Speaking of nature, we arrived at Playa el Coco to a mix of sun and rain and are very happy that we rented a four wheel drive vehicle because of the soggy and muddy beach roads. Last night's sunset was just stunning and to boot there was even a pod of playful humpback whales less than 200 feet from my jubilant kids. Personally, I enjoyed the reflections of my family shimmering on the water against the colorful backdrop of the sky
|The steely colors of the sky reflecting off the beach.|
It poured incredible amounts of rain last night and if I had to guess it probably rained enough to cover the entire earth neck deep underwater. The electrical storm of rumbling thunder and web-like lightning zipping through the sky was indescribable and lasted for most of the night. When we woke up, in the morning, there was just a little drizzle remaining and the beach sand looked like it has been wiped clean like a blank slate.
Of course, for kids, a big beach washed clean by the rains makes for a giant playground. We ran at full speed with our arms stretched wide open along the water as if we were the only people in the world, all at 6 in the morning . After 20 minutes or so, we bumped into some elementary aged boys, from Managua, also on vacation and they recommended a hidden cove to us. When I asked, "Girls, do you wanna go to a cove?" Zoe replied, " A pirate cove?" I could not help but play along and said in my mysterious voice, "It's a cove, possibly of pirate origin." Sierra was so excited for the adventure that she was figuring out ways to divide the pirate booty in the event we stumbled upon gold bullion, gems or other fantastical treasures.
We approached the southern end of the beach as fast as an out-of-shape, middle aged man could walk with two girls cartwheeling in the wet sand. Behind the rocky ledges and elevated tide pools was hiding the unknown-double-secret-cove. Though the cove was possibly of pirate origin, and possibly holding wealth beyond our wildest comprehension, we still found other items to add to our search. Somehow, in the hundred yards, between leaving the boys and getting to the rocky edge of the beach, we decided that we'd also look for saber tooth tiger teeth, dinosaur eggs and pterodactyl skeletons. The hunt was on!
Above us, in the tropical forest, were parrots and birds of all sorts chirping, crowing, squawking, tweeting, singing, and other wise making their splendid early morning melody. The ocean air was salty and fresh and the rocks were slippery which added to the air of mysteriousness. The sensory experiences of the place made our expeditionary force of treasure hunters and paleontologists much easier to play, because the world felt so wonderful.
|A little before 6am and the beach was ours.|
|This well timed photo shows the look of excitement when on a mission.|
|Through this stone hallway lies the "Pirate cove."|
|Scaling the rocks next to the jungle was loud thanks to all the birds and parrots.|
|In high-tide the pirates anchor their ships in this mini harbor.|
|Sierra found a crab on the rocks.|
|The girls were on the bluff overlooking the pirate cove.|
|The final passage to the cove proved more challenging but for our adventurers the excitement proved to be a better motivator than fear.|
|Saber tooth tiger teeth were everywhere once we knew what to look for.|
|Saber tooth tiger teeth were large and sharp just like daggers.|
|This appears to be a dinosaur egg shard.|
|The biggest find of the day was the baby pterodactyl skull in near perfect condition.|
Though, in the end, we sadly did not locate the hidden pirate chest containing maps, gems and jewels worth zillions of dollars. We did however, locate a point of interest warranting future investigation. On the paleontology front we found more success. The saber tooth teeth (try saying that 3 times fast) were right in front of us, once we knew what to look for. The baby pterodactyl skull, however, was quite a unique find and made Zoe quite happy once she found it. Pretend playing, problem solving, climbing and laughing, are wonderful ways to explore and learn. For our blog following parents at home or in their offices, remember it is not so important where pretend play occurs, so long that it does. Allow time and space so that your children can to see life through a different lens, you may just find the real treasure.