Friday, 25 July 2014

Playa Matapalo.

DH has taken up cycling again and goes two or three times a week with our friend John. They have a couple of routes, both with quite big hills - to add to the challenge of road cycling in this heat. DH prefers road biking here, compared to the UK, as there is so little traffic; although he often complains that when a car does pass him, they drive a little too close for comfort!

The chosen course this week for John and DH has been out to the Riu Hotel in Matapalo, a pleasant 40km round trip. They picked this circuit as it has a rather steep hill to conquer on the return journey home, rather than at the beginning. As I'm not a keen cyclist (or a cyclist full stop), DH thought it would be nice for us to take a drive out that way so that he could show me the route (oh, yippee!!). Needless to say, I didn't "ooh" and "ahh" in the right places, so we pretty much skipped the verbal tour of the cycle route and drove straight to Playa Matapalo; although I was sympathetic when he related the story of the smelly dead cow they spotted roadside!! Road-kill here in Costa Rica is slightly discrepant to the run-of-the-mill rabbits and squirrels you find back home!

Nice walk from parking area to beach.

Just in front of the Riu Hotel.

After you dodge the beach hawkers trading their wares, along with the ladies offering massages for $30, Matapalo beach is quite a pretty beach. It is a white sanded and extremly long beach, but unlike Playa Hermosa, the sea is quite open and therefore a bit choppy. Being Sunday, the beach-area in front of the hotel (or should I say small town it is so big) was quite busy and to be honest, DH and I both decided that we prefer our quiet little local beach and didn't stay too long. Instead, we grabbed a $1 Pipa Fria (cold coconut) and drove to the other end of the beach, which we found to be deserted.

The Riu Hotel from the other end of the beach.

Almost the same length as DH!
Well, I say deserted, but we did come across a fish/dolphin/shark skeleton lying in the sand, complete with rotting skin. Lovely!

The Lads!
After the ATV tour, we took the boys to Matapalo for a picnic lunch on the beach. Thought they might like a swim to wash away all the dust and dirt. Once again, the beach was deserted save for a few pelicans and of course the beached bones. Even after almost a year of living here, I am still amazed that the beaches in our little corner of Costa Rica, are almost always empty. A long, sandy beach in Europe on a Sunday ... well, it would be packed whenever the sun came out. 

Beautiful shells found on Matapalo Beach by YS and his pal.

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