Although I paid to go on this sea kayaking adventure, it was more like kayaking with a couple of friends. I went with the owner of the business, a Norwegian transplant nicknamed Vicky (since her real name is unpronounceable) and one of her guests, a young Norwegian woman named Hilde who was on her honeymoon. (Hubby went sportfishing with Vicki's husband.)
Well, first I should say that getting to Bahia Rica Lodge from the ferry landing at Paquera, Nicoya Peninsula, is quite an interesting walk of a mile or more along a dirt road which follows the bluff above the bay. The landscape is the dry forest (bosque) typical of coastal Costa Rica. There are very few homes along this route. There were monkeys in the trees. A male monkey walked along a telephone wire, and when I went crazy filming and photographing him, he made menacing movements and noises.
I finally got to a sign that said "Bahia Rica 200 m" with an arrow pointing off into the woods. I couldn't figure it out! I had seen a family sitting in the yard of a nearby house so I walked back to ask directions. It turns out that to get to Bahia Rica Lodge you have to walk on a trail! You will see all this and more in my photos. Here is their website: http://www.bahiarica.com/
While I'm at it I will say that the $55 I paid for 4 or 5 hours of fun was well worth it, and is a lot cheaper than what is charged for a very touristy sea kayaking trip, over at nearby Curu Wildlife Refuge.
Upon arrival, I was greeted warmly by my hostess, and pretty soon Hilde arrived, and we teamed up to haul three nice Dagger yaks down to the beach. These were sea kayaks about 15 feet long, with foot operated rudders. I had always wanted to try a kayak with a rudder, which was one reason why I chose this particular outfitter, in addition to the proximity to Puntarenas, where I've been living.
We got started, paddled across the bay to a mangrove swamp. Vicki had chosen the mangroves as our destination due to the fact that it was going to be high tide, and therefore we would be able to paddle in the channels amongst the trees. There are other places she paddles, of course, including many islands in the Gulf of Nicoya.
Once in the mangroves we did some bird watching. We paddled in and out of several mangrove channels, and then back into the bay, and then up a freshwater creek. During this time we saw the following birds: Roseate spoonbill, Ibis, Green Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Tri-colored Heron, plus various pelicans and terns, not sure which species. I'm not really a serious birder, but seeing the Ibis, Boat-Billed Heron, and to top it off, the Roseate Spoonbill felt a bit like I had inadvertantly stepped into that comic movie, "The Big Year" with Jack Black and Steve Martin.
After a nice lunch on a deserted beach, sitting on huge driftwood logs, we began the paddle back across the bay. This was the difficult stretch, since the afternoon wind had come up. This was where that rudder really came in handy, too, to keep the boat tracking.
Back on the beach, Vicki and Hilde left me at the resort. I had to wait for the 5 p.m. ferry back to Puntarenas. I had an interesting conversation with their cleaning lady, who is studying English in Puntarenas. She showed me her textbooks. How interesting to see the books of someone studying my own language, when I am so used to seeing my Spanish textbooks! Then the cooks showed up, a couple from Switzerland. I was trying to speak to the husband in English but soon discovered that our best bet was to speak Spanish, since my Spanish is a lot better than his English! How funny to be having a rousing conversation in Spanish with a guy from Switzerland!
Finally it was time to go to the ferry. The tide had gone out, and I was able to walk along the beach to the ferry dock, instead of taking the road.
It was the best day of my stay here in Costa Rica. I was on my own, and taking charge of my travels (I had just spent two nights in a hostel in Montezuma) and really enjoying it. Usually I have traveled with the other students. So, this trip during spring break was very special because of traveling on my own, and because of the many interesting people I met and sights that I saw.