I’ll let my pictures do most of the talking for this blog as my words won’t do this experience justice.
I can not believe how quickly the last few days flew by, it’s like a dream. Some highlights were:
- My trip to magnificent Volcan Poas and being lucky enough to be among the 60% of tourists that don’t get to see the crater because of clouds, and to be among the 40% who do! I had taken a hike along a trail through the forest and got back to see the crater a second time for just about 2 minutes. Had I not done that, the crater and it’s glory would have been a sight I could only see through postcards. Very happy about that 🙂
- I learnt to appreciate how coffee is made and tasted a rare, high-class quality coffee only found in a handful of places in Costa Rica – Peabody Coffee @ the Doka Plantation. Coffee is the 5th important trade in Costa Rica and only 5% of the coffee they make is of the pea-body type.
- I also went to the town of Graciela to look at the iron iglesia (church) and to the town of Sarchi to admire the talent of Costa Rican artisans. I got to see a huge ox-cart recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest in the world.
- I met people from around the world who came to Costa Rica for a number of reasons – many of them very young, 17 year olds who never left their country before, and came to a foreign country where they don’t speak the language at all! And I met people who came here for 3 months with no plans what so ever and just see where life takes them! I met someone who came here alone because it was not enough an excuse to not come because no one was willing to come with them. In my tour bus of 17 people, I even met another Bayer colleague from Guatemala!!! This being my first trip all by myself, I was scared! Turns out, traveling alone can be AWESOME! 🙂 I have to say, I am very lucky to already in my two days meet friends who inspired me in this way.
- The food – for the most part, the food here is just AMAZING! I pretty much ate mostly Costa Rican food, with one exception at a Thai/Asian Fusion place one evening. I tried a few of the local dishes – casado, pico de gallo, different kinds of salsa, banana cream – estuvo delicioso! There were a couple of drinks that were funny tasting – I have no clue what they were – for example, this morning for breakfast there was a green, very bitter tasting juice. I like bitter sweet taste but this did not go down very well.. hahahha! I have to say, considering my first sushi went to my napkin, I am proud of how many different things I have tried here! For the record, I LOVE sushi now 🙂
- Isla Tortuga – Yesterday I spent the day at the Tortuga (Turtle) Island. This small island, which we only got a little taste of is so beautiful, you don’t have to be a good photographer to get great pictures. Some of you know I have become a bit of a spa addict over the last few months:) and let me tell you, being there in the beautiful beach, playing with the sand and the water, laughing, singing and getting to know my new friends Melissa and Chelsea and being treated like royalty by our incredibly hospitable tour guides beats all my heavenly spa experiences, and I have had a fair share. 🙂 This is one experience I don’t think I’ll forget.
iPura Vida is Costa Rican expression of their life. Meaning literally “pure life”, it’s a much more profound concept encompassing life, wellbeing, positivity, happiness and more. I remember sitting on the deck of the boat at the end of the day, mesmerized by my experience at this little isla and feeling really fortunate to get a taste of it. I leave you with this beautiful Costa Rican Calypso music/entertainment we got…enjoy!
I’m not sure when I will be able to get online again. I am meeting my group tonight and we’ll likely go to our community tomorrow morning. I can’t wait!