The time you’ve been waiting for! We made it, finally, to 2018 in our blog! Happy New Year to those who have been following along 🙂
Back in Ireland, we said a few goodbyes. Including a very special surprise at the airport by our dear friend Al (always bringing smiles and laughter wherever we meet!)
Back in Toronto we were lucky enough to be hosted by a friend, who we enjoyed two weeks of bonding, chilling, and watching Toronto get colder by the second from her balcony. Goodbye -33C, hello +33C!
Before we knew it, we were off!
A One Way Ticket to Costa Rica!
The morning of our flight to Costa Rica the mood was much the same as any other day. Just keep moving. We said goodbye to our amazing host Sophie and drove with Angie to the airport. She was gracious enough to drive us early in the morning just so that we could leave behind the last of our winter gear – the jackets and boots.
After a few shed tears it was just us. We had an exceptional airport experience. When I say exceptional, I mean exceptionally better than the last experience on the way to Ireland. There were no lines and no hassles. Even the people working in security were kind to me when I forgot to drink the rest of the water in my bottle. We had some time at our gates to start contemplating what we were about to embark on. We looked around at the crowd who were also venturing off to Costa Rica and wondered who were the festival goers and who were the vacationers. Is anyone else here making this insane move?
5 hours and 45 minutes with no in-plane entertainment and just a book in hand we arrived. Passed security without a hiccup and our luggage was there waiting. Just beautiful.
We had Al and Ria waiting for us on arrival. Ria is one of our new coworkers and Al was the taxi driver escorting us to our new home. We were going to now travel from the San Jose airport straight to Uvita, with a pit stop at the festival site to drop off Ria.
Al was a young Costa Rican man born in Dominical, a town in the Costa Ballena region. He was bare foot the entire time we saw him, from the arrivals pick up area, while driving, and even when we stopped for dinner. He has long hair in dreadlocks, hoop earrings, and a scarf that doubled up as a shirt. His taxi was a van fitted with blue lights along the inside of the windshield, and a vest hanging up on a hanger in the back, along with various other items that showed he traveled a lot. We all had a Pura Vida beer, courtesy of Al, and started the trek.
We stopped in, who knows where, for our first meal in the country. It was dark so the restaurant felt like it was in the middle of nowhere, but it was packed and there was a constant line up. It was kind of like going to a food court, buffet style, and you pay up front. We had breaded fish, pinto de gayo (which we would soon discover was a staple dish here), and vegetables. I have to say I was very impressed. $7USD – not the cheapest – but worth it.
We dropped Ria off at the gates of the festival site and then began our journey up the ‘hill’ as they call it, which is funny, cause it’s a mountain. The path was not paved and most of the way you could fit only one car, if that. I avoided looking out the window for fear of seeing just how much room was between the tires and the…edge. Suddenly, the music changed to trance and it was pitch black so all you could see was what was in his headlights, and of course, the outline of blue lights on his dashboard. It was something out of a movie.
We had to stop at the top of the hill before the retreat gates – not because they were closed, but because his van could literally not make it back up if he went down the hill to the main property. So we waited for the hotel manager to come get us in her pick up. So we waited, in the dark, outside the van and talked, while Al danced to trance.
We switched cars, met Leila, and drove down the hill to the retreat centre. It wasn’t long after that we were snuggling up in one of the staff rooms half excited and half tired.
Wondering what this place has in store for us.