Day Nine: A Morning of Pottery in Guaitil and an Afternoon at Playa Conchal (sort of) and an evening at Playa Ocotal.

 

In the morning, we drove to the village of Guaitil, which is very well known throughout Costa Rica for it's beautiful pottery. Nina had to resist buying pottery in all the souvenir shops and hold out to buy pottery directly from the source.

Local potter Elwin holds up one of his beautiful plates. His father, Ramero, made the chicken statues.

Elwin and Ramero's kiln in the backyard.

Chris and Kathy head to the next store/studio. We only went two places, because we bought more pottery than we could carry at the two shops and it would have been dangerous to go anywhere else!

This family owned shop/studio is run by five brothers (Dennis, Danny, Wilson, David and Gustavo) and their parents (David and Merina).

Wilson hard at work.

The adorable and friendly Dennis poses for a picture.

The brothers Wilson, Dennis and Danny pose for a group photo. Nina loved their curly hair and made them all laugh by pulling on it and making it spring.

The family's kiln and horse.

Nina stopped to take a photo of this statue of marimba players. However, we never heard marimba music, a traditionally common form of music in Costa Rica. We got to hear marimba music in Nicaragua.

We took a wrong turn and ended up at Playa Brasilito on our way to Playa Conchal. So, we stopped for lunch at Outback Jack's on the beach.

Not a bad view or a bad lunch, it was a wrong turn with a happy ending.

Playa Conchal was just around the corner but proved impossible to get to!

The Tica Twins at the Lomas del Volcan hotel in Arenal made us promise to visit Playa Conchal, the most beautiful beach in all of the Guanacaste region.

However, they neglected to inform us that we would have to walk several miles through sand on the edge of the ocean to get there!

What we didn't know at the time is that there's a huge, luxury resort on the beach at Playa Conchal which has blocked access to the beach and designated it only for the rich and the determined.

We were pretty determined to see this infamous pink sand, sea shell covered beach! So.... we started walking.

The walk wasn't easy and proved very exhausting!

Our trail of tired foot prints in the sand... Finally we stopped and asked how much further we had to walk and discovered that there's a 4WD trail, called the Monkey Trail, which leads to the beach. We decided to walk the trail back to the car to determine if our little sedan could make it. Unfortunately, we discovered that our little car most definitely could NOT make it, but the trip was not in vain for we saw a lot on the way...

We saw this man and his horses come charging down the trail and were tempted to beg for a ride!

 

It was a long journey back as well, but at least, it wasn't in thick sand!

And then.... we saw monkeys!!! Lots and lots of monkeys!!!!

 

We're pretty sure these are howler monkeys. We saw roughly 10-12 adults and 2 babies.

 

This guy must do yoga!

This guy is a very, very big boy!

 

After the adventure of trying and failing to reach Playa Conchal, we decided to spend the evening at Playa Ocotal.

What can we say.... It's a man and his boat.

All the beaches we visited have beautiful black rock formations.

Must be nice to own a yacht, we wouldn't know!

Chris heads off down the beach into the sunset...

Playa Ocotal was probably the most scenic beach that we visited, but due to it's boiling hot black sand, it is not the most practical or user friendly!

Something about these photos is so charming...

 

These rock outcroppings looked lovely at dusk.

The water swirling around the rocks was simply beautiful.

Now that's a huge piece of driftwood.

Chris contemplates the beauty of the sunset.

Chris and Nina pose for a photo, which isn't that bad! Notice, Chris' new T-shirt from Arenal Bungee, which states “It's just gravity” on an upside down pocket.

We simply had to stop for a quick drink at this fun little restaurant on the beach at Playa Ocotal.

Father Rooster's makes a pretty mean piña colada! That night, we had wonderful pizza at “La Dolce Vita,” a restaurant that was decorated solely with Frederico Felleni movie posters.

The view from our table at Father Rooster's. Not bad....

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