Thursday, January 24, 2013
We stayed 10 glorious days in Punta Uva, a tiny town on the Caribbean side of the country. Our home away from home was a cozy bungalow at Korrigan Lodge which was tucked into the jungle, a short walk away from one of the loveliest beaches I've ever been to. It felt like we were"glamping" (glam camping)- the perfect mix of being out of your comfort zone, but also being verrrry comfortable. We were not "roughing it" by any means, as the bungalow was quite luxurious, but we did feel one with nature as we biked the rocky roads from beach to beach, fell asleep to jungle noises, and awoke to the howls of monkeys.
Some of the highlights of our trip:
- The vine-drenched Tarzan-esque trees (which Joe insisted on climbing despite the hotel owner's warnings about bullet ants and poisonous snakes)
- White sand and black sand beaches with warm (but not too warm) water
- The cool mix of Costa Rican and Jamaican culture in this region
- Fresh coconut juice right out of the shell
- Frequent sightings of howler monkeys and spider monkeys, sloths, toucans, and incredible butterflies.
- Mellow surfable waves (great for beginners like me) but also some pretty gnarly waves for advanced surfers.
- Good coffee (although we found out that most of the best Costa Rican coffee gets exported elsewhere)
- Barefoot muddy hikes
- Friendly locals who pinched Sisi's cheeks and made us feel like we have the world's most adorable toddler (but don't we though?)
- We lucked out with great weather, humid but not too hot, just some sprinkles of rain here and there.
- No cell phones, no laptop (my broke on the airplane), no TV. Just books and conversation. I actually read 4 books on this trip, thanks to Sisi's nice long naps.
- Mosquitoes galore! I counted 21 bites on Sisi's legs alone.
- The food did not impress me. But I'm paleo, and Costa Rica seems to be a pretty carb-happy nation, so perhaps it just wasn't going to work out. It was a struggle to eat paleo meals in Costa Rica, but we were in a fairly remote area. I've heard the Pacific side has totally different food.
- The food was also pricey (even compared to the US). We were so spoiled in Thailand with amazing 1.00 meals. Luckily, lodging and airfare was very reasonable in Costa Rica, so it all evened out.
- Toddler tantrums. Sisi was such a trooper most of the time, but tantrums still happen in paradise (they are just more embarrassing).
And I'm cheating with this last picture- it was actually taken in California the day after we got back. I was a little sad to leave Costa Rica, but I can't deny that where I live is a little bit like Paradise, too. I mean bikinis in January? Come on!