Wednesday, June 20, 2007

An outdated post.

I've done so much since April! I actually typed out the message below months ago but saved it as a draft so I'm posting it today (September 4). I'll add more again now that the wonderseason is coming to a close and I'll have more time for my beloved plugged in world.

April 27-May 7
We went to Costa Rica! I had free reign to plan the whole trip. I've wanted to go to CR forever and finally nothing else got in the way! So after about 8 draft itineraries we settled on travelling by car to the following places San Jose Airport-La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano-Mal Pais-Montezuma-Alajuela-San Jose Airport. The other 7 itineraries have been saved for future vacations because I may never need to go to any other country again. One of the things I lovvvve about this kind of vacation is the way it's just me and Jay. Navigating, exploring, detouring and just plain old silliness all on our own. That one time when we took the road that no tourist should ever take. The road that wasn't a road. The one with 1 farm on it, no towns, no phones and no people anywhere. That one. We discussed how no one on the planet knew where we were at that exact moment and it was a very cool feeling coming from a place where we make ourselves available 24 hours a day.

We had a crazy trip. The people of Costa Rica are very friendly, gentle people who haven't figure out the fine art of gouging tourists yet. Their government, they know what they're doing, but the locals are still charging nearly nothing for food, clothes, hotels. Seriously, we had fajitas with salad and pop for 2 people for about $10 US. The restaurant was on prime real estate too, it was so close to the ocean I could spit in it. I do think I am quite an attractive thing when I hock a lugey at the dinner table... I did win the Pumpkinfest seed spitting contest of 1989. My picture was in the paper.
Our first stop, La Fortuna, was pretty cool with rainforest, an erupting volcano, tonnes of wildlife and HOT SPRINGS. After 2 days of hiking and exploring we spent both evenings in the natural hot springs at 2 different resorts. Both were different but both left my skin feeling like buttah. We took a guided hike so we could get a sense of the things we were looking at, hearing, smelling... just experiencing. The place fills your senses.

We left this paradise on their newly paved road through the various somewhat developed towns and headed towards our surf destination. About 2.5 hours into our 5 hour drive we crossed the friendship bridge onto the Nicoya Peninsula. That's where the roads changed. About 15 minutes in we hit a gravel road and I thought about the words of warning about Costa Rican roads but I didn't think it was that bad. Then we decided to try to take this road through the middle (and mountainous!) part of the peninsula. The map showed a dashed line, indicating a "country road or lane" but only for 10-20 Km. This is the part of the trip where I wondered if we had any right to leave our country and make grown up decisions when clearly we were stupid people who tried to cross through mountain ranges in a RAV4! After about 15-20 minutes, 2 dogs attacking our tires and seeing absolutely nothing but mountains, we turned around.

Our next stop was a surf town called Mal Pais. When we arrived in town, you come down this hill to a somewhat busy crossroads from out of no where, we see this guy on a scooter with a surfboard on his back. We have arrived. We found a little surf hotel called Point Break, which had screens for walls, monkeys in the trees and shared bathrooms for only $25 per night! It was a cool experience, we walked to the beach from there and surfed the very next morning. COOL! We would have stayed longer but oy! those mattresses were rough so 2 days later we got up early and drove the strip looking for something adventurous. We found it in a little hotel with about 7 tree houses perched on the hills, made from tree trucks and mesh netting. I realize the security in a building made from netting is pretty low but in the moment, we felt more than safe.

We spent the rest of the week surfing, hiking, eating, sleeping. We met 2 couples who we really enjoyed hanging out with. Jay makes me laugh my butt off on a regular basis and this was no exception. We were away from the house, our jobs and all the little TO DO lists we (read: I) keep going on a regular basis. In a word, it was amazing. The experience is going in our top 10 and I'm secretly hoping we make it back to Costa Rica very soon.