Things I Never Want to Forget About Costa Rica

We went to Costa Rica last year, but that was before I had the blog, so I thought I’d make a list here, so I’ll always remember.

The only realistic way to get to Nosara is by flying in on Sansa Airlines. Daily flights of 15 passengers. They have a little dirt runway in the center of town built by Ollie North when he was supplying arms to the rebels in Nicaragua.

We met a couple traveling together with their friend, Timmy. When we found out his name we were laughing, saying, “We have a Timmy too. But we left ours at home.”

Our new friends picked us up in their four wheel drive car to go to the next town. We came to a mud river, but in didn’t look too deep so the driver started driving slowly through. Next thing we know chocolate mud was rolling up over the hood of the car, and then the windshield, at which moment we realized that the windows were down! Brown slush poured through, soaking the car and the driver. We laughed for an hour.

Same friends invited us to dinner at the Dolce Vita restaurant, where they were friends with the owner. After dinner, the owner brought us a bottle of Limoncello, on the house. I had never tasted it before, now I’m obsessed with it.

Our little casa with a garden was an easy walk to Playa Guiones, three miles of golden sand, wonderful waves. A surfer’s paradise, for sure. We swam every morning, first thing. At the evening sunset—the whole town comes out to watch the surfers, drink and watch the sun go down on another day.

The first night we were tired and went to bed around 10PM; apparently that’s when the surfer bar next door gets going because the music started blaring as soon as we got into bed. It kept up until around 2AM, of course. We finally started drifting off, when the most outrageous, growling, horrifying, noise started all around us. Brad jumped out of bed and said, “Do they have Komodo dragons here?” I said, “The villagers are not screaming and running down the road, so we are probably okay.” It turned out to be Howler Monkeys, which kept us awake many nights. Then finally, around 4 AM, we were startled awake by a loud bang on the rooftop, like someone threw a trashcan at the metal roof. Brad ran outside and said that it was an iguana, jumping from a tree to the roof. I thought that I would never sleep for the entire month we were going to be there.

The actual town of Nosara is three miles away from the beach. We rented a golf cart from Coconut Harry’s and rode it over the dusty twisting roads of Nosara, hanging on for dear life. In the town itself there is a nightclub called Beatle Bar, devoted to all things Beatle.

I saw an iguana catch and eat a squirrel whole. Up to that point, I thought they were vegetarians.

Brad and I crossed a river in our little rental car, no problem. After lunch and a swim in the ocean, we headed back the way we came. Unfortunately, the tide had come in and we appeared to be stuck for 12 hours until it went out again. The ticos (locals) sat on the banks and laughed at us as we forged it anyway.

Some friends offered to take us to the Rodeo in Ostional (next town over). We were the only gringos there. The rickety stands were made of tree branches, but we paid extra for the privilege of sitting up there. If a cowboy was injured, six people would pick him up and throw him down a shoot. They allowed any and all drunk men to jump into the ring anytime to taunt the bulls.

In the afternoons we made daiquiris made with fresh frozen fruit and Flor de Cana rum.

We checked our email at the super mini everyday.

Walking down the dirt roads, I was overcome with a sticky sweet smell that it took awhile to identify. It was molasses! They pave their roads with molasses. Really!

Since there is a large contingency of ex-pats living there now, there is an abundance of international restaurants and the surfer bars—Blew Dogs, Gilded Iguana, Giardino Tropical. If you bought a drink or a snack at any of the hotel/bars, you could swim all afternoon in their refreshing pools.

Some afternoons, I would lie in the hammock and read, while Brad would go across the street to the Gilded Iguana to eat ceviche and play dice with the bartender. Then I would wander over later for a swim in the pool.

Memories of a very romantic dinner at La Luna on the beach at sunset, also other unforgettable meals at Marlin Bill’s, Rancho Tico, Lagarta, Restaurante Romantica.

Our friend, Elliott tried to sweep away a snake from the front door of his house and later discovered that it was a pit viper.

Pura Vida is a Costa Rican expression meaning, pure life, or good life, or it’s a good life here, or hello, or good-bye. Sort of the aloha of Costa Rica.

We watched a 5 year old boy climb up a barstool at Blew Dogs and order a rum and coke, the bartender made it for him! (It was for his mom).

After three weeks in Nosara, we went to the mountains for a change of scenery. We wanted to see Arenal, Costa Rica’s most spectacular active volcano. We stayed at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, less than two miles from the volcano. We could see red lava and spewing rocks from the window of our hotel room. Truly one of the most amazing things I have seen in my lifetime.

Brad talked me into going on the zip line canopy tour. Twelve platforms way up above the jungle treetops, and over a river, we went whizzing by at horrifying speeds. I was truly terrified and thrilled.

For our very last night, we splurged on the luxurious Tabacon resort. I will never forget floating in the romantic pools of volcano heated spring water.

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