Travel & Destinations

Pura Vida 2016

A long, long time ago … well, last year at least … a trip was made to a land I had not visited before.  And while we’re now waiting the three weeks to climb aboard Iberia Airways for the next adventure, I thought I’d share some memories.

The land was Costa Rica.  The specific destination was Arenal.  Yes, like the volcano.  We landed in a big city which I’ve already decided to forget, rented a car, and started driving.  And after reversing because we went the wrong way, to the rain forest we went.  Our stay was at a place called Chachagua Rain Forest Hotel & Hacienda.  A truly remarkable place.  But not easy to get to.  The roads there were fine, don’t get me wrong.  The several hour trek to Arenal was glorious.  But the last two kilometers were … difficult.  It could loosely be called a dirt or gravel road.  It could also have been called a bombed out war zone.  The wee vehicle we had shook and rattled parts off.  (Seriously, some of the dash parted ways because of the ride).  After check in, we had to drive through a mini-river to get to the parking lot.  But once there … ahhhh.

The hotel was in its last two weeks before closing down for the rainy season.  And we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  Maybe two other cottages were taken.  (Ironically, one was a couple from Miami.  LOL!)  No A/C, and it was warm.  I was making fun of the fact that they provided a blanket.  We had all the windows open, a nice breeze, so drifting off to sleep was nice.  Then the temps dropped and dropped … and I understood the blanket.  And the layers of clothes I also piled on me.

It had an indoor shower that essentially wasn’t.  Totally screened in from the waist up, with a nozzle right overhead.  Absolutely loved that experience.  I took several showers a day, just because it was so peaceful and relaxing.

Anyway, we had excursions, both planned and not.  We did something called Gravity Falls, which involved an almost 200′ rappel down a sheer cliff, and then jumping seven times, up to 40′ each, into muddy pools of water hidden within a rocky river basin.  Yea, it was all that.  Something I would do again and again.  We also took it easy and spent an evening with a native couple and learned how to prepare a dinner.  Their place was … indescribable.  Huge outdoor space, and when you looked through the window by the sink, the volcano was there in all its awesomeness.  The neighbor’s moonshine also helped.  LOL!

It rained.  It didn’t.  The volcano was visible and huge.  It was hidden by clouds.  The countryside was spectacular.  And the food was … worth an entire book.  Take fruit.  Apparently, I’ve never eaten it before.  I’m not much of a fruit eater, but what they have isn’t.  It’s … manna.  I eagerly rushed to breakfast each day just for whatever they picked that morning.  Oh, dear dog, it was delish.

The trip ended far too soon.  And this is by no means a comprehensive reckoning.  Just know that I will go back.  Probably to that same hotel.  But maybe with a 4×4 this time.  🙂

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Captain Rick
Our dear Cap’n has been sailing the seas of life for 50-some years. Somewhere between impulsive and a stick-in-the-mud, he finds himself embarking on journeys that will either solidify his wandering ways, or give him a nervous breakdown. Come join him on his new adventures in moving pictures on YouTube at

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