Kayaks strapped to the top of the Toyota Landcruiser, dry bags at hand filled with our wallets, cameras, and cellphones, and sunscreen slathered on; we’re off to the river. It’s just me and my tour guide, Cacho, of Cacho Surf School in Nosara, Costa Rica. Cacho was also my guide when I went snorkeling from Pink Sand Beach. I believe he usually only takes out groups to make it worth his while, but lucky for me it seems, he makes an exception.
We start at the river mouth, where the river and the ocean meet. Crocodiles are spotted here all the time so I’m on the lookout.
We make our way up the river, and because it is not completely fresh water, but rather brackish, we still see crabs crawling at the waters edge.
As we glide further into the thick of the jungle, the mangroves seem to become more and more entangled. All we can hear are the sounds of our paddles in the water, birds singing, and bugs doing the same. It’s peaceful despite the chaos of the wild.
Below is a picture of a hawk watching us from above.
The water is remarkably calm in contrast to the whitecaps in the ocean just around the bend. And the air is different in here. In the shade of the trees it’s quite cool, nothing like the intense heat we just escaped from. I thought there would be a lot of bugs and mosquitoes, but for whatever reason there’s not.
We stop at a little beach on the river, park our kayaks, and walk through the trees to the ocean on the other side.
This is Ostional Beach, it’s become a famous spot to watch turtles lay their eggs, and then weeks later, baby turtles hatching and crawling into the ocean.
About 5-thousand turtles come to this beach once a month, about a week after a full moon, to lay their eggs in the sand. We could see trails in the sand from the turtles, and egg shells left from the hatchlings.
After eating some watermelon and relaxing for a bit, we head back to the kayaks.
The tide is lower now, so the river is quite shallow and at times it almost feels like we’re going to bottom out.
On our way back we see some birds.
And some more birds…
And some more birds…
And then the river opens up…
And we see some more…
No crocodiles this time, or monkeys (as if I haven’t seen enough of those already in the trees around Nosara), but we kayak into the sunset, and that’s just as good/better. Pura vida 🙂