Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 47.5 through 50.5 - Mom's Take on Costa Rica

Date:   08/15/12 - 08/20/12
Location: Costa de Oro, Costa Rica

Word of the day: tranquilidad (de espíritu) - peace of mind
Turtle Fact: Adult male sea turtles live their entire lives at sea, but females return to land—to the same beach where they were born—once every two years or so to lay their eggs, (of course let the women do all the work).

Day 1 - I arrived in Costa Rica after midnight. As I arrive at the rental car company I realized I neglected to contact my credit card company to notify them that I was going out of the country, (big mistake #1). They find me a hotel, good thing I had US dollars. Next day, arrive back at rental car company, rented the economy car (mistake #2), small SUV and GPS would of been better choices. They ask where I am going I show them on the map and they suggest taking the shorter route via Ferry, (mistake #3), no one told me I had to cross a river and needed a SUV. Needless to say after driving 9 hours and back tracking, I spend the night in Cobano, thankfully they had WiFi. Along the way I met some of the nicest people, the fishing boat Captain who paid for my Ferry ride so I would not have to wait another 3 hours for the next one, John and Mo from San Diego, CA who I followed to Santa Theresa, 7 miles from my final destination, before that river I could not cross, not their fault they had an SUV, everyone I stopped to ask directions, whether they spoke English or not all were willing to help one way or another.

Day 2- I wake up early to back track to the Ferry, I set a goal to see Victor by 3pm or I am going back to the USA. I found my way, arrived at the Playa San Miguel house at 3pm, Courtney directed me to Playa San Coyote and I see Victor walking down the street, I knew I was going to cry, and I did. Partly for the relief of finally arriving and mostly because it was really, really good to see my baby boy, I didn't know how much I really missed him. I get the 5 minute tour and a bonus, fresh coconut water right from a baby coconut picked from the tree, tasted just like what you get from the paper carton, but the experience was much better. We unpack the 5 bags I brought for him, he looked like he did when he was 7 on Christmas day. Drove to a place on the beach with Maddie and Wilson, to a place that makes ceviche but they were closed so we went to the bar next door, they had it, it was wonderful, Matt was there with his surf board. I drove them all back including the surf board. Victor got me a room at the Hotel Laguna Mar. Hot, hot shower and a simple dinner of  a little pudding, quesadilla, salad, ice cream  and a rum drink with a paper umbrella :-)  Time for bed.

Day 3 - We got up early, sat on the balcony and caught up Wi-fi, breakfast was very good, rice, beans, eggs, toast, coffee and warm cake, oh so good. We went back to the house picked up Maddie, Matt and Olivia, and went to Punta Islita, for lunch and to sit by the beach. Very nice hotel, food was good, a little pricy, view was great. The girls enjoyed the pool, myself and the boys stretched out on the lawn chairs and chillaxed (Victorisim - chill/relax). That evening dinner was simple, rice, beans and a vegetable mix, all very good. Return to Laguna Mar, hot shower, and in bed by 9 pm, I think was out in 30 seconds.

Day 4 - Up early, Facebook, email catch up, simple breakfast, fruit plate, coffee and toast, back to bed for a nap, pack and check out. Drove to San Francisco, small town north east of the beach house. Town has 2 small convenience stores and a hardware store, pretty big deal for this remote area. Victor picked up some necessities, then went to a Soda next door for lunch, fruit smoothies, beans, rice, plantains, bifsteak and salad for me, chimichanga for Victor, everything was delicious. Once we returned to the beach house we went swimming, then chillaxed watching the waves. Victor surprised us all with a Coco Loco drink he made with fresh coconuts, I got a double dose :-). Showered, dinner and went on my first Turtle patrol at 8 pm, took me almost all of half the patrol for my eyes to adjust to the darkness, 2K there, 2K back, alas we didn't spot any Turtles, by now I am tired and can only think of my travel day tomorrow.....agh! Time for bed for me.

Day 5 - Up at 4am, wake up Victor and hit the road at 4:50 am, this time I took their advice, drove the roads they suggested, 4.5 hours later I was returning the car to the car rental. I was hoping to get on the afternoon flight to Florida but there were no seats. I sat a total of 15 hours at San Jose airport, trying not to go crazy I was so tired.

Day 6 - My flight left on time at 1 am on Monday, I made it home to Warren at 11 am after 30 hours of traveling.

I have to say I give Victor a huge pat on the back, giving up so much to help God's creatures takes a special person, and I am proud to say I am his Mother.

Lesson: - Advance preparation is key. - When traveling to remote places for the first time, listen to what the locals are telling you.  - An SUV, GPS and a translation book would of been very good choices.

Food: McDonald's (I know but I knew what I was getting), rice, beans, fish, plantains, ceviche, coconut water.
Animals: Monkeys, lizards, geckos, insects, dogs, cats, cows, horses.      

Something I am thankful for: My sons who like me and don't want me to stay lost in Costa Rica.
Something I don't want to admit: I am stubborn and can do it all by myself, I can't.

Days of Rain: 5/5
Total Turtle Eggs I have saved: 0 :-(

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