best we had in Central America. The service impecable. The vistas incredible. We saw Fiery-billed Aracaris, Cherrie’s Tanagers, Bluegray Tanagers, and Yellow-Throated Toucans in our short visit.

Bird Score: 10 out of 10

These Yellow-Throated Toucans were having a good time in this mango tree. Managed to catch one catching a piece of mango.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

This may be the most visited area in Costa Rica. Tried to find a stat to prove that, but failed. Sure felt like it, however.

Leaky Hose

During the epic rainstorm and on the disastrous road to Playa Santa Teresa, the van flexed enough to cause a pin on a steering rod to slice our radiator hose. Because of the rain, and inertia at the AirBnB we rented, we didn’t notice the leak for several days.

It wasn’t until we attempted to visit Playa Mal Pais one afternoon that I heard what sounded like a fountain firework beneath the car. At first, I thought it was our transfer case, which made me panic. Then my more mechanically-inclined father-in-law informed me it was the hose. And thanks to good ol’ duct tape and stinky man sweat, we were able to temporarily repair the hose to get us to the nearest town with a radiator mechanic.

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

The world’s first national park. And one of it’s most beautiful. While it’s a miniature park, especially compared to ones in the US, its massive in biodiversity. Over a hundred species of mammals and nearly two hundred species of birds exist in less than three square miles. We saw a few brown-throated three-toed sloths just, you guessed it, hanging out. I hummed Everett’s sloth song (heard here) nearly the entire hike.

Beach Score: 8.5 out 10

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio has four beaches within the park. The locals, and seemingly the park rangers, refer to the beaches as Playa 1, 2, 3, and 4. Wikipedia calls them Manuel Antonio, Espadilla Sur, Teloro, and Playita.

Playa Manuel Antonio, the most scenic and visited beach in the park, is throned Costa Rica’s best. It deserves its accolades. And crowds. It’s the most scenic beach we’ve seen in Central America. Picture postcard perfect. A cozy cove on a jungle peninsula, replete with silken, cream-colored sand.

This beach could easily be a 9, even a 9.5, if not for the fact that you have to pay ($15 USD for foreigners) to access it and then fight the crowds. (I’m reserving a 10 score for something that challenges my favorite beach, Maho Bay on St. John.)

Espalda Beach Score: 8.5 out of 10

We also spent two afternoons on the public beach just outside of el Parque, Playa Espadilla.

This beach has all the looks — gorgeous bay, whitish sand, lush rainforest, a few picturesque islands in the distance — for all the folks — surfers, loungers, partiers, and adventures. Andrea and her sister parasailed. Andrea’s dad surfed. The kids boogie-boarded. I lounged while testing the fortitude of my gut on beach vendor ceviche.

If this beach had Playa Manual Antonio’s visual quaintness — it’s much longer and wider — I’d rate it higher. Of course, if it was quaint, the crowds would be condensed and then much of its appeal would be lost, but let’s not bother with facts.

Playa Guiones, Costa Rica

Playa Guiones, Costa Rica

We drove through five or six streams and one river to get here. One of the more adventurous roads we’ve taken. Of course, we could’ve taken a slightly longer route on a paved road…. But, well, we didn’t. Andrea and I broke up and got back together twice in route.

Beach Score: 7 out of 10

Much like Playa Grande, this is a surf beach. Big waves. Riptides. Strong currents. I was tackled by a couple waves. Nearly lost my shorts on one. We couldn’t let the kids swim past their knees.

The beach is, however, sightly. Like Playa Grande, most (if not all) the structures are a block or so off the beach. Thus, when relaxing, molding into that honey sand, you’re not distracted by commerce. You and surfers have the waves and views to yourself.

La Negra Surf Hotel

Every hotel in Guiones was a surf hotel. Seemingly. What separates a surf from a regular hotel? A bunch of surf boards in a cage. And a bunch of bros (and whatever the female word is for ‘bros’) talking about things that don’t make sense to us non-surfers. Seemingly.

La Negra was nice enough to let us camp in their parking lot (mostly because Andrea’s dad rented a room). La Negra’s design is simple and beautiful. Beautiful in its simplicity. Reminds one that you don’t need much — space, decor, amenities — to experience amazing locales. Just a roof. And preferably AC and wifi.

Golden Shower

Andrea’s dad bought and brought for us a superzoom camera, mainly to assuage my burgeoning birdie addiction. I was snapping some Rufous-napes Wrens with said camera when I felt rain. I glanced up at the cloudless sky. Then saw a howler money.

E Surf

Everett went to bed one night as motivated as I’ve ever seen him. Said he wanted to wake at the butt-crack of dawn (didn’t use that exact phrasing) to go surfing. I told him I’d take him, figuring his enthusiasm would wane by the morning. I was wrong. As soon as the sun rose, we hit the beach. Everett spent an hour practicing, without help or instruction (not that I’m capable of giving either). Caught a few waves. Then exited and told me he’s going to need a better surfboard.

Playa Grande, Costa Rica

Playa Grande, Costa Rica

We spent the last four weeks touring surf beaches with Andrea’s pop (excellent surfer) and sister (occasional surfer). We, The Lingles, aren’t surfers — though Everett is learning! — so we can’t comment much on the surf, but we can on the beach.

No Beer for You!

I’ve commented, ad nauseam, about the piss-quality beer in Central America. Hence when I saw the Delirium signs — one of my favorite Belgian breweries — outside the restaurant next to our hotel, I was excited. Darn near dumfounded.

I marched inside, flashing clumps of colones (Costa Rica’s currency). A scraggy, sweaty hombre sat behind the bar and a laptop. A joint sizzled from an ashtray next to him. Two kids played iPads on a nearby couch. I immediately asked, in Spanish, if I could procure the sweet sweet nectar. May have even claimed it was necessary for medical reasons. I was told, with the tone of a methed-up prostitute, that they don’t sell that beer. Then I asked him why they had the beer signs. Then I was showed the exit.

Beach Score: 7 out of 10

Can a beach be too big? Yes. In my opinion. I prefer bays. Coves. Bights even. More intimate beaches. Where I can see land — preferably verdant land — in my periphery.

Playa Grande is, well, grand. But not too big. Hills are just visible, on a clear day, on either end of the beach. The length lacks intimacy. However, since a strip of protected rainforest (to protect leatherback turtle procreation) gallops between the beach and civilization, the width feels intimate. You don’t see hotels, restaurants, houses, any permanent structures really. Just a few surf shacks, miles of mangroves and palms, and a smattering of sun-dyed surfers.

Dems Da Breaks

The beach drops precipitously a few meters into the ocean. Great for surfers — there’s a break, seemingly, for every skill of surfer — not so much for swimmers. But the golden, pillowy sand is excellent for relaxing and spectating. Andrea’s dad caught a few epic waves here.

(Photos courtesy of Isabella Ossiander, Andrea’s sister)

Playa Conchal, Costa Rica

Playa Conchal, Costa Rica

She sells seashells by the seashore, she sells seashells by the seashore, she sells….

She can find her supply here.

Jungle River

Before heading to Playa Conchal, the Lingles — my family, my parents, and my brother’s family — went on a two-hour boat tour on the Tempisque River in Palo Verde National Park. It was awesome. Like floating through The Jungle Book. We saw howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, scarlet macaws, dozens of crocodiles, and more. Our guides were friendly and informative. And they even let our kids drive the boat!

Shells, Shells, and More Shells

An entire beach of pea-sized shells. From the jungle to the sea.

We’ve seen one other beach like this in Costa Rica, in Cahuita National Park on the Caribbean side. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. Just that it was, evidentially, a mass graveyard for mollusks. At Conchal, I pontificated mucho about it. Like why have so many mollusks been murdered near this beach? How many hermit crabs are around here scouting new homes? And why, just one beach over, are there no shells?

I ruminated on that last question the most. Mes dumb head thing couldn’t understand why, seemingly, no mollusks were squirming around the outcrop and depositing their shells on the neighboring Playa Brasilito, a wide, tan, and all-sand beach a mere hundred feet away.

I determined, the only logical explanation, really, is that Playa Conchal is in a mollusk vortex, where all Central America molluks’ spent shells drift to while being crushed and polished by the waves. That, or some dastardly tunas committed mollusk genocide several centuries ago.

Beach Score: 8.5 out of 10

The shells are, mostly, white. This white shines turquoise in the water. From a distance, from the hilltop one must ascend between Playas Brasilito and Conchal — unless you’re paying beaucoup bucks to stay at the all-inclusive Westin — the beach looks like sand and as picturesque, as idyllic as any screensaver shot you’ve ever seen.

And while the shells do have a massaging quality to them, like walking in those old-school Adidas slippers with all the black rubbery nubs, I wouldn’t classify the beach as comfortable. You’d want a chair or a towel if you are going to spend an entire day here. The shells also seem to be magnets for nether regions. I think Everett (see photo below) is still finding shells in various orifices.

Regardless, especially with a good pair of Chacos, this beach is increíble. The waves are slight. Lake-ish. But what makes them unique is not their stature but their sound. As they shuffle the shells, they whistle. It’s more melodic than sand. More soothing than sand.

There’s also excellent sights above and below the ocean. Rocks peek from the bay like wack-a-moles, just waiting to get slammed by errant waves. Jungle juts from surrounding cliffs. Islands pepper the horizon. And below the rocks, cliffs, and islands, sea life flourishes. Butterflyfish, pufferfish, starfish, and all kinds of other fish zigzag in and out and around the rock formations, as if they’re the ones creating the vortex for the mollusks — or eating them.

A must visit on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica

Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica

The road to the beach tells you much about the beach itself. Rough and potholed: probably an underdeveloped, lonesome beach. Smooth and paved: developed and crowded. Thus as our van purred closer the beach on perfect asphalt while high-end condos, villas, and resorts peekabooed through the jungle canopy, I figured we’d pay for it. Parking, food, drinks, our general comfort level, whatever. But I was wrong.

Theft

Theft is rampant, nearly omnipresent in Costa Rica. Everyone has warned us about it at every stop. Our paranoia has become palatable. We’ve also secondhand experienced it: our former traveling buddy Steve had cash and clothing stolen, a German couple we camped near on the Caribbean had their electronics and passports stolen, and we met a Swiss couple that had everything except their passports (thankfully!) stolen.

Thus, as we’ve learned and been instructed, you either need to pay for parking or park right on the beach (and keep vigilant eyes on your stuff). Some folks take everything out of the car and just leave the car open, to avoid having it broken into. Fortunately at Playa Flamingo, you can park right on the beach.

Beach Score: 7.5 out of 10

If your teacher asked you to draw a beach, it’d end up looking like Flamingo: crescent-shaped, verdant hills, and whitish sand. If your family asked you to pick kid-friendly beach, it’d end up being like Flamingo: wide, long, and flat with Tempurpedic-like sand, few rocks, and gentle waves. Perfect beach to kick a soccer ball. Toss a football. Or play that one paddle game that I see everywhere but can’t seem to buy anywhere.

Flamingo has most of what makes an awesome beach. Most. What it doesn’t have is funky, inexpensive lodgings and restaurants — what have become our preference on this trip — and snorkeling. Besides one hopped-up stingray, that kept hopping through the waves near us, the only unusual sea-life I saw was a plethora, a virtual sea forest, of sand worms jutting from the sea floor on the north end of the beach. They grossed me out enough to get out of the water.

Finally, despite the luxury looking down at us from the hills above, Flamingo never felt snooty. We never felt underdressed in other words — despite, quite literally, being underdressed; all our swimsuits are a thread or two away from being nude suits. It also never felt crowded. I suspect, most times of the year and days of the week, you’d have plenty of space to yourselves on this near perfect family beach. Just park your car nearby.

Pink Sand

Flamingo’s cream-colored sand has a pinkish hue. Or at least I think it does. I’d read that, certain times during the year, the sand gets pink. Hence the name. However, it’s quite possibly, quite probably actually, that after reading that before arriving, my feeble, easily-influenced mind projected pink into the sand. Preconceived notions and all that.

(Photos courtesy of my parents)

Playa Ocotal, Costa Rica

Playa Ocotal, Costa Rica

We’ve been traveling with family — my family first, now Andrea’s family — down Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, hitting most of the major beaches, and a few minor ones, as we inch toward Panama. Figured I’d write shortish posts on each stop. For our memoirs mostly. But hopefully also for your information (and enjoyment), if case you ever venture down here.

Beach Score: 7 of 10

Ocotal checks most boxes: More croissant- than crescent-shaped, but shapely nonetheless. A smattering of islands in the distance. Boats bobbing in the bay. Jungle sights and smells and sounds. The quintessential beach restaurant (Father Rooster, where the picture above was taken). Checks most…

Black Sand

I take back what I wrote about black sand beaches.

While I can’t verify this with any statistical certainty, given the scant samplings, but (I think) I like black sand more than tan. More than beige. Honey. Even cappuccino. While white — the less hue, the better — remains my favorite, black is nudging into second. If only for its rarity.

The Sands of Ocotal

Playa Ocotal, in spots, primarily toward the south end of the beach, has truly black sand. No hue. Absorbs all light. We’ve visited other black sand beaches — like Playa Negra, a beach on Costa Rica’s Caribbean side — but they’re more charcoal. Gray even.

You’d think, or at least I’d think, given its color and source (volcanic rock) that the Ocotal sand would be rough, raw, scrape-inducing. It’s anything but. It’s the softest sand I’ve ever felt. Like walking on black satin.

The satin is, however, limited to the beach. As it nears the water, it swirls with coarser tan sand. It doesn’t blend, like creamer eventually into coffee, but swirls. Coexists with the tan. Two different sands. Side by side. Then, toes into the water, rocks and shells join the sand, like marshmallows on hot chocolate. Only much harder.

Snorkeling & Secret Beach

The snorkeling was good. No coral reef, but a sufficing of tropical fish, sea fans, starfish, sea anemones, and fish fish — even saw a few spotted eagle rays — zigzagging between the rocks abutting the surrounding cliffs. It was just good enough to compel me to snorkel around the cliffs, revealing an uninhabited beach on the other side. Thought briefly about what’d it be like to Tom Hanks on that beach before plummeting back into the sea.

End with a Joke

Here’s a joke written by Everett: “Why do you throw the clock out the window? Because it’s alarming.”

Costa Caribe, Costa Rica

Costa Caribe, Costa Rica

We spent almost two weeks — and I struggled / hated myself for typing this next word, but it just seemed like the right word — chillaxing on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Despite raining nearly 75% of the time, it was epic.

Sloths, Sloths, Two Toed Sloths, Three Toed Sloths

Everett’s song about sloths, performed below, has been stuck in my mind since he penned it. We may have the next John Lennon on our hands.

We saw our first sloth within the first hours of arriving at the beach. I decided to stroll to the granite cliffs jutting from the north end of the beach, witnessed some folks oddly ogling a tree, and then saw the sloth. Sloths actually. The mom (actually, that’s sexist: it could’ve been the dad) was carrying a baby that, like the algae that gives the gray-brown sloth its green hue, seemed to be growing from the mom’s fur.

The baby and mom (or dad!) eventually — eventually — climbed, upside down remind you, over two palm trees to sniff and/or communicate with a third sloth that, unbeknownst to our eyes, was cuddled up in a crevice of a mango tree. Then they began climbing out of site. We never saw them again. Haven’t seen sloths since.

E’s Sloth Song

Winch

Two paths lead to the campsite. One on sand. One on mud. We chose mud. We chose unwisely. Our winch, which had remained complacently dormant in our front bumper, got its first workout.

Arrecife & Punta Uva

We camped on Playa Arrecife, named for the large reef (‘arrecife’ means ‘reef’ in Spanish) protecting the playa, ensuring only gentle waves coddle the shore. This was, using my perfect beach criteria discussed here, the second best beach area we’ve visited on this trip. Soft, like marshmallows beneath your feet, sand, lush jungle vegetation, and spectacular snorkeling. Only the beaches near La Paz have been better.

We also visited the neighboring playa, Punta Uva, a couple times. It’s considered one of Costa Rica’s best. And it deserves the accolades. A recessed cove encased by jungle cliffs. Felt very lost-on-a-deserted-island-esque.

Cahuita

We visited Cahuita Nacional Parque, just outside of the town of Cahuita, on our way back toward the Pacific Coast. The guard, after extracting the remaining colones from my wallet — parks are expensive here — showed us two venomous toxic yellow Eye Lash Vipers a few meters beyond the entrance. I was feeling pretty good about our hike.

The hike was cool, temperature- and sight-wise. It rained, on and off, mas or menos, most of the hike. Even when we took a break to swim in the ocean. From what we could see, as we winded along the windy path kissing the beach, the park is beautiful. Wild. Captivating. The type of beach and jungle that would claim your soul, prevent you from returning to reality if you stared too intensely into it eyes.

We hiked in our snorkel gear to check out two of the reefs beyond two of the more scenic beaches we’ve experienced in Costa Rica, Punta Vargas and Punta Cahuita. Unfortunately, once we got there, signs warned us that you can’t snorkel in the reefs without a local guide. Too bad they didn’t have the same signs near the entrance…. Oh well. Dems da breaks.

Playa Negra

The following day, we visited Playa Negra just north of Cahuita, named for it’s volcanic black sand, which was quite possibly the softest sand we’ve ever felt. The beach is also flat, wide, and long, making it the perfect beach to harness your inner negligent parent and let your kids roam free (as our kids did).

Between bouts of negligence and scouting sloths in the surrounding trees, Andrea and I did swim with the kids. During one swim, both Andrea and I got bit by something. Me in the buttocks. Andrea in the calf. Andrea’s bite drew blood. Later that night, we corned our hosts — an affable North Carolinian and Costa Rican (Tico, as the locals say) couple — and, likely dramatically, told them about our encounter with the nefarious sea beast. Our hosts were bewildered. They’ve been swimming in the same stretch of sand for twenty years and have never been bit. Dems da breaks.

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

We planned to arrive in Costa Rica the second week of July. Due to some unfortunateness in Nicaragua, we arrived the third week of June. Our family is visiting us here starting July 12th; thus we have time to kill and chill. We decided to head toward Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast.

La Fortuna

We made one stop in route: La Fortuna. The second most visited area in the county. And it certainly felt like it. Everything was commoditized. A walk in the jungle? You’ll pay for that. A chocolate tour? $20 per person! — and Everett is now considered a person! Costa Rica, using my best Dennis Green impression, is what we thought it was. A touristy country. Albeit a gorgeous one.

Volcan La Fortuna is what you think of when thinking of volcanoes: a consummate conical mass with a cup-like crater at the top. All enveloped by jungle. The volcano was active a decade ago. Magma bubbled daily. Now, tourism has shifted to the perimeter: jungle tours, waterfall hikes, zip line excursions, river rafting, birding, walking over suspension bridges, ATVing, hot springing, and more.

Terme Los Laureles

We camped in a grassy lot in front of one of the many geothermal hot spring parks abutting the volcano. Save a few employees, no one was around. It’s low season. Rainy season. If you can tolerate the dampness — I’m not convinced anything in our van has been dry since we arrived — you’re rewarded with, presumably relatively, less crowds. Less chaos. Less sun too, however.

Because no one was around, we had the gall, the well-traveled tourist cockiness, to ask for a discount the second of the two nights we stayed. It was 4pm. The park closed at 9pm. And they agreed (though I’m guessing they normally offer discounts after 4pm…).

It. Was. (Pause for drama and to catch my breath.) Awesome. Besides a few teenagers, we had the park — nine pools, six slides, soccer field, restaurant, playground, likely Cheetos dispensaries — to ourselves. The staff even checked out for the night (we didn’t see a single lifeguard). We swam in every pool. We rode every slide until our backs chafed. We didn’t even have time to see if the park actually had Cheetos dispensaries (it probably did, because in our minds, it was just that magical).

Certainly worth a visit if you’re in La Fortuna during low season.

Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Sweet River. Indeed.

Bye Bye Bikes

One too many topes. One too many crappy roads. The steel on our Yakima FullSwing severed in half, dragging our bikes on the highway. We were fortunate we checked our rear view camera when we did. We pulled over in a small village a couple dozen kilometers outside of Tikal. The rack was toast, ripped in half like a piece of toast. And we couldn’t fit all the bikes inside the van. Thus, the cheaper ones, Andrea’s and Paheli’s, were donated to the village, along with the remnants of the rack. We sold what was left of Everett and my bikes for pennies on the quetzal in Antigua.

The Funny Thing About Expectations

We’d been told from a fellow traveling family that it was a good stop. A great stop if you consider the quality of the showers. It was also a convenient half-way point between our previous destination, Tikal, and our next destination, Antigua. We didn’t see many other options on the map. At least other options that did not involve sketchy roads.

We’re not sure what we were expecting. A nice stop. A warm shower. Perhaps a flushing toilet. We weren’t expecting a gorgeous, otherworldly river.

It felt like floating through a scene in Avatar as we cruised up the river Rio Dulce toward the Caribbean. Limestone cliffs surround you. Volcanos overshadow you. Snowy and Great Egrets, pure white, glide from perch to perch over you. Northern Jacanas, Jesus birds as some call them, with their banana yellow beaks and scary, spidery toes, hop across lilly pads near you. Iguanas swim, yes swim, in front of you. And occasionally, an artfully and architecturally fetching hut, juts from the jungle next to you.

Fun Stops

We made two fun stops in route to Livingston, the town at the cusp of the Caribbean. The first was a restaurant slash place to extract tourist dollars for the local community (a non-profit restaurant, which is pretty cool). Next to the restaurant, a natural hot springs flowed into the river. It lived up to its name. You have to swirl the river with the spring water to make it tolerable. The second was a restaurant slash mini water park. A couple waterslides, a trampoline, a rope-swing, and several jumping platforms extend from the deck of the restaurant. You can eat here. You probably should eat here. But if you’re like the Lingle’s, you’ll be far too focused on the waterslides to concentrate on eating.

The Spanish Again

Spanish conquistadors sailed up the Rio Dulce to invade Guatemala. While, I suppose, it’s a bit sensational, a bit, como se dice, macabre, I couldn’t help but imagine what it would’ve felt like to witness the massive Spanish galleons wind from the ocean through the limestone cliffs, which get quite narrow in sections, to the mouth of Lago de Isabel, where they launched their attack on Antigua. But I’m fascinated by sailboats.

Ram Marina

Hence one reason we chose (or were likely forced, by me) to stay here. The facilities were immaculate, built for the yuppy yachters that dock here after a season sailing the Caribbean. It has laundry, a well-provisioned grocery store (one of the best we’ve seen in Guatemala), nice showers, and of course, bundles of beautiful boats. Most days, I found myself just strolling the grounds, ogling, lusting really, over the various catamarans “on the hard”.

Awesome Stop

This may have been our favorite stop on this trip thus far. Life mimics the tempo of the river here. Peaceful. Calm. Serene. It’s a place where you can, and you want to, just squat in a chair with a book and watch the sailboats meander by.