Loc: Playa Pinuela
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 26,9 km
Start: 6:45 End: 13:30
I slept well and undisturbesd. Sometimes at night, the rain stopped, the tide receeded, but was back to high in the morning. Still, it is a very different high from yesterday evening. This morning, I can easily get out through the triple surfline. Yesterday it was running up so violent I was worried not to be able to punch through. But I am out. The sky tries to open up, and at least over land, there is a clear stripe between thick clouds and the green hills with the few houses.
I am rounding the reef point of Dominicalito, and see already a few fishing boats offshore. Dominicalito is the only old-fashioned fishing spot I have seen so far in Costa Rica. Not sure if it is the receeding tide in general, ot the upcoming hammerhead spot of Uvita, but my speed is as slow as it can be. I barely paddle four kiloeters per hour, and see on my breaks that I am flushed backwards quite a bit. Oh well! I have to paddle a bitt harder for this quite short section to Playa Pinuela.
I keep my distance to the reefs, and notice an increased speed after noon when te tide changes. If tat keeps on going like this, I might not reach Playa Colorado in one day tomorrow. See how it goes anyway when I pass all those river mouth. I might have to cut the day in two and land on Playa Chicos, again around low tide – and before the afternoon rain, which is always nicer. We will see how the big river openings affect my progress. I any way, I likely need to give them all a wide berth.
On the satellite images, Playa Pinuela looks dead calm, sandy and well-protected. When I arrive, I see a wide ring of large steep boulders all around the bay. Thankfully, on one hour after low tide, it displays flat sand upfront in the outer right corner, where I can land easily through low rolling breakers. I see a large green building to my left – what is that? Two figures stand on the balcony, and I wave at them. They do not wave back. I secure my kayak on the flat wet sand, and do not mind when the mellow rollers push it lightly up the beach with the incoming tide. I climb the steep boulder wall, and see at least a flat area where vehicles with beach people can park. Soon I hear a whistle, and a man waves at me.
WTF – I am again in a national park? This one does not show up on Google, and the building seems also to be new. I greet Willy, the ranger, and he says the park is closed. As always, I politely explain my case, and ask for permission to stay one night. It does not take long to convince him, and a call to Adrian, my coast guard contact, explains things and everything is good. I am offered to stay in a room without furniture, but prefer to set my tent on a dry balcony under a roof of one of the buildings. It has better ‘aircondition’ than inside the room. I have camped worse, my tent and things dry out or stay dry, and I have a shower and bathroom. My gear I need to get up the boulder beach myself, as Willy unfortunately has a bad back. His young daughter is happy to help me with the kayak, as I like it always close to my camp. Tanks very much to both to give me the dry and safe campsite, and a hand with carrying. The high tide waves are crashing noisily against the steep boulder beach and roll noisily back, but I feel dry and safe here.