A Day Falling in Love with Costa Rica
I somehow new that I was going to fall in love with Costa Rica.
Even before I set foot in the country full of majestic volcanoes, misty cloud forests, stunning river valleys, and hundreds of beaches I knew it was special and I fell in love almost immediately.
We came into port quite early and I spend the morning strolling around Puerto Caldera – which in typical Sunday morning fashion was very sleepy.
It was another super hot and sweaty day so I spent the morning hunting for hair ties to stop my hair from sticking to my back and then started to look for somewhere with wifi to quickly connect with the world before a day of exploring.
All of the cafes were closed so I poked my head into a seedy looking ‘hostel’ which just seemed to be a long dirty corridor to a few rooms.
I politely asked the young lady sitting by the door is I could use the wifi – she happily smiled and nodded (I’m no t sure she even understood what I was asking but she didn’t mind me going inside.
There was no common area to sit in so I simply sat down in the dirty corridor and amazingly was able to connect to their super slow wifi.
I watched the few people come and go from inside the hostel and started to realise there was a common combination of people entering the rooms… Very young local women with older foreign men…
It sure made for some interesting people watching as they all would ask the young lady at the door for a room and then disappear down the corridor.
I cut my tech-time short and strolled back to the port to meet up with my friends from the ship. My friend had arranged a day trip for a group of us using a local guide that he had become friends with on one of his previous visits to the country.
Our guide Jimmy met us at the port, he was half my height but had twice my energy and we all piled into his mini van and started our adventure into Costa Rica.
Our first stop was the ATM – as I had avoided using the bathroom at the seedy hostel I was busting to dispose of my morning coffee and decided to quickly search for a place to go while everyone else got cashed up.
My friend Abbey and I went off on a toilet hunt.
We ended up in a seedy side of town which was almost deserted besides a couple of old men sitting outside a rundown home. I tried to use sign language to communicate my problem and they just laughed at me.
Desperation reached a knew level and completely frustrated I squatted just next to a fence… In full view of a family car driving past. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Having publicly peed I was ready to take on a day of tourism.
We jumped back in the van and headed towards a local rainforest beach where families were all enjoying the hot day with BBQ’s and waterside fun – including a bunch of moneys and iguanas who hung around the place enjoying the extra food lying around the place…
I knew that monkeys were known to enjoy bananas but who knew that iguanas do too?
After helping feed the locals we headed up into the top of the jungle. We all jumped into the back of a pick-up truck and were taken right to the top where we walked through treetop canopies and admired the absolutely stunning Costa Rican rainforest.
I made sure I lingered towards the back of the group to enjoy some solitude in such a magnificent place.
The view was so incredibly lush and the sounds of the rainforest were full of mystery. It was intensely wonderful and I was experiencing the extreme happiness that comes from natural wonder.
Eventually we popped out of the jungle and jumped back in the van. We were heading towards our final stop for the day – a crocodile boat trip.
Although I come from a country known to be full of crocs I had seen more crocodiles in Madagascar than Australia… And I had never never seen them at feeding time.
We all loaded onto a little boat – that was ver close to the water.
We cruised out and stopped by a whole group of them… It was crocodile lunch time.
Crocodiles are super creepy. Something about the way they appear and disappear on the top of the water. They way they stay so still until they decide to launch quickly around. They are not creatures that I would every want to have a disagreement with but getting up close and personal with them from the comfort and safety of our small boat definitely made it possible to appreciate these ugly dinosaurs of the water.
Soon we said goodbye to the crocs and started to sail back.
I didn’t want to leave Costa Rica.
I wasn’t done wandering through rainforest or getting up close and personal with the wildlife just yet.
I was in love and high on the happiness I had experienced from such a wonderful day in the beautiful country.
I told my friend that I wanted to stay and he said I should.
Of course I took him seriously (because I never really understand American overly politeness that apparently isn’t always an honest opinion).
I started to talk to Jimmy about the idea of staying and before I knew it he had called his wife and invited me to stay in his home and even help out teaching English to some of the local kids if I wanted to.
Unfortunately a miscommunication with my friend and my ability to get too caught up in a moment cancelled my spontaneous plan to stay in Costa Rica that day and before I knew it we were back at sea… But I’ll be back beautiful country…