I sat paralyzed with fear, not wanting to go outside. I had heard news reports on the local radio confirming the worst!
Just down the hall behind bleak wooden doors sat my two nieces. Only 7 & 10 years old, It had been my idea to take them to Central America. Now I had to risk life & limb to see if we’d even make it alive. I bolted out the door in a flurry of blinding elements, engaging danger. Fumbling with my keys I finally opened the car door & hit the key… Luckily it started, I was amazed!
It is however winter in Alberta & with -30oC temperatures & a
threatening amount of snow I wasn’t sure we’d even make it to YYC.Getting to the Airport was probably the scariest part of my trip to Costa Rica with my two beautiful blonde nieces. To follow was monkeys, turtles, whales
breaching, and practicing our Spanish on the bus with the local TICOS. 4 U.S. dollars took us on the bus to a small costal town on the Pacific, Quepos. Embedded at the base of the rain forest our $40 “Hostel” that included breakfast, was centered around a pool, tropical gardens & toads. 10mins from an adrenaline buffet of Eco Friendly activity we filled our afternoons with Zip Line canopy tours, ripping from tree top to tree top through the rain forest.
Our group held both sides of the spectrum from grade school to well retired. *I might note my waterproof camera paid for itself on this tour as I was cleverly pushed into the pool over refreshments @ the end of our tour. At 36oC plus humidity I wasn’t that upset to be dripping and refreshed. 15mins by bus further south was the most popular national park in Costa Rica, Manual Antonio national park. An easy walk and a carful eye , in no time we found ourselves within kissing distance from white faced monkeys, iguanas, racoons, tropical fish and even a very personal encounter with a three toed sloth. It was all just too much, so we engaged in a relaxing swim in crystal clear, bath water warm tropical ocean waters. Encountering one of natures wonders, the Sloth, on the way out of the park in what appeared to be him making an attempted suicide. The break neck speed of about 1 foot a minute this prehistoric looking creature was making a break to drown itself in the ocean. As it crept into the splashing waves none of us knew what to do. It just didn’t seem natural. So by the 5th onslaught of the oceans wrath, with waves crashing over this helpless creature one member of our party jumped in to make the harrowing rescue and return him to his humble tree. A round of applause was in order and some congratulations. Well only until back at the pool later we we’re informed by an “Animal Planet Junkie” the sloth are, despite lack of smoothness, quite good swimmers. Ahh silly humans!
Next stop the Peninsula of Nicoya, this would involve a 1 hour passenger boat trip that landed us smack dab in the middle of an aquatic astonishment. It was not a tour we were on just a crossing. Only 20 minutes into our ride and our driver spotted whales and he quickly cut the engine as we coasted along for better viewing.
There it was, what appeared to be a giant Jacuzzi in the water, then slowly the back and blow hole of a humpback whale, then the baby calf. As we were all looking on in awe, ZIP! a sting ray rips by the other side of the boat, followed quickly by a turtle then before we could take another breath, this eclipse of a humpback tail comes up out of the water and eloquently slips away into an oceanic memory. I’m sure an equally impressive picture would have been the line up of saucer sized blue eyes, dropped jaws and blonde hair that was my company. Sister Cora, G-Friend Jill and nieces Emily and Molly.
A bit of broken Spanish and a few thousand Colones (the local currency) and we went from bus to 4x4 cab on the way to one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, “Volcan Arenal”. Sitting at the base of this majestic sight, right in the lava path of the next major explosion sits a steaming set of natural hot pools. These 20 some slightly enhanced pools now boast swim up bars, built in sun chairs, water falls, and even waterslides. Ohh yeah and there’s a heli pad and some flash accommodations if you have the Colones to stay there, with top rates of over $500 U.S./ night.
If you like your rice with beans, your ceviche fresh from the ocean and a steady flow of avocado accompanied by cool drinks then your palate will feel right at home. I may have even borrowed a few culinary tastes for my restaurant. You can still enjoy water from the tap!
``PURA VIDA`` It’s about as tranquil as meditating on down pillows in the Galapagos.
For peace of mind the whole experience felt safer than walking through Wal-Mart at Christmas and we got the same value for our money.
I’ve been to both and believe me SKIP DISNEYLAND, COSTA RICA IS FOR KIDS! Life by Kix Marshall