We were pleased to open the January issue of “The Howler” magazine and read a piece by David Mills in the “Tamarindo Improvements” column about the landscaping work we completed last month to open The Witch’s Garden. Even though the Howler is a free magazine, and also available online at www.howlermag.com, I’ve reprinted it here for convenience. Most of the printed copies in town were quickly snatched up by all the holiday visitors.
Many years ago a brilliant plan was proposed for Tamarindo’s waterfront – a pedestrian-only walkway, cafes, picnic tables, bicycle paths, kiosks, all along the beach from the estuary to the Circle. Like far too many bright ideas for Tamarindo – sewage treatment plant, Parque de la Independencia, road to Langosta – it never happened. Now somebody is trying to make the beachfront a nicer place, and is getting hassled because of it.
Witch’s Rock Surf Camp has cleared the area south of the hotel, put out chairs and tables, and is serving beverages in a shaded rincon right on the beach. They have improved the parking around the hotel and the access from the parking lot, cleaned up the dirty little creek, and made the area user friendly. So why are they in deep do-do?
Asociation Pro Mejores de Tamarindo called in the municipality, accusing WRSC of a “major violation” of the Zona Maritima Terrestre (50-meter public zone) by putting a concrete tube on its property to direct the flow of a small drainage creek which empties into the ocean just south of the hotel. It was further stated in the letter that the water from this creek is highly polluted with coliforms, the wording suggesting that WRSC was responsible for the pollution, and virtually blaming the surf camp for the loss of the coveted “blue flag.”
Let us put things into perspective. The creek formerly was a dirty, ugly little stream crossed by an unsafe log bridge, access to the hotel from the car park. The new culvert has no effect on the creek but allows safe and easy passage over it. The coliform count is easily explained; the creek runs from the hills above Tamarindo alongside the Parque de la Independencia, a pastureland and lavatory for horses and cattle. The park is covered with cow patties and horse apples, and drains into the creek. It also runs past several small businesses that let grey or black water into it. Witch’s Rock has a modern and efficient waste water treatment plant and has no connection to the creek. The pollution allegation is, literally, bullshit.
Regarding the Blue Flag, maybe APMT and the Muni should look at the horses which daily take tours along the beach, despite the fact that horses are forbidden on any beach in Santa Cruz canton. I don’t see the tour operators “stooping and scooping” the caquitas.
There are many things which detract from Tamarindo being a pretty tourist town
– the sidewalk outside Nibbana, just waiting to break someone’s ankle; the frontage of Super 2001, a river crossed by an ugly bridge and the laughable concrete berm; the parking area at Plaza Conchal which is almost unusable without 4WD… Let’ s not castigate businesses that take it upon themselves to make their own improvements.
Howler Magazine, January 2011 www.howlermag.com