The Majestic Beach and it’s Seedy Underbelly

The Majestic Beach and it’s Seedy Underbelly
September 23, 2009 Lainie Liberti

We were robbed.

Today we decided to continue with the surf theme, give Miro an opportunity to practice surfing without the pressure of a teacher. Tranqulo-like. His choice and I was so pleased. The next beach over is called Playa Guionis, just a jungle path away from Playa Polata where we’re staying. The waves are not as big as those at it’s connecting beach, therefore it’s the perfect place for a 10 year old to practice his surfing as second time and a 50 year old to try surfing for the first time in over 35 years.

Instead of walking the jungle path, Craig, Agnes, Miro and Zeko all piled into Craig’s truck drove to then entrance of Playa Guionis, via the road. One of the reasons was we wanted to rent boards, and carrying boards through the jungle path was not very appealing for any of us. We stopped in town and rented surfboards from the local surf shop, owned by a ex-pro surfer named Juan.

We got our boards, and headed out to the beach. Miro and Craig supported each other as they each tried their best with the waves. Watching them was entertaining, and Agnes played along in the water with them. Miro was more relaxed and Craig was always encouraging.

I, on the other hand, had taken an observation point right on the beach, watching everyone surf. I wasn’t alone however, Zeko was sitting on the empty towel next to me. Content watching the threesome playing in the waves, on and off the boards, laughing and splashing provided a bit of entertainment for me, while Zeko slept in the sun.

My head was propped up using my backpack as a pillow and my weight rested on my elbows. Next to me was Agnes’ towel, and their yellow bag, sitting on top of their towel. It was a beautiful day and I was happy to be sitting and soaking in the sun and in awe of the beauty around me.

From down the beach, I noticed two local guys in shorts walking in my direction, near the shore. The beach wasn’t that crowded and my people watching was at a minimum. That’s strange, I thought, as as they got closer to me, they split up. One walked right in front of me, one and behind me. Then I heard the sound of running foot steps from behind me.

Before I knew what happened, the footsteps of the man running behind me was closer and the sound was almost in my ear. He ran fast, bent down to snatch the yellow bag that was beside me on the towel. Agnes’ bag was in his hand, and he was running down the beach. Snatched from right beside me, not even two feet away! Not only did they grab their bag from beside me, the grabbed the bag from right beside Zeko the dog.

These guys had some balls!

Both men ran directly towards the jungle path Agnes’ bag in hand and retreated into the bush. Stunned, I moved as quickly as I could, but not quick enough. It registered I had just been robbed, stunned and shocked. I grabbed my pack, slung it over my back, then ran in the direction of the men towards the start of the jungle path leading back to the beach on the other side.

DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?

Shit, shit, SHIT!!!!!!!

I stood stunned, looking at the jungle path, then turning around looking at the beach where Craig, Agnes and Miro were surfing, without a clue of what just happened. I stood there looking back and forth, back and forth. I shrugged my shoulders, backpack still in tow and returned back to the beach, to tell them their bag was just snatched.

Shit, shit, SHIT!!!!!!!

I approached the edge of the ocean to Craig, Agnes and Miro were surfing. At this point, Agnes was on the board, I waved for them to come to the shore because I had to tell them something. They all three got out of the waves as I told them what happened.

At this point, I witness Agnes, a quiet, reserved girl transform into livid live wire. I had never seen such a transformation like this in my life, and without a thought, her lean and athletic legs darted in the direction of the jungle path, to where the men had retreated, just a few minutes before.

The path connected the beach we were on, Playa Guionis to Playa Polata, the beach we were staying. Craig and I gathered up the surf boards with Miro and retreated to our towels on the beach. I think we all were in disbelief of what just happened. Craig is not a runner and walking long distances is not easy for him, since he has a severe case of scoliosis He said not to worry about Agnes, when she gets mad, she has the force of a charging bull Craig behind her and that he wouldn’t want to be one of those guys if she caught them. I didn’t ask how he knew that…

At some point, Craig was taking an inventory of what was in the bag, some clothes, both his and Ages’ camera, his phone and his car keys. HIS CAR KEYS!! Craig just bought his truck used in San Jose from a friend of a friend and realized he does not have extra key. His Ford truck has one of those expensive anti theft electronic mechanisms, not a standard 1979 car key like my old Mercedes.

Shit, shit, SHIT!!!!!!!

We had no idea how we were going to get a new key for that car, had no phone to call anyone, and the nearest Ford dealer was back in San Jose. Basically we are fucked.

Feeling helpless and a little responsible, I told Miro and Craig to wait by the surf boards and the car and I was going to walk the jungle path to see if I could find the discarded yellow bag. After all, these thieves were likely only interested in the cameras and the phone, not a set of keys to a car they didn’t’ know where it was.

I walked the entire path from Playa Guionis to Playa Polata. I didn’t see anything. I returned to where I started without seeing anything. I was determined, so I walked it again, this time slower. Upon my second retreat back to Playa Guionis I was suddenly joined by Zeko, the dog Craig and Agnes were dog sitting. He came running down the path towards me, then he dart off ahead of me. As we were halfway back to Playa Guionis, the beach where Craig and Miro were, Zeko stopped on the trail. He waited for me to catch up to him. As I did, I too stopped on the trail and reached down to Zeko to pet him. Just as I did, I looked down and there on the trail was Craig’s keys!!!!

What were the chances? I picked them up, pet Zeko who must have had the guidance of unseen forces working with him, and headed back to Craig and Miro. Craig was giddy with amazement and we both thanked Zeko the dog, over and over. The three of us piled back into the truck, returned the surfboards then drove back to Playa Polata where Agnes was waiting for us.

We had been violated, but there was some mercy. We never found the bag, or the guys who nabbed it, but we had the keys and we were mobile.

Everything else could be replaced.

And we did experience the dark underbelly of Costa Rica.

(and if you are reading this and your name is Agnes, it’s most definitely your fault!)

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