Pura Vida

or, the pure life, is the motto and mantra here in Costa Rica. We’ve been here for just over a month and had some great adventures. The trip was amazingly enriched by sharing it with our dear friends, Randy and Janneen.

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Arriving in Costa Rica we were at the back of the plane and entered the immigration terminal to a packed house. Truly, Disney style lines filled the huge room. No problem, we had two hours until our regional flight left for the coast. Pura Vida, relax, breathe deeply, enjoy.

Wrong!

Two hours later we get our turn to face the agent and show our papers. The agent asked how long we were staying in Costa Rica. We replied 38 days. The agent demanded to see our return ticket. Luckily Doug had gone to the Aeromexico office the previous day to purchase our return tickets. Then he promptly packed them in his checked luggage. Who would have known? The agent was not going to budge on this issue.  We could show proof of departure OR not enter Costa Rica. Welcome to Costa Rica!

Thankfully we remembered we’d received a confirmation email from Aeromexico that we accessed on Doug’s iPhone. This satisfied the agent. Off we ran, grabbed our bags, went through customs, exited the main terminal, pushing through the crowd of taxi drivers and continued our run, with our 5 bags, three blocks to the little regional terminal. Whew!!

We had to weigh our bags and ourselves, especially since we were the last to check in. Weight is especially important on these aircraft. Another flight on a single engine, 10 passenger, prop job. What fun. This seems to becoming a habit. Dad must be loving it!

Tamarindo airport

Tamarindo airport

On the 50 minute flight, we had one landing in Tamarindo. This was like a landing strip in a golden field of wheat, mindful of pictures I’ve seen of the African savannah. The picture was complete with a small herd of Brahman cows just past the landing strip. We dropped off the six youngest passengers and the four of us retirees continued on to Liberia.

We’re in Playas del Coco on the Guanacaste Peninsula which is a dry, tropical forest area. Not the lush, green that we had expected. This is the dry season. As we got closer to the little beach town there were more palm trees and tropical green. Playas del Coco is home to quite a large enclave of Snowbirds from Canada and the US who spend 3-6 months here. There are also visitors from all over the world. Lots of full ownership condos. I heard just yesterday there are timeshares somewhere but it’s not obvious. There are some larger resorts but mostly it looks very small town.

Cocos has a soccer field which seems to be a requirement of all Costa Rican towns. There is a malecon along the beach, partly paved and partly dirt. The towns here don’t really have a square with a church or special market like in Mexico and other Latin countries. There are two large gringo owned bars that seem to be quite popular. The ubiquitous souvenir shops are available as well as two banks and three grocery stores, restaurants and other local shops. One grocery has no air conditioning and is where many of the local Ticos shop, another with AC and the third quite a bit more upscale and up-priced where you can find most things you might want from the US or Canada. Of course there are the proverbial tour peddlers. The Ticos do approach you for souvenirs and tours but it’s not really a hard push. Most of the streets are dirt. The streets of Coco.

Each morning we sit on our deck drinking coffee and listening to the birds and howler monkeys. This is the day the Lord has made. After a sufficient amount of coffee, Janneen and I walk the beach to the tune of around 9,000+ steps. Of course we’ve spent time doing the typical tourist activities. Visiting beaches. Hiking in the rain forest. Walking the jungle canopy via suspension bridges. Looking at bird life (difficult to capture with my iPhone camera). Watching for monkeys and other wildlife. Taking the day tour to Nicaragua. Taking a boat trip to a secluded beach. Visiting volcanos. Getting messy in the mud baths. Enjoying Pura vida.

To be continued…

3 thoughts on “Pura Vida

  1. Happy Easter Live LAUGH LOVE

  2. Kris, again you have captured so well the experience we shared with you. Enjoy the holiday, easy travels and thank you. XXOO R and J

  3. sounds like another fun adventure. Love all the pics, suspension bridge looks like fun.
    Save travels back to Mexico and Happy Easter. Love and miss you both

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