There were two ways to get to our destination: by the local collectivo, Puerto Jimenez' public pick-up truck, or by kayak. Marcos, a sexy tattooed dark-haired, blued-eyed, half British-Spaniard and I decided the journey to Matapalo point, a surfer's haven, would be more fun by kayak. When the staff of Blue Osa, the yoga retreat we were staying at on Playa Tamales, learnt of our mid-day plans, they deemed it foolish. Sarah, one of the prep chefs, told us it was going to be about an hour each way at least and suggested to siesta instead during the scorching afternoon heat.
Being avid adventurers, we weren't going to let a little sun get in the way of our plans. Plus, we had a lot of sunblock and water with us so we weren't worried.
I was looking forward to a leisurely paddle through the beautifully serene waters of Golfo Dulce that were surrounded by lush rainforest where tree roots literally extend right to the water's edge.
What I didn't realize was that we would be accompanied by three others.
Two black labs and a golden retriever. Pete, Steve and Shiva were their names and as soon as we pulled our kayaks into the water, all three were happily swimming alongside us.
They belonged to Aaron, one of the owners of Blue Osa, and they loved interacting with the guests. They similarly accompanied Marcos and I on our afternoon run the day before yesterday. I quite enjoyed their company, but that was different: Deep water populated with bull sharks was not involved.
We were about one-third of the way of our intended journey when Marcos stopped paddling.
He was afraid of the dogs drowning. "I don't want to kill Aaron's dogs," he told me. He then relayed a story about a dog who suddenly died from exhaustion without warning as it accompanied a horse-riding tour at his family's equestrian hotel, Can Jou near Barcelona.
"I want to be here for five more days without feeling guilty about killing three dogs," he said. I agreed.
"Go home!" he yelled out to Pete, Steve and Shiva. They ignored him blissfully as they continued doggy-paddling. It was clear. They were not going to leave us alone. No matter how far we were going to kayak into the gulf.
Marcos laughed and said, "Look at them. Going around like loonies. They don't even know where they are going."
Marcos pulled one of the circling black labs onto his kayak to give it a rest. I tried to do the same with Shiva but alas, he paddled away from my grasp.
"Shall we go back?" Marcos suggested. "For the dogs?"
I nodded as I watched Shiva's friendly face as he happily swam by me. I wouldn't know the first thing to do with a drowned dog and the thought of any of the much-talked about bull sharks getting to these guys worried me even more. These were dogs that would definitely be missed.