If you’ve had the good fortune to visit Costa Rica, you probably know the term Arribada – it roughly means arrival – describing the flotillas of hundreds female turtles that return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs in the sand. It’s an amazing phenomenon that you should try to experience. The turtles arrive in flotillas, spend an hour or two digging a perfect hole, lay their eggs, and then leave on an outgoing tide.
This week, between Christmas and New Year’s, we have another kind of Arribada in Samara. At the beginning of the Costa Rican summer, it is every Josefino’s (someone who live in San Jose) unrelenting urge to get to the beach. The cars and busses begin arriving mid-morning and by noon it’s hard to find a place to park. The vehicles come loaded with hammocks, sunshades, and barbecues. Each family stakes out a piece of sand in the shade of the palms and sets up to spend the day. There is food grilling, music playing, and footbal partidos Everyone stays, including babies, grandmothers and dogs, just until the sun sets behind the point. Then they pack up and leave the beach as quiet and deserted as it was at dawn.
They’ll do it all again tomorrow and the day after that. All of the houses, cabins, and hotel rooms in town are full and there is not a restaurant with an empty table. But, sometime next week, they’ll all return to San Jose and we’ll have the beach to ourselves again. We love Josefinos and we love tourists but this week most of us Samareños will be spending more time around home.
Wishing you a Feliz y Prospero Año.