Posted on Feb 3rd, 2011 by Allison (Costa Rica, Photography, Travel)

You’re probably getting tired of my Costa Rican adventure… but there’s still so much more to share!

I promise that one day soon I’ll return to mundane posts about politics, the weather or what’s happening in my garden (yes, there are things happening!)

But for now, I will continue to regale you with thrilling tales of my adventures in Costa Rica.

Lucky you. (At least you’re not being forced to watch vacation slides in my living room :) )

So, here is my report on days 9 – 11

Day 9 we relaxed. And had the car serviced. And went to the farmers market. So much fresh fruit!

Day 10 – to the beach!

We invited the Bustillos family to join us for a day at the beach – and, in turn, they took us to a great ‘locals’ beach – Doña Ana.

We made camp under an almond tree and enjoyed watching the flock of frigate birds circling the cliffs.

We played in the water, built sand castles and turned Marie into a mermaid.

The wet sand was very black.

That evening, after dinner with the Bustillos, we ferried to the Nicoya Peninsula and Guanacaste.

The shoreline view and sunset were breathtaking…

I must say that the roads on the peninsula leave something to be desired…

We arrived after dark and made our way over very, very rocky roads to a cute little hotel Brandon had found on his iPhone.

We checked in, and went for a refreshing night swim – all alone in the beautiful pool.

Alone, that is, except for the swimming grasshopper.

After two rescues, only to have him jump back in the pool, we realized that he WANTED to swim. So we let him. He jumped in, swam around, crawled out, jumped in, swam around, then crawled out several times on his own. Once he’d had his fun for the night he hopped away into the bushes. It was pretty entertaining.

The girls enjoyed swimming the next morning after breakfast, and then we were off for a day filled with adventure…

…including several hours on painfully rocky dirt roads and 4 rivers that we had to drive through.

Don’t try this without a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Or GPS.

This is one of the smaller rivers we drove through…

The last river we came to – just as it was getting dark – looked way too wide and too deep, as the tide had recently come in. Brandon was tempted to drive through it anyway, but I insisted he go wade out in it to see how deep it was. He wasn’t thrilled about the idea – considering there could be crocodiles in the river. But he did – and it was above his knees, just a few feet out.

Needless to say, we backed up, turned around and found another way… still through a river, but not quite as deep (higher upstream). Even still, we barely made it through – the car almost got stuck about 10 feet from shore, and the car was a bit waterlogged the rest of the night. Whew!

But those rocky roads and rivers took us to some awesome places.

We passed through the artsy town of Montezuma… which reminded me a little bit of Hanalei on Kauai.

We met some interesting people.

There was a sign in front of a little shack house, out in the middle of nowhere, offering ice cream treats. We needed a break from the rocky roads so stopped and got some – and visited with home/ice cream shop owners/farmers. He is originally from Quebec, and moved to Costa Rica to live in Montezuma – back when the only way to reach it was on horseback. Before it was ruined for tourists, he says. :)

We visited some beautiful beaches. Saw little sandpipers running as fast as crabs along the sand.

Ate some good food.

And saw a glorious sunset.

Still, I was very, very happy once we arrived back on paved roads with bridges.

I took a lot more photos… you can view about 70 of them in the slideshow below, should you so desire – or here, if you can’t view the slideshow.

Lest you think that Costa Rica is pure perfection, here are a list of the things that I didn’t really love about it…

  • Not flushing toilet paper. Fortunately, we did at Brandon & Jennifer’s – but at most public places, you’re expected to wipe and toss in the garbage. I understand that’s the norm in most south American and even Asian countries. I don’t like it. It’s smelly (though, to be fair, most places garbage cans were not full – I expect they are emptied regularly).
  • The bugs. Butterflies and dragonflies were cool, but the mosquitos and other biting bugs gave me huge, itchy bumps – many of which ended up bleeding and are still healing.
  • Spiders. Lots and lots of spiders. Big ones. This was the biggest one I saw…. and it was in my bedroom…. at the foot of the bed.
  • Bad hair days. Nearly every day was a bad hair day – not sure if it was the heat (and it wasn’t all that hot) or humidity or what, but my hair was in a constant state of frizz.
  • Narrow roads with crazy, crazy drivers where cars always have the right of way. Very pedestrian un-friendly.

But these are small inconveniences when compared with the beauty, adventure and great food to be experienced. There is so much to love about Costa Rica – and I’d go back again in a heartbeat for a visit.

But not sure I’d want to live there… though I’m really, really missing the really cheap fresh fruit juices…. In fact, I could use a refreshing glass of guanabana right now.

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Comments

Jennifer Pearce on February 3rd, 2011 at 8:51 am

I’m so glad we were able to meet the swimming grasshopper. :) He was very entertaining indeed. Those rivers really were quite an adventure. So glad we made it through that last one. That sunset and view was the most beautiful I have ever seen. What a stroke of luck that we were invited into the restaurant for a peek.


Brandon on February 3rd, 2011 at 9:06 am

Such great photos, and great memories! I’m glad we made it through all those rivers. Next time, I think we’ll follow the GPS’s advice and take the main road. :) Although it did make for a fun adventure.


Michelle on February 3rd, 2011 at 9:11 am

Wow what an adventure! I love your pictures and your very entertaining descriptions. I can’t believe you took the time to lay a quarter next to that awful spider lol.


Ashley Rae on February 3rd, 2011 at 9:53 am

Wonderful photos! The town of Montezuma does look very charming- and it definitely has some sort of Kauai feel to it…
The pictures of the ocean with the mountain ranges behind it are amazing! SO beautiful…
Keep the posts coming :) I love them all!


paul on February 3rd, 2011 at 1:33 pm

AWESOME!


Robert on February 3rd, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I would also return to just about everywhere I’ve been in South America, but like you, there were some inconveniences that would make me not want to live there permanently.

But then we have snow…..

Anyway if I make it to Costa Rica this year as planned, I won’t be able to get that image of the spider out of my mind when it’s time to go to bed.. I HATE spiders, and will have to pull the bed apart and check it each time.. LOL…


Aunt Kathy on February 3rd, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Spiders give me the creeps! But, I love all the other photo’s. Thanks.


Allison on February 3rd, 2011 at 9:19 pm

@Rob – if you do make it to Costa Rica this year, but sure to let us know when you’re going – you should meet up with Brandon & Jennifer while you’re there!


Irene on February 4th, 2011 at 7:10 am

awesome pictures! I’m so happy you take so many and take time to share them with us, They make me want to go and see for my self all the beauties of Costa Rica, AND the very special family that lives there.


Kristin on February 6th, 2011 at 1:30 am

Road through rivers are nuts!! But it sounds like fabulous adventures all around. I wish I could go, too. It would be so much more fun and interesting to be there with Brandon & Jen as guides!


Brandon on February 11th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

@Rob – Yes, please, let us know when you’ll come. We have space for guests!


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