Costa Rica fills me up. My friends, old and new who gifted me with joy, wonder and music tonight in the glorious Osa Peninsula, fill me to overflowing. I don’t know where to start. So, hang with me and we’ll see where we go tonight.
I left Austin on Friday. Today is Monday and there’s just too much to stuff in the middle. I’m good at stuffing though, really, and wow, I’ve even impressed myself with the things we’ve stuffed into these few days.
Friday, I saw the sunrise on the way to Costa Rica glint gloriously off our airplane wing as we left the Austin runway. I witnessed the sun go down on a beach in Dominicalito! Between the two, muchos adventures happened. We arrived in San Jose full of energy and ripe with anticipation. We crept slowly through immigration, found our bags and stood in a big, um, huge, line to go through customs. They x-rayed our bags, asked no questions and sent us on our way. We found the rental car desk and were sent in the general direction of the rental car pick up area-ish. This “over there by that” is sort of the way of life here. We stood around waiting for the van when I saw a van pull up way back across the street and wave at the folks standing nearby. We followed them and got in the van. As they were loading our things, el Tico said, “Fragile?” and very seriously I said, “Si! Vodka!” He stopped a minute, gave me a hard look, crossed himself, gave me a big toothy grin, patted my bag gently and put my case aside to make sure it was on top. I love this country!
We were dropped off a the desk after a long, painfully slow ride, but short distance where

rush hour san jose CR

we passed folks walking IN the three lane highway selling fried plantains, y other things that we couldn’t identify. (Prepare yourself for the Spanglish porque, I can’t help myself… it’s bad, too. I know. Ann and I speak-eh the same flavor of espanol and it’s amazing. Somehow between us, we are understood perfectamente. Bien!) We sign in for the car, pero, they don’t have the one we reserved. Oh, well, that’s sorta normal here. They want to give us a RAV4, but we have big bags. Ruby red vodka filled bags, and that won’t do. They say they’ve got “just the vehicle” we need. We promptly wait 2 hours. Yes, I said two horas. Waiting. And waiting. We just got slapped with the literal meaning of “tico time.” Ah, well. We Americanas just need to chill. It was difficult, but… They pull it up and it’s a massive 4 Wheel Drive (required where we were headed) Toyota Sequoia. Holy ginormous, silver burrito batman, this thing is a beast! It is now callled Bestia by the way (prounounced like your favorite aunt: best tia.)

We hit the road really late and lo and behold the traffic was stopped. It’s always a riot in FullSizeRender (4)San Jose, but wow. No wonder people can wander the three lane highway selling snacks! With Ann at the wheel and I in navigation mode, we slowly got on the road. Pura Vida. We made ONE (insert singing angel choir here) ONE, wrong turn, corrected and headed out of town a good 3-4 hours after we landed, but who’s counting?
DSC06732We stopped at the Tarcoles crocodillo (si, crock-oh-deeyo) bridge famous for its huge crocs. It’s definitely a tourist trap, but oh so fun! The little “soda” stand was the first stop. They had fresh made smoothies, cold beer and tequila and rum shots/floaters. Oh, yes we did. We walked precariously along the bridge, dodging oncoming traffic and wide mirrors. Even though 3 of the 4 of us DSC06737had been here before, all four of us were in awe. There were cows down on the banks of the river facing off with the huge, dinosaurs. It was muy impressive.
After snapping copious numbers of photos (a common theme this trip) and thoroughly checking it out, we got in the Bestia with our DSC06739fried plaintain chips (Heaven in a cellophane bag) and kept moving. We had a long way to go. Ann and crew traditionally stop for sunset, so since we were well behind schedule, we made an emergency turn off the highway onto a road that looked like it might have beach access. The beast took the whole road, and houses stood between us and the water. Then BAM, it dead ended. Si, it just stopped. What??? With no time to try to do a 14 point turn and get la Bestia turned around, we jumped out and started sneaking through a lot that seemed empty. The sun was going down rapidamente and it was an emergency! I admit, coming from Texas where every homeowner is also a gun owner, this made me slightly nauseous. A little neighbor lady came out and looked as us, and Ann flashed her big smile, pointed at the beach and said, “La Playa? El sol?” She nodded and away we ran.


Then, magic happened. The sun started to fall, our yogi struck a pose and held the sun in her hands. We breathed it in. Pura Vida, indeed!

Want to go on this adventure with me next year? Check out the trips forming now for 2017! Here are some related posts about this amazing adventure: Countdown to Paradiso, Excitement, Adrenaline, Lost Hats and Itineraries, Pura Vida, Indeed.