When I (Hetty) lived in Japan, I used to plan weekend excursions to see more of the country. In a country where the signs are posted in Japanese (obviously) I often ended up somewhere far from where I planned to go so my mantra became “If you can’t get to where you’re going, go to where you are.” This has served us well here in Costa Rica. While a GPS is sometimes useful, it is not always totally reliable. This was the case when we set out to find the Peace Lodge and La Paz Waterfall Gardens on northeastern slope of the Poás Volcano. We thought we were getting close although we had no specific directions when the GPS told us to take a turn. Although it was counterintuitive, we had nothing else to go on so we decided to follow the GPS directions. As a result we found ourselves on the opposite side of the volcano, driving on some of the most twisty, steepest roads we have ever experienced. The scenery was stunningly beautiful and the air was crisp and cool. Terraced farms dotted the mountainside and the road took us almost to the top of this active volcano. (elevation: 2700 m.) Just when we were wondering where we were and in need of a rest, we happened upon a beautiful compound with an open gate. We drove in and met, Donais, one of the owners. She informed us that they were closing in a few hours but we were welcome to go to the back garden and view the waterfall.
Ward and I (Hetty) have just returned from an excursion to Tortuguero which is situated on the Northern part of the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The interior and coastal region of Costa Rica is very lush and agricultural. We drove through miles and miles of banana plantations and pineapple fields – all destined for the Port of Limon which is a major container shipping port. Along the way we saw a few large Dole, Del Monte and Chiquita processing plants. I will never view a banana in the same way! The drive to the Caribbean coast, although only 260 km, took about 5 hours. The road is a busy one with a lot of truck traffic destined for the port of Limon.
Ward and I have just returned from a little adventure. We decided that it was time to explore another part of Costa Rica so we rented a car and set off for the Nicoya Peninsula. We chose this as our destination because we had heard about a small town named Montezuma and were curious to see it and the Peninsula on which it is situated.
In only a week’s time, we have settled into a relaxing and enjoyable routine. A fellow traveller we met at poolside was amazed that we had decided to spend two months here. “What will you do for two months?” he inquired. “As little as possible,” we replied and so far we have been successful in this goal.
Our day of travel started early. We rose at 3 am to catch a 6:20 flight to Newark. From there we flew to San Jose where we landed at about 1:30 pm. All in all, the travel was smooth and uneventful. We were met by a driver at the airport for the 1.5 hour trip to Playa Hermosa. Now, after a few hours, we already feel at home. Twinka and her daughter are wonderful hosts and made sure we had groceries for our first meal.
The highlight of the day was watching Gabriel, after a very long and tiring day, frolicking in the surf and sand. He ran free and wild and had more energy than all of us together. It will take a day or so to get acclimatized and start to get a sense of what we will want to see and do during our time here. We are all quite exhausted and it will be early to bed for all of us.