We left the beach and headed toward Miramar, Costa Rica, to see and explore more of the country. We zip-lined over 11 waterfalls and then traveled to San Jose. Part of the group flew out the next morning, while a few of us stayed back and checked out the city.
Then, Heather and I took off on our own to explore more and headed north to the Poas Mountains area. We stayed in an awesome AirBnb, ate fresh, ripe strawberries from the local farmers and went on a coffee tour at a local plantation before seeing La Paz waterfall. Delicious, educational, and beautiful.
Though the Poas Volcano itself was a miss because heavy clouds blocked the view of the crater, we enjoyed the scenery and drove on to La Fortuna. There we took in four hours of hot springs time at Eco Terminales. By hot I actually mean warm and very different from the hot springs found in Colorado. We saw toucans and leaf-cutter ants while basking in the beauty of the warm, man-made waterfalls. Then we drove to our hostel that night, an eco-farm, Essence Arenal, with a chef on board that wanted everyone to help make their own food so that he could spread the knowledge of preparing and eating good, fresh, vegetarian food. We had vegetable lasagna and made our own “tortas” with a cookie bowl and fruit. The next morning we took the hike to see the farm and wound up doing a yoga class on our own while overlooking Arenal Volcano and the lake beside it.
After a couple hours exploring the shops in La Fortuna, we had to buy our bus tickets to Nicaragua. They would not allow a same-day purchase, which lead to a two-hour round-trip drive to buy tickets at a Ticabus office in Quesada before finding ourselves at our last Costa Rican destination of Finca Luna Nueva, a large eco-farm of 250 acres that was originally a ginger and turmeric farm. The pool, Jacuzzi, food, and friends we found there were unequalled. What a treat to be able to meet with Craig and Clare from Farmington, NM, and catch up on life. After chatting into the wee hours of the night (umm….9:30p), we slept and then awoke for a morning yoga session in the jungle.
We had breakfast with Craig and Clare, said our goodbyes, and drove away from the tranquility of the farm toward the big city to catch our bus. The drive was a solid three-hour adventure, and in the last minutes before our bus departed, Heather ran to get some emergency food for our seven-hour bus ride. We ended up with corn flakes – what she could find in five minutes with only two dollars, our strawberries from Poas, a few crackers and oreos from other parts of the trip, and a bag of peanuts. After our seven-hour saga with the corn flakes, corny movies in Spanish, and all the early 90’s love ballads we could handle, we finally arrived to Granada.
Heather is staying in Granada while doing a Spanish immersion school and staying with a host family. I was able to stay there, too, and experience a bit of her life in Nicaragua. I met her host family, volunteered with her where she both goes to school and volunteers, saw where she teaches yoga sometimes at Pure, went to a hot (think both meanings of the word) Zumba class, and ate at a few of her favorite spots. We also meandered to a few new Granada offerings. We swam, floated, and kayaked in a crater lake (Laguna), we had a spa treatment (mani, pedi, and facial for $23!), made our own chocolate, checked out the local markets, and made dinner for her host family. They kept saying how it was nice to have something different than gallo pinto (rice and beans). We ended our adventure with wine and lunch from a little European café, and then I took a taxi back to the Managua airport.
As I blog, I’m still awaiting the arrival of my luggage. I hope it comes. It’s filled with chocolate and coffee from all our adventures. I’m so thankful for this trip and these times. Choa!