Our last week in CR was a whirlwind of crazy adventure. After I had a one-day cold (seriously! I love Costa Rican colds MUCH better than colds here in the US) we decided that we were going to take off to one of the last places in this amazing country that we haven’t visited. Tamarindo!! Like every driving trip we have taken in the country, it was a total crap-shoot on directions. I hopped onto my IPad, and mapped out our route. I knew once we left the house, and we didn’t have internet that the screen shot I had taken would be the only map we would have! On one map, the driving directions said it would take 2.5 hours (hmmm) and the other map (on the same route) said 4 hours. (Bingo!) We packed up a few things and got up early to take off! Surprisingly, the whole drive except, the last 20K were all paved and on a great highway. We were a bit concerned that the actual route listed the start of this drive as a “unknown road!” But like several times in Costa Rica and the many other places we have traveled, we know that the road less- traveled or “unknown” always seem to turn out the best!
We arrived in the highly bustling and active town of Tamarindo and fell in love immediately. It was a sweet little, surf town, situated along a gorgeous coast line. There were fun little shops, and tons of restaurants. Definitely an excellent food town. We strolled the streets, did some shopping and found a great little spot for some Happy Hour, and then set out to walk the beach. It is amazing to me, the different beaches in this country. From one ocean, on one coastline, such diversity in the sand. White and powdery, course, cocoa brown, latte brown, black…you name it! Tamarindo has fine, fawn-colored sand. With miles of beach. I always love a town that stops for their sunsets. Everyone! I loved watching the surfers and paddle boarders in the water, stop to watch with devoted affection, the incredible, fire-red, sun dip its way in to the Pacific Ocean. It’s an experience you cannot miss on any day. And why would you want to? Even the restaurant staff wandered out onto the beach to watch the unimaginable beauty of that moment! Perfection!
After coming back to Esterillos Oeste, we decided that the rest of our week would involve zip-lining and surfing as much as we could. We have zip-lined in CR before, down in Quepos, but we wanted to try a different outfit. We found a place in Jaco that offered “non-beginner” lines….that’s all we needed to hear! We set that up an for the next day and set out to find some waves.
Alli decided on a different board for the day, wanting a little challenge. I have no intention of giving up the long board, but Alli was ready for a nice, short, sporty board. Of course, she picked it right up. I swear I would love to see this girl if she could find waves everyday. She’s a natural. Greg decided he was going to give the shorter board a go. I had just come out of the water, and was on the beach, watching what I thought was going to be an epically funny cartoon about to play out in front of me. Greg paddled out, and tried to catch a nice little white wave….and down he went. He turned to paddle back out and then abruptly turned back and started in towards the beach. I sat, wondering if he was hurt. It didn’t look as if, he was rolled too badly by the wave. But what you see from the beach is drastically changed when you are in front of a wave. What I wasn’t expecting was for him to come up on the beach grabbing his foot with a jellyfish sting. OUCH!! The funny thing was that just an hour before a local guy had warned us to “be careful out there” because there were lots of jellyfish out there on this particular day. Greg sat grabbing at his foot, in complete disbelief of this happening. What were the odds? We assessed his pain, which was severe, and the odd little bleeding “whip” across his foot, and called Alli in so we could get over to the Mas x Menos for vinegar. I am still in complete awe, that this happened. As the three of us talked about it, driving to the grocery store, we kind of feel that its sort of like a lightening strike….which has ALSO happened to this family (that’s another story) (maybe we need to buy a lottery ticket sometime!) I ran into the store and came out and doused his foot in vinegar, which set him off to hopping around for a few more minutes, and then, just like magic, the pain was gone! We decided that we better get fish tacos after that harrowing afternoon. Any excuse for fish tacos, right!! And really…we don’t need an excuse!
The next morning, we had an early reservation for zip lining. We got into the shuttle with just 2 other girls that were in CR from Texas. Jackpot! Always hard to zip line when there is a huge group. We shuttled up a huge, winding, mountain outside of Jaco, then after a little uphill hike and about 50 stairs (great workout) we arrived at our first line. Being in the jungle of Costa Rica is always so exciting, with or without a zip line. The lush, thick, jungle is always teaming with all sorts of sounds, and animals. This was by far the best zip-lining we have done. They said, that it was not for beginners, and it didn’t disappoint. LONG, long, lines that were so fast. There is something about zipping above the trees, 600-some feet above the jungle, like monkeys, which we did see, of course!!
Leaving CR is always a test of our heart. We are never quite ready to say goodbye, no matter how long we stay. We are all salt-water junkies, sun devotees, and adore the people, the food, and the peacefulness of this special place. Every time we leave, it’s like we leave a piece of ourselves there. But at the same time, we bring a piece of CR home with us. I am thankful for every experience we have there, and feel blessed for the provision of being able to travel there with our family every year. This is the place, we regroup, reevaluate, reorganize, prioritize, gain perspective on life, renew, refresh, and gain a whole lot of knowledge on what and who are really important in our lives.
I am filled with gratitude for the restoration Costa Rica brings us, as a couple, as parents, as friends. Until God allows us to travel that way again….. Pura Vida
EXTRA FUN PHOTOS~