Barcelo Playa Langosta
It's a beautiful tropical evening; the warm breeze is swishing through the palm leaves high overhead as I walk down the well-lit path between my room toward the entertainment theatre. The staff of the Barcelo Playa Langosta are putting on a show of traditional Costa Rican dancing tonight. A small, grey creature emerges from some shrubs and walks along beside me on the cobblestone, keeping pace at my feet. I turn my head, fully expecting to see a cat, dog, or possibly one of the resort's many raccoons. Instead, the gaze that returns mine is that of an animal I've never seen before... An armadillo! Well, this is an odd situation, isn't it? I never realized that an armadillo's face looks so much like a mouse's--a long snout, black eyes, but with what looks like a little helmet placed carefully between two giant ears. I stop and gently turn with my camera in hand, but the armadillo senses my change of activity and scurries away before I can get a photo. Damn! I shrug and continue on my walk. No sooner have I gone 10 feet than the armadillo resumes his place at my side. We repeat exactly the last scene of me trying to take a photo and him not wanting his photo taken. Once again, I begin my walk and the armadillo predictably emerges from the shadows to travel by my side. This is ridiculous! The theatre is just a hundred feet away now, rising brightly in the darkness, and I begin to feel reality slipping on me--like I've entered the Land of Oz and I'm on some hallucinogenic Yellow Brick Road. Yep, just me and my armadillo, goin' to see the night show!
At the door I stop and turn to the creature, "You can't come in. Armadillos aren't allowed--especially camera-shy ones!" It looks at me, with what I imagine is some sort of sadness, turns, and ambles slowly away in its armour.
As I sit down at the front-row table with my friends Kelly and her mother LuAnn, Kelly notices a smirk on my face. "What's so funny?," she asks. "Umm... There was this...", I'm confused and not sure how to tell the story, "Armadillo... and it followed me here." Kelly raises her eyebrows and bursts into laughter.
This is great resort; I'm so comfortable here. It has everything you need--decent food with variety (Costa Rica isn't known for its cuisine anyway), clean rooms with balconies, a tuck shop (that opens and closes on its own random schedule), all day snacks and drinks, a room fridge that gets replenished occasionally with beer and soda, the best swimming pool in town (as rumour has it), a live band, a casino, and a fantastic beach. Combine all that with perfect weather and this place is a hit! Another bonus is that this place is small enough that everything is within short walking distance from your room and by the end of the week, all the guests have met and know each other by name and become one big club.
Waiting at the airport to return to Canada, sitting around chatting and drinking beer with a large group of others from our resort, we are approached by people who stayed at a much larger five-star on the outskirts of Tamarindo beach. "Did all you guys come down together?," they ask curiously. We laugh, "No we met each other at the Barcelo." They look dismayed, "We should have stayed there too. We didn't meet anyone the whole time we were here."
See my "Barcelo Playa Langosta" video.