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We were wise enough to rent a GPS from our car rental company Vamos -I highly recommend them, though be cautioned – renting a car in CR fpr 9 days was just as expensive for a flight for two of us from Denver. But our little four-wheel drive was sturdy, reliable, and trustworthy as we forded small streams in the jungle on the way to Play San Miguel. Even though we had tried programming the GPS (fondly nicknamed Ms. Lady) with the coordinates of our lodging, she just couldn’t cope with that command, so we put in the coordinates for Playa San Miguel. And got there just fine. But as the roads are poorly or non-existingly marked, we didn’t know where to go next.
We tried to road to the beach itself. I went to inquire of an elderly couple who were watching over the smallest dog I had even seen as it dipped its paws in the water, but they spoke no English, and my Spanish (which is different from Costa Rican Spanish) failed me. With directions from a cable supply man whose English was also most limited, we asked at an old shipping container that had been converted to a bar, and finally made our way back up to the main dirt road. Had we gone just a bit farther, we might have found it on our own, but perhaps not. This is the Playa San Miguel Visitor Center – a slew of arrowless, directionless signs nailed to a tree at the turn to the beach road. And we only discovered this on our way back at the end of our trip.
Playa San Miguel, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
The moral of this tale? When looking for where you’re supposed to be in Costa Rica, just sit back and enjoy the ride. You’ll get there eventually.
Quote of the day: “The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.” — Allain de Botton
That ACA was not repealed today
Petting dogs that lean on your legs on down days
Restaurants where servers know us
Cold hands, warm heart
A cleaned-up email mailbox
This fellow was definitely the most regal and superb of the herd. And many thanks to reader Emily Jane for confirming that they are as I had expected – curious and (mostly) friendly. I’ve only ever encountered them as rodeo bulls, and in that role, they are rank! I love them anyway.
Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica.
Quote of the day: “Give a bull grass, sweet water and a willing heifer and he is happy. But a man is never content. If no gadflies of worry exist he will invent them.” — Alison Fell
Walking through the empty fountain in the plaza
The howls of coyotes at night
The first green of spring
This couple was as interested in us as we were in them. They approached cautiously and got as close to us as they could, considering we were separated by a fence. Which was probably for the best.
Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
Quote of the Day: ““To my mind, the only possible pet is a cow. Cows love you. They will listen to your problems and never ask a thing in return. They will be your friends forever.” — Bill Bryson
Snow-capped mountains on sunny days
Advice from my beloved MKL – if only I’d take it
Postcards in protest
Seeing pictures of Seattle and knowing Kelsea is somewhere beyond the hills
The roads in Guanacaste are seemingly all red dirt, with steep hills…the kind of hills that, when you get to the top, you have no idea what’s going to be on the downhill. Sort of like what I’d imagine a roller coaster is like, never having been on one. They are lovely and dusty, endless and adventuresome. My favorite kind of road. The sea would creep into view from time to time, just to let us know it was close by, and the landscape alternated between sugar cane crops, savannah grasslands, and grazing fields edged by large hills. We had to take it fairly slow because of the hills and limited visibility. We never knew if we were going to encounter people, dogs, iguanas, stopped vehicles, small rivers, or roadblocks like this lovely shadow-splattered lady. She wasn’t the slightest bit startled by us, and just took her time strolling across the road, after giving us a level stare.
Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica.
Quote of the day: “A painting is more than the sum of its parts,’ he would tell me, and then go on to explain how the cow by itself is just a cow, and the meadow by itself is just grass and flowers, and the sun peeking through the trees is just a beam of light, but put them all together and you’ve got magic.” — Wendelin Van Draanen
Feeling better (but trying not to start running at 1000%)
A talk with Kelsea and Rachel
Sleeping with the windows open
Having the ability to travel
I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to stop here, but we did drive by several times. Our timing was just off. Playa Islita is lovely stretch of white sand and swaying palms trees, with carts selling fresh coconuts (coconut water out of a coconut is the only way to go), families picnicking, and people walking the long arc of beach. A few hours there are definitely part of our plans for the next trip.
Playa Islita, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
Quote of the Day: “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” — Anita Desai
Baffling the doctor
A tiny girl on a tinier bicycle
A tropical color palette
A clean bill of health for Mr. Man
Chicken noodle soup
While we’ve been back for a bit, I still haven’t quite gotten my ducks in the same yard, much less in a row. The Costa Rican crud that I picked up continues to plague me, but as everything does, it will get better. Costa Rica was a wonderful country, with amazingly friendly people, crazy roads, and a simple lifestyle that held a strong appeal for us. We didn’t venture far from our tiny lodging, and that was okay for this trip, but (of course) I am planning a return visit to explore more of this magical place. Every night, we had a sunset like this, our first one.
Playa San Miguel, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
Quote of the day: “Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” — Jack Kerouac
A lovely day
Costa Rican crud medicine
My youngest stepson