Costa Rica Travel Diary Day 17 – Marino Ballena National Park

Last night was terrible. I coughed all night and my throat was so, so sore. I got up at 5 am, removed my bedding, built myself a little nest on the balcony and went back to sleep. This morning, it’s time to start the journey back to San José and civilisation. We’re doing it in two chunks; today we’re driving 92 miles north to Uvita, home of Marino Ballena National Park.

Marino Ballena National Park

We retrace our route around the Golfo Dulce and up the Pacific Highway. Another drive with no real need for navigation, so I just sit and watch the world go by for a couple of hours. At one point I open a pack of biscuits and realise I’m being watched by a gang of monkeys sitting on the crash barrier.

Warning sign – surfer

Today’s hotel is actually a hotel – not some grimy hippy shack in the outback. It’s such a relief to walk in a bright, airy room which smells of cleaning product. And the pool is big enough to actually swim in.

Hotel Nido del Halcon

After checking in, I want to go for lunch (it’s 2 pm and I had a bowl of fruit 7 hours ago). But the old man insists on going for a walk first. We head to the beach, but as this forms part of the National Park, we must pay $14 to enter. Now we have to do a long walk as the old man needs to get his money’s worth.

Marino Ballena National Park

I’m not feeling well and really could do without walking 5 miles in the tropical heat having skipped lunch. But he will not be deterred. The beach has a rocky outcrop resembling a whale’s tail, which looks spectacular in photos I’ve see. They were obviously taken by drones, as from the beach, it just looks like some rocks.

Marino Ballena National Park

By the time we actually finish our epic beach trek and have found somewhere to eat, I’m so tired my eyes can’t even focus on the menu, so I just randomly point to something. I end up with rice and pork and spend ages picking all the pork out of the rice and feeding it to a stray cat.

Marino Ballena National Park

Once back at the hotel, with the oId man settled in for and evening crushing his imaginary sweets, I have a nice, cooling swim before bed time.

Hotel Nido del Halcon pool

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