Leaving Monteverde mountain it was still raining and cold - so cold that I put on my down jacket I was wearing when I left Canada. As we drove down the bumpy mountain we could feel the weather warming up along the way we stopped to take pictures of the magnificent views. Once down the mountain it was off with the down jacket and sweater as we were back into the tropical heat.
Our first stop was the village of Guaitil where for over 200 yearsfamilies in the village have been making Costa Rican pottery. The indigenous Chorotegapeople have long ago lost their language and been absorbed into the general population of Costa Rica but you can still find traces of their culture in the pottery still being made in traditional ways as it has for over 800years. The pots arehand thrown and decorated with glazes from minerals found in the area then fired inwood burning kilns. Studios and galleries exist in most of the homes in Guaitil. During our visit we spent time with artisans atWilly’s Pottery where We learned more about their traditions. Willy’s family have been potters for six generations. Willy gave us a pottery making demonstration and then we were able to purchase some of the beautiful pottery - of course I could not resist purchasing a few pieces. The entire process to make one piece takes approximately 7 hours.
Next it was off to nowhere Costa Rica for a traditional Costa Rican lunch - beans, rice, salad, fish/meat or chicken with a warm squash salsa, banana chips and houllimi cheese a Cypriot semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk, and sometimes also cow's milk. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled. The lunch was freshly prepared and absolutely delicious.
After lunch we headed to a river close by to take a river boat ride and get close with nature.
As we headed for Playa Samara we stopped in the town of Nicoya to see the oldest church in Costa Rica Parroquia San Blas.
Another hour and a half and we arrived in playa samara at the Villa Playa Samara our last stop on the tour. After a somewhat confusing checkin we arrived at our ocean view room - although it was dark so we could not enjoy.
Sámara, situated along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica's Guanacaste Province, has long been a favorite vacation spot for both Costa Ricans and foreigners. The town is rather small (approximately 1500 full-time residents, including close-by towns such as Torito and Cantarrana) with its main street leading directly to the beach. Sámara has a healthy mix of local and foreign residents and still maintains a somewhat authentically Costa Rican atmosphere. The largest expatriate groups living in Sámara are generally Italian, Canadian, German, and U.S.-American.