This morning we bid a sad farewell to our friends at Casa Botania, and took off on what we (Wayne and I) expected to be a 2 1/2 hour drive. I wondered what was up when Aaron and Darien choked back a laugh simultaneously. The first 1 1/2 hours went swimmingly until we turned down the road towards Drake Bay. We had a photo stop on the Gulf side of the Osa Peninsula, and then I got to continue driving forward.
Bahía Drake is a small bay on the north side of the Osa Peninsula on the coast of southwestern Costa Rica. Believed to be a port used by Sir Francis Drake in the 16th century and the location of one of the British pirate's fabled hidden treasures. The main town of Bahía Drake is Agujitas and has a population of about 1,000 residents. The bay is not on the beaten track and can only be reached by highway during the dry season. Boat service up the Sierpe River and air travel connect Bahía Drake to the rest of the world during the rainy season. There are miles and miles of beautiful coastline with rocky crags and sandy coves that extend from Agujitas, where the village of Bahía Drake is located southward toward the boundary of Corcovado National Park about 12 miles to the south. Along this stretch of beach are located some of the most remote and spectacular ecolodges in Costa Rica.
The bay is named for Sir Francis Drake himself, who visited this area in March 1579, during his circumnavigation in the Golden Hind. History has it that he stopped on the nearby Isla del Caño, but locals speculate that he probably landed here as well. There is a monument at Punta Agujitas (on the grounds of the Drake Bay Wilderness Resort) that states as much. :)
Well, the condition of the road began to seriously worsen about halfway in. We wound up going up and down rocky hills quite a bit, dodging oncoming traffic the entire way. I had the opportunity to ford 2 puddles, 1 stream, and the river you saw above after traversing a couple of very rickety bridges, with Darien punctuating the travel all the way. I was particularly chagrined by the river crossing, as while we were waiting for Wayne to scout out a pathway, 2 local kids on a moto forded the stream (and I think they were laughing at the gringos). With each bridge and stream crossing, Darien became more and more convinced we were on the wrong road (after all, the woman at the resort only asked if we had 4 wheel drive, and didn’t mention the condition of the road other than it had been improved significantly). Alas, we were indeed on the correct road.
We finally made it to the town on the bay, and negotiated a parking spot for two nights (no price negotiated yet, and no pay until we get back and still have a car). From there, we caught a boat to the resort.
We checked in, had a late lunch, discovered that this is not the land of hairdryers (that will wait for Manuel Antonio), and then took off upstream in kayaks in search of crocodiles. Alas, no such luck. We got to a point where there were some small rapids that surged a bit, and turned around, heading under the bridge. Darien was up for kayak wars, in which she and Aaron indulged.
After we got back, we rested before our New Year’s Eve supper - snapper for Darien & Aaron, and BBQ pork for Wayne and me. I had been fretting for days about not having sashimi for good luck while we were in Bahia Drake (where can we get it, oh no!), and we found a savior at the table next to ours. He had caught several ahi, sailfish and other fish, and had kept the 80 pound ahi for serving that night for dinner. Woo hoo, let’s here it for the man who saved New Year’s Eve!
Very tasty and enjoyable all around. We finished up the evening with poppers (we didn’t use them at Christmas since Aaron’s parents were with us and we only had four) and Concha y Toro brut sparkling wine (and fireworks), ending out a very pleasant day, and lending an auspicious start to a good new year.
I wish everyone a wonderful New Year filled with happiness, love and friendship!!!!