Jaco to Dominical

The temperature was about 30 degrees Celsius at 8 am in Jaco! As soon as we stepped out of our delightfully air conditioned room we felt it. We enjoyed the complimentary breakfast at our hotel (beans, rice, eggs and fruit) and then set our course for the Liquid Magic Surf Resort (exact location between Dominical and Uvita).

The drive was pretty easy and took about an hour and a half or so (we stopped at a pharmacy along the way).

I can see how it could be hard to find this place and I’m glad we didn’t try to get here in the dark, late last night. We missed the turn for the dirt road to the Airbnb, noticing it just as we passed. We quickly made a u-turn and then started to drive up the single lane dirt road. Thankfully, the directions from the hosts were clear and we saw the various landmarks they’d given, so we knew we were going the right way.

The dirt road to our Airbnb

Eugene, one of the hosts, took us to our bungalow and gave us a short tour around the property. The first thing we noticed was how loud the cicadas are; it’s almost deafening but also very beautiful sounding and peaceful.

Our room (my bed on the left)

We dropped off our stuff and then headed to Dominical to pick up any supplies we needed (which turned out to be a couple of craft beer as we realized that a light breakfast is included with our stay and we still had pineapple and cherry tomatoes from La Fortuna to eat).

We wandered around Dominical for a bit. A friend had given me several recommendations for places to eat, and things to do, while we were in Dominical and based on the number of places she recommended, I expected it to be bigger. There seems to be one main road through the town and another seemingly pedestrian-only road (although we did see cars on it) that ran parallel to the beach. There was a crafters market on one side of that road and some bars and surf schools on the other.

We ate lunch at Del Mar Taco Shop (one of the places that my friend recommended). From there, we could just barely see the beach. I had the super veggie burrito and my taste buds were seriously in heaven. Their house made nacho chips were also super tasty.

My yummy burrito

It was so hot out that even the short, four or five hundred metre, walk back to Mama Toucan’s market felt effortful to me. We sat down for a bit at Cafe Mono Congo, a little coffee shop near the market. I had an iced cold brew latte and a piece of chocolate papaya pie (more yummy happiness for my tastebuds).

From there we did our shopping and then headed back to the Airbnb to see if we could meet the other host, Caroline. We tried to find her and waited around for a half hour or so to see if we could catch her but no luck. So we decided to head back to Dominical and hit the beach.

Everyone seemed to be parked under the trees, right on the edge of the beach, so I found a spot between two trees and parked. However, when we went back to move it before dinner, we realized that I was actually parked in one of the entrances and I could have pulled up even closer to the beach! Fortunately, there were lots of other entry points for others to access the beach.

I really don’t want to get a burn and my eyes felt tired from driving in the sun so I wore my hat and sunglasses into the water as well as one of those UV swim shirts. To complete my nerdy-touristy look, I paired my outfit with a large chunky necklace (i.e., a waterproof pouch to store my valuables, as I had read from multiple sources not to leave anything on the beach). Although, in retrospect, the beach seemed pretty safe and no one touched my friend’s stuff.

The water was so warm, it was like bath water. There were lots of people surfing, boogie boarding, and swimming but despite all the action, the beach wasn’t crowded. We spent quite a while bobbing up and down and allowing the waves to crash over us. It was also fun to watch some of the more active surfers carving in the waves.

From there, we headed to Tortilla Flats, one of the beach adjacent bars, for a drink before dinner. I had a piña colada that went down very easily as I enjoyed listening to the live band playing covers of familiar songs. We even managed to take turns popping back over to the beach to catch the sunset.

After that, we walked over to Phat Noodle (another recommendation from my friend). They asked if we had a reservation (we didn’t) but luckily there were some bar-style seats available that made for good people watching, as we were above the tables. The menu reminded me a bit of Noodle Box back home. We had another excellent meal here. I had the pineapple fried rice with tofu and I had to force myself to stop eating it so I wouldn’t get too full (I took the remainder for lunch tomorrow). We both really liked their house made hot sauce and bought some to take home.

Pineapple fried rice

Just as we were about to leave, I realized that the kitchen looked as if it was an old food truck, and I wondered if that was how the business began and then they built the covered dining area and bar once they had a permanent parking spot?

In the dark of night we managed to just barely miss the turn for the road to the Airbnb again. As we climbed the hill, a large toad jumped out onto the road. I thought it would have kept going and slowed to give it time to cross but, luckily, my friend suspected otherwise and told me to stop. Sure enough, her hunch was right and he was sitting right where the tires would go on the single car road. She got out and, after a couple of attempts, managed to shoo him to the other side.

Back at our bungalow we opened a couple of the craft beer that we had purchased earlier and sat out on our deck overlooking the forest while we drank them. Aside from the moon reflecting off the greenery, we couldn’t see anything because it’s so dark out. The cicadas were still making quite a symphonic sound but it was noticeably quieter than before.

We came back in and started preparing the room for sleep. As my friend pulled the curtain back, on her side of the room, a gecko popped out (the same thing happened to her last night in Jaco). She (my friend later named her Gertie) seemed pretty content to stay up near the rafters and I’m hopeful that she will eat any mosquitoes before they eat me! After that it was showers and off to bed.

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