Friday we decided to rent bikes for the day and explore some of the beaches in the area where we are staying. My brother was tracking our route on the mapping program on his phone or we would have gotten lost. He navigated us down local roads to the Playa Grande beach nearest us. I had never gone bike riding on a beach before and it was great. We had to stay on the wet, firm sand but the beach was much easier to ride along than the dirt roads which were peppered with potholes and rocks.
The Playa Grande Beach has no buildings along it because at night it is home to nesting turtles whose habitat needs to remain undisturbed. The hotels and houses further inland must shield their lighting and no one is allowed on the beach after sundown in order to protect the turtles.
After cycling the length of Playa Grande or The Big Beach we were off to Playa Ventanas or The Window Beach. There were many crabs skittering across the sand here and Dave put a crab shell on his Winnipeg Jets hat.
Then we headed around the corner and through a channel that would have been underwater at high tide to Playa Carbon or the Carbon Beach. Playa Carbon is a black sand beach. Black sand is composed of volcanic minerals and lava fragments. Costa Rica has many active volcanoes. Dave walked far out onto the lava-like rocks. Playa Carbon reminded me of the black sand beach we had visited in Hawaii.
Once we found our way back onto the road we drove a little way only to hit a dead-end where a bridge had washed out. So we decided to head home. Using my brother’s maps on his phone again we were able to take a different route past many beautiful homes most of them for sale.
We stopped for burritos and beer at a little cafe along the way. A trio of White Throated Magpie Jays provided rather raucous background music for our meal. It had been a great ride but we were hot and tired and ready for naps when we got home before heading down to the beach for a sunset swim.