There’s really no denying it anymore. Every morning, I wake up in the dark and there were flurries in the air here last week. Most knitters are probably be turning their thoughts to fuzzy hats, scarves and mitts. Instead, I’m letting my mind wander back to Costa Rica, where my husband and I escaped winter’s clutches last year.
On the advice of some good travel agent friends, we decided to travel indepedently and stay in hostels and hotels in La Fortuna, Turrialba and Liberia. Costa Rica is fantastic –
our accomodations were cheap, comfortable, safe and the perfect place to arrange any kind of adventure from. The local food (or “typical” as they describe it) was plentiful and FRESH in a way that almost no food in Ontario is. Having breakfast at our lodge in Turrialba was probably the only time in my life that my coffee with sugar and fruit salad were grown within walking distance.
The food and accomodations were extremely reasonable, but budget lots of money for adventures. We ziplined, white water rafted in a setting worthy of BBC’s Planet Earth, toured the Cano Negro and soaked in volcanic hot springs. Even without a toddler to wake us up (he was with his grandparents), I was often up at 6 am, sipping local coffee and watching the birds. The golden sunlight and lush vegetation is haunting my dreams these days, when I look out my window to be confronted by gray skies and naked trees.
It wasn’t all sunshine in paradise though, we made some mistakes that should be avoided. Renting a car in Costa Rica was probably our biggest travel mistake in the last few years. There was an extra insurance cost sprung on us at the last minute, and the car was more of a hassle than it was worth. The driving was beautiful, but the Lonely Planet, and many other travellers that we met, recommended never leaving valuables visible in your car. So on long drives, with all of our luggage in the trunkless jeep, we were forced to eat in the car and take turns in the washroom.
This mistake was made all the more glaring when we saw the ease with which backpackers navigated the country. Inexpensive tour buses operated between every major destination in Costa Rica, and in some cases made it easier to get to isolated places, like Monteverde. Thanks to our jeep, Monteverde remains on our to-see list – maybe once our son is old enough to get into the ziplining, rafting and wildlife spotting?
As much as I’d like to be holding a ticket back to Costa Rica, there comes a time when we all must face facts. Which is why you’ll find this on my needles this week: