My morning walk on the beach takes me to Brasilito, the town next to Conchal Beach, where I am staying for a week in Costa Rica.
On my way, the local merchants greet me, “Buenos días, señora.” At the same time, they push their carts with crafts, massage tables, pineapples, oranges, and drinks going in the opposite direction.
Although it is just 7:30 AM, their faces are red, and sweat rolls from their forehead and cheeks. Later, they set their tents under the trees on the beach in front of my hotel.
Some of them leave their carts and merchandise in a hut about half a mile from my hotel at the end of the day. Others take them to their houses in Brasilito.
They go back and forth in the mornings and evenings. Then, when the sky starts to get dark, they dig a big hole in the dried sand and bury their tents after they fold them around 5:30 PM, the time when the first sunset orange rays shine in the sky. The tents will be there for their next round of sales efforts the following day.
I see a man who shares a morning meal with his best friends outside the hut, two slim whiteish dogs. Both stare at him, waiting for their share of the meal.
Another fellow on a horse pulls the reins of two horses on his way to the hotel in Conchal, where he will try to convince the tourists that they can’t miss a ride on the best horses in town.
When I get to Brasilito, a few local people sit under trees in the four corners of the square that is the center of this little beach town. Walking around the square, on the beachside are some typical food restaurants and bars. On the sides perpendicular to the beach are the Hotel Brasilito, the first business established on this beach, a small grocery store, and other shops with crafts and bathrooms for rent. Opposite the beach is the passing-by road that takes to gated communities and more populated beaches further north on the Pacific Cost.
On my walk back to my hotel, I stop to take pictures of red flowers on a bush I’ve never seen before. A local woman tells her friend, “Qué le ve a esa flor que le está sacando fotos?”
I guess I am the first plant-crazy tourist who notices something unique in the native flowers and takes pictures of them.
When my walk ends, I run to catch the waves and swim in the blue water beach in front of my hotel. Half an hour later, my stomach growls remind me it’s time for my breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
Marta Calderón lives in Virginia, USA. She is a retired IT auditor and spends her free time travelling, reading, taking care of her greenhouse, and writing short stories.