Playa Negra

The soft rustle of distant ocean surf crashing weaved it’s way through the flickering of leaves and wind.  Warmpth and humidity, the screeching of insects hidden away in the green foliage, a german shepard walks past uninterested in my unpacking.  I take out all the bags from my pack and organize them in the shelves near the bunk bed, sunblock and DEET prominently placed at the front.

The bunk room was simple yet impressive for having been built with the supervision of the bed and breakfast owner, Manuel.  It had two bunk beds, a few places to put your things, and a fully functional bathroom.  In the front was a plastic table and a few lawn chairs, immediately I laid clamed it as my end-of-day brew spot.  Manuel shows us a few things, his quiver of boards against his building which was available to us for 10$ a day, and the breakfast area, a small outdoor seating area with tables, board games, and a hammock.


“Would you like to see the beach?” said Manuel in his thick French accent.

Adam and I look at eachother.


We thought, a quick stroll down the road and we’d be there, Manuel mentioned a way to drive there but it was less direct so walking was the best option.  We followed, quietly, conversations brief and far between, we just took in our surroundings.


The dirt road lead us to the entrance to the entrance of Hotel Playa Negra, a man sat in front and Manuel directed us to a very lightly worn path to the side, we assumed they didn’t like people walking through the property.  We continued to follow.


I couldn’t see the trail most of the time, it was thick, grass blades and brush impeded swift passage through the trail, I had to duck under tangled branch after twisty vine.  I looked at Adam thinking, “Is this man leading us to the entrance of the Temple of Doom?”  This was all before our first barbed wire crossing.


Manuel casually cautions us about the wire, and slinks through like it was just another leafy branch, Adam and I, flexibility lacking, strain to commit to the limbo game of dodging rusty tetanus fangs.  Once your nerves get the best of you, other inconveniences start to ware, I became keenly aware of the notion I was now thick in Costa Rican brush, crossing through barbed wire boundaries being lead by a French surfer, bugs were flapping in my face, crawling on my feet (good thing I was wearing flip flops), and the peircing, screeching racket of living creatures thundered from beyond.  I thought a fun mixture of “fuck” and “fuck it.”


Luckily, about a quarter mile more jungle and one more barbed wire fence permitted us an unobstructed view of the ocean.  It all made sense in that moment.  This was why we came.  The ocean was perfect, crisp unbroken lines of water formed smooth and became these beautiful little waves, inviting and unintimidating.  The shore hid small pockets of people, some in the twisted branches of the ocean trees, some in the waves, no more than a handfull in the entirety of my visual field.  I couldn’t believe that such a beach would be this sparsely populated.