A note from the executive editor: Costa Rica Travel Blog has chosen to feature the following article for its beautiful description of Costa Rica’s Playa Grande and its acknowledgement of the area’s dense population of sand dollars; “these amazing creatures have beautiful designs that appeared carved by the hand of an angel”. Thanks to James for submitting his personal account to us. We hope other travellers are able to spot and appreciate beauty in the small things as you have done and so eloquently described. Pura vida!
Featured Author: James Hoddinott (visit the James W. Hoddinott Blog)
Playa Grande is probably best known for being the hatching ground for one of the world’s ancient and spectacular reptiles the Leatherback Turtle. Even during nesting time during the winter months, sightings of this beautiful creature are rare. It is hard to imagine the enormity of a 700 pound turtle sunning itself on the beach. That is what the many tourists hope to see when they come to Playa Grande.
As school holidays permit the summer months are the time given to me to experience the wonders of Playa Grande. A short boat ride for a small toll to cross the river that leads from Tamarindo Beach into the magnificent mangrove forest of Baulas Marine National Park that is home to an abundance of flaura, fauna and wildlife. A boat ride down the river will lead you through numerous species that make this National Park one of Costa Rica’s many wonders.
An early morning walk along Playa Grande Beach from Tamarindo Beach will take a leisurely 90 minute stroll until you arrive at Playa Ventanas which is a secluded bay that on many days would be your own playground. The beach leading to Playa Grande is the home to many sea creatures and shells that find refuge in the sand along this quiet passage. Many an experienced surfer crosses the river from Tamarindo to Playa Grande to remove themselves from the crowds in hope of catching that bigger wave.
With every step you come across a new shell that seems more beautiful than the last. Sand dollars both living and dead are spotted everywhere along the beach. These amazing creatures have beautiful designs that appeared carved by the hand of an angel. It is hard to imagine that such a magnificent beach can be so peaceful. A discovery of your own piece of paradise.
At sign post 9 if you take the trail inland it will take you to some of the many vacation homes, condos and hotels that are part of Playa Grande. Colourful crabs and birds make the short trail to the main road that is sealed from the oils of the sugar cane enjoyable. You will come out at the Rip Jack Inn. Where on the second floor you will be greeted by a beautiful restaurant with refreshing cold water to quench your thirst. An inexpensive tropical breakfast will satisfy your hunger as you dine in amongst the dry forest watching the butterflies and birds fly amongst the flowers.
If paradise is lost, it truly can be found on the sand beach of Playa Grande.
About James Hoddinott:
My novel ‘When Eagles Dare to Fly’ represents my belief that good will always triumph over evil and by developing who we are on the inside we will find our way. My newest novel ‘The Fates’ was released earlier this year that examines a society that discovers immortality. I have a blog called an ‘Author, blogger and his musings’ which talks about my writing, political issues as well as other areas of interest like education, art and photography.
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