Random thoughts/ month 14

28 Jun

DSC_0213

This month, we:

+ nearly died of heat in Granada and Madera Beach, Nicaragua. We spend one day in each of those areas but could have easily stayed longer had the weather been more pleasant. In Granada, we were sandwiched between two chicken buses.

20140627-074859-28139549.jpg

In Madera beach, even though we had an open ocean view parked between tent campers and some businesses, it was breeze-less, thus incredibly brutal.

20140627-074900-28140392.jpg

+ kicked butt at trivia in Granada, winning 1st place (a bottle of rum!) among 11 teams, each consisting of more than 2 players.

20140627-074733-28053599.jpg

+ opted for a hotel with a/c in our last city in Nicaragua–San Juan del Sur. We just couldn’t handle the heat. Plus, being sticky and cranky doesn’t make for good company or even amicable conversation. The town was full of Americans, thus had an awesome food selection–fab pizza, tasty coffees, fresh seafood and our favorite: chocobananas for .40 each! These ladies live on the main drag and sell chocolate covered frozen bananas out of their house all hours of the day. Just knock, or yell, on their gate and out comes a delicious snack.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

+ arrived in Costa Rica on May 31. It’s been 5 years since we’ve been here and are enjoying the comfort of returning to a country we loved so much the first time around. The scenery, the people, the howler monkeys, the towns– everything is just how we remembered it. Even the crazy expensive prices for everything. Toto, we’re not in Mexico anymore.

20140627-075150-28310200.jpg

20140627-075505-28505855.jpg

+ experienced decent weather. It’s definitely cooler in Costa Rica than it was in El Salvador and Nicaragua. But don’t get me wrong, it’s still hot. Just not insanely, can’t breathe or function, sweat dipping from every crevasse kinda hot. And even though it’s the rainy season, the worse rain we’ve seen has been the monsoon that greeted us when we entered the country and lasted almost 12 hours. Otherwise, the overcast days and random sprinkles have been a welcome reprieve from the heat.

+ ate our first meal in Costa Rica at McDonalds. Because sometimes you just need it.

+ reunited with the Chlobys at said McDonalds. We spent 6 glorious days together exploring waterfalls, hot springs and the Lake Arenal area, playing cards and just having a grand ol’ time!

+ had some great beer FINALLY! I’ve been dying for a dark brew, or anything that’s not the generic watery beer produced throughout Central America, and was impressed with the Lake Arenal Brewery.

+ found a free natural hot spring in La Fortuna. The area is known for pricey resort hot springs but we discovered the super secret local spot. We bathed in natural pools of hot water surrounded by lush tropical forests. Prefect activity for a cooler drizzly day. Photos thanks to Chloe who was brave enough to bring her camera 🙂

hot springs3 P1070118 P1070121

+ camped with Toby and Chloe at two different spots around Lake Arenal for a few days. The lake was peaceful and views were spectacular, even with a storm rolling in.

the horse whisperer chloe

the horse whisperer chloe

DSC_0057

20140627-075836-28716513.jpg

20140627-075838-28718259.jpg

20140627-075839-28719961.jpg

20140627-075837-28717411.jpg

20140627-075839-28719111.jpg

DSC_0164

+ for real parted ways with the Chlobys. In a few days we’re going to be on a different continent for the first time in our 7 months of off and on travel together. They’ve been our besties on the road from Baja to Costa Rica, celebrating holidays, birthdays, the good and the bad and the stuff in between. Though we are jealous they are continuing on to South America, we look forward to reading about their travels and a time in the future when we can adventure together again.

DSC_0063

+ forged our first river around Lake Arenal and then our second around Samara. We, well Hani, walked both first to test the ground and just to make sure the water wasn’t too high. The first cross was cool because the water was super clear, calf high and running really fast. It was quite picturesque, with all the lush trees, low clouds and rocky terrain.

DSC_0084

The second river cross really freaked me out. Since it’s the rainy season, the water in this river was higher than usual (whatever that means) and completely murky so you had no idea how deep your next step was going to be. Hani was determined to cross this one because half the people we asked said we could do it but the other half were unsure, probably because they didn’t want to get blamed if something happened to Skyhorse. Luckily, a car full of cops arrived and guided us across the lowest points of the river–a crazy zig zag we would have never figured out on our own. Goes to show, just ask a local! And foreign police are nice and helpful!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

+ went zip lining in the Monteverde cloud forest. When we came to Costa Rica last time, we did a zip lining trip and loved it, so it was a must do this time around. We took an early morning trip, soaring well above the trees. The last two lines you “fly” in Superman pose and end the trip with a bungie jump/Tarzan swing kinda deal. Awesome!

feeling skeptical before the long Superman zip

feeling skeptical before the long Superman zip

+ began the Nicoya Peninsula, a long stretch of beaches that are even more beautiful than those in Mexico. We started in Playa Potrero, meeting Shannon and Josh and their huge golden Kaleb from The Next Adventures. We had a great night watching sunset and hanging with them and when they left town the next morning, we decided to stay. We parked steps from the ocean behind a fruit and veggie stand, picked up a rouge wifi network, had a German pastry truck deliver sweets twice a week, found fresh fish and unbelievable gelato, and met some phenomenal new friends: Tim and newlyweds Heather and Gaurav. We spent our 9 days exploring the neighboring beaches and communities on the motorcycle, finding a perfectly deserted beach entirely to ourselves and a picturesque white sand, crystal clear water beach the next. We watched sunset on the beach and joined our new friends for some great meals.

9 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA photo 3

20140627-152217-55337450.jpg

+ did my own laundry for the first time since Mexico–so what’s that, like 4 months? We’ve been spoiled with dropping our laundry off but Shannon and Josh were sweet enough to let us use their washer before they hit the road. It was nice being the one to handle my own unmentionables.

3

+ dumped the motorcycle on a rocky hilly climb. We’re ok, just a few bruises and scratches, the prettiest being a purply blue thing on my rear. Made walking around in my bathing suit kinda awkward. So not all days for us are picture perfect.

+ were the victims of our first theft on the road– our flip flops got stolen. In all fairness, we had camped for the night on the public beach in Tamarindo and should not have left them out. I hope they’ve broken on that SOB.

+ discovered a radio station outside Tamarindo that played only Whitney Houston. It was the greatest love of all!

+ realized buying in bulk isn’t cheaper in Costa Rica. For example, a six pack of the crappiest local beer, Bohemia–tastes like water or Miller lite or Coors lite, take your pick–comes out to 514 colones per beer ($1.03). But buy the beers individually and they are 470 each (.94). I do some serious math in the grocery. And that $1.80 I saved by buying 20 individual beers, well, let’s just say it will add up to something good. Maybe. Someday.

+ embraced the country motto Pura Vida!! We’ve camped for free every night in Costa Rica and found some spectacular beaches as we headed further south along the Nicoya in Tamarindo, Samara, Carrillo and Playa Islita.20140627-153625-56185449.jpg

20140627-152515-55515030.jpg20140627-152515-55515897.jpg

20140627-152516-55516739.jpg

20140627-152856-55736193.jpg

+ returned to Playa Potrero 2 days ago to begin our month long stay in a cute lil house with a sweeeeet backyard. A pool, beach down the street, A/C, wifi, cable, SPACE, friends around the corner–this is going to be a gooooood month!

20140627-153802-56282012.jpg

4 Responses to “Random thoughts/ month 14”

  1. Lisa June 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    What a fabulous post!!

  2. Toni Spiers Solomon June 28, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    thanks for keeping us updated,,,, June here in AK is pretty wee fun and stay safet ,,so not many pic to post on are little trips around AK ,,have fun and stay safe

    • Toni Spiers Solomon June 28, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

      June here in AK is pretty wet ,,so not many pic to post on are little trips around AK ,,have fun and stay safe

  3. johnny rotten June 30, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    I heard Hani had a large portion of his brain removed. Es verdad?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: