It's a rough life. But I'm managing. I sit in a wooden rocker in the mottled shade of the trees, studded with sleeping monkeys. Draped over high branches, their limbs hang limp. They are carefully balanced yet secured by the end of their tails as they slumber through the heat of the day. I see seven in one tree alone.
An iguana saunters by and scurries up a tree. Rich has seen a much larger one. A local named Dino. I'm sure I'll catch a glimpse eventually.
Out front, beyond the colorful racks of kayaks and paddle boards, the ocean glitters in the sun. The water is an impossible hue of blue, only rippled by the wind then heaving and cresting into foamy white breakers against the shore. Paradise indeed.
Las Catalinas is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. I count myself under that label, but here I am compelled to reconfigure my exercise fanaticism. I arrive open to trying new sports, to make the most of the local offerings. But I'm off to a rocky start. Mountain biking and I don't get along so well. Even on my second attempt I feel my psyche getting more of a workout than my body. But trading wheels for running shoes, I suddenly find relative safety on those same trails. Funny, I never liked trail running before. Now I relish my new activity and still get the amazing views.
The bay calls out to me, and I find it calm enough for distance swimming. It sure beats lap swimming in a pool. When the wind picks up, Rich and I try out boogie boards. We manage a few good rides on the waves and do a lot of floating on the swells. I see a kayak and a stand up paddle board in my future.
Evening comes quickly here. Sunset is around 6:00pm, and the lingering colors may last 20 minutes longer. Then darkness descends. The temperature moderates and a nice breeze comes off the ocean, perfect for outdoor dining on the beach.
Welcome to paradise. I think I'm getting the hang of it here.