It must be the weather — cold and rainy — that has my mind re-visiting Costa Rica so I decided to run with it.
For Christmas of 2009, I surprised my husband with a trip for two to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. It’s a small, rustic town on the southern coast of the Caribbean. It attracts more travelers than tourists. You won’t find high rise hotels or fast food restaurants, but you will find quaint hotels and local eateries. Most folks rent bikes but taxis are available.
Amid the dirt roads, frequent pot holes, ants aplenty and mosquitos, was a beauty hard to describe. It was nothing less than enchanting. The jungle was amazing, alive with the sounds of tropical animals and birds. The beach inviting and water so warm you had difficulty leaving.
No surprise that we returned a few months later, this time with the rest of our family and a few favorite friends. We rented and rode bikes everywhere — no need of a gym with it’s artificial exercise machines! We visited the Saturday market, where we stocked up each week on the freshest, most delicious fruits and vegetables I’ve ever eaten. I learned from the locals how to cook items such as heart of palm and plantains, and was taught to recognize local plants that could be used in our salads. As a “regular” my favorite local produce vendors always threw in a few extra new items for me to try each week. Oh, how I loved Saturdays!
Bruce enjoyed playing pool with some of the local Rastafarian boys, and the girls enjoyed nights on the town dancing while keeping the young men at bay! We made friends with expats and locals alike. The month ended way too quickly! And during this time my son, Tim, had begun treatment with a local indigenous medicine healer so at the end of the month as everyone was preparing to leave, he and I chose to stay on a month longer so he could continue treatment. (Score!)
(Indigenous medicine to follow)