CAA Saskatchewan Fall 2016 - Page 36

A natural beverage There Are few BeTTer ways to describe Costa Rica than simply calling it by name. Dubbed “rich coast” in Spanish, the country boasts more than a thousand kilometres of shoreline on its Pacific side, plus another 200 bordering the Caribbean Sea. It’s a coast that affords many one-of-a-kind aquatic experiences when you’re kayaking, scuba diving, surfing—or just island hopping aboard a water taxi. That’s what I’m doing, anyway: Waiting to cross the Gulf of Nicoya from Jaco to the resort town of Montezuma. I’m cautioned by locals that the ride can be both bumpy and wet. But I’m also promised there’s a very good chance of spotting dolphins along the way. I wade into the water to 36 fAll 2016 cAA SASKATCHEWAN climb aboard the boat, tightly buckling my orange life jacket in anticipation of a rough ride. To my surprise, the waves are calm as we cruise toward the bohemian town on the Nicoya Peninsula. Most of my fellow passengers gather under our boat’s canopy, seeking relief from the sweltering Central American sun. Suddenly, the captain shouts in Spanish and slows the vessel. As if on cue, several dolphins gracefully leap out of the water. They proceed to swim alongside the boat for a few minutes before disappearing beneath the blue surface. Once in Montezuma I rush to check into my hotel. I have pressing needs— namely, finding some local cuisine and a beverage to help me cool down in the dry season’s prickly 30 C heat. I find the ideal spot beneath a plastic umbrella on the leafy lawn of a beach restaurant. I order casado, a typical Costa Rican dish that marries rice, black beans, plantains and, in this case, chicken. Locals usually drizzle theirs with Salsa Lizano, a slightly sweet, peppery condiment found on virtually every table in Costa Rica. I wash everything down with the country’s most popular brew, the red-and yellow-labelled Imperial lager. Belly full, it’s time for more active pursuits. First up: the three-tiered Montezuma Waterfalls. The falls are a short 20minute hike from town, on a trail running from the main road into a river valley lined with Guanacaste trees. In the dry season it’s easy to hop along the riverbed rocks, a natural path to the falls. Along the way I’m the captain shouts in spanish and slows the vessel. as if on cue, several dolphins gracefully leap out of the water bEACH: ASHlyN gEorgE; CoCoNuT: KoEN MEErSHoEK/SToCKSy uNiTEd Sublime surfing on the Pacific coast