Day 10 in Costa Rica — Living it Up in Hotel California

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Buenos dias!  It’s 6 am and it’s time to bid Monteverde a warm “Muchas Gracias” and “Adios”.  But not before one last view from the mountain : )

We had the pleasure of stopping by a local bakery to buy some snacks for the FIVE HOUR drive to our next destination.  Good thing we had great stories from the past nine days, great weather to enjoy the drive, and music to keep us cheerful.

MOMENT OF ZEN:  Earlier in my blog posts I blogged about connecting with people from other countries through speech, food, and charades : ).  Music is also one of my favourite ways to building bridges with people.  There’s nothing like belting out a song with a room full of strangers to fill a room full of laughs and smiles.  Our song of choice in the van? “Starships” by Nicki Minaj : )  Not my favourite song, but through pop culture on radio, TV and the web it’s one of those songs that embed themselves in your brain.  So through osmosis, the lyrics come to you automatically.  Today, you may find that you know the lyrics to mind-numbing songs like “Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus, “Started from the Bottom” by Drake, and every damn Kesha song.  Though these songs are over played and saturate the airwaves, they are the perfect soundtrack to rock out to with people from other countries.  Because of this one simple fact: Everyone knows these songs!   So if you are in another country and find yourself in a bar, club, or bus with people who don’t speak your language and one of these “pop” songs comes on, don’t be afraid to sing a along: “Starships were meant to FLYYYYYY!  Hands up!  And touch the SKYYYYYYYYY!  Can’t stop cause we’re so HIIIIIIIIIIGH!!  Let’s do this one more time!”  I hope the song “Starships” stays in your head while your read the rest of this blog : D

So during our road trip to our next destination point we stop on a bridge that crossed the Rio Tarcoles.  We walk along the bridge, peer over edge and see this:

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Killer Crocs!  On this adventure I’ve seen tarantulas, Golden Line Spiders, white tail doves, howler monkeys, bullet ants, and dart frogs.  But I’ve never seen a crocodile in person before.  I learned these crocs live between 100-150 years.  The Rio Tarcoles’ crocodiles feed on the fish in the river.  And I’m sure they would love a taste of some Gringos!  No swimming in this water for us so back in the vans we go to complete our trek to our next taste of Costa Rica!

Welcome to Manuel Antonio!

The accommodations so far on this trip definitely blew my mind!  I’ve stayed at a jungle hut that rivals anything you’ll see on Endor (Star Wars reference!), a cabin in the rainforest, a hotel near a volcano, and a cottage on a mountain.  So what does our next two night stay look like?  Like this:

View from my room!

View from my room!

And overlooking the pool and the Pacific ocean!

And overlooking the pool and the Pacific ocean!

Welcome to the Hotel California!  Fully loaded with a pool, jacuzzi, a bar, and Happy Hour!!!!  Not the humble accommodations I’ve been used to in the past two weeks, but I’m definitely not complaining. : )

After we settled into our rooms we jumped on a bus and headed to the beach!  A testament to the patience of Costa Rica and their “suave suave” attitude to everything is the way this country treats bus fare.  In most North American cities you have to pay exact change to ride the public transit.  Whether you have exact change or you buy your tickets in advance the bus driver will only accept precise fare.  In Costa Rica, the bus driver actually gives you change!  And nobody complains!  Bus driver giving you change in North America?  Ain’t no time for that!  There’s a line up of people that need to go somewhere right away.  In Costa Rica, Ticos will patiently wait while you finish your business with the bus driver.

So we roll up to the beach and this is what we see:

The Pacific Ocean from Manuel Antonio Beach!

The Pacific Ocean from Manuel Antonio Beach!

So we do the only thing we can do on a beach with waves (even small ones) . . . BODY SURF!!!

This is Pura Vida : )

This is Pura Vida : )

Loved riding, crashing, and diving into the waves!  Pure freedom!  I almost lost my shorts!  LOL!

And a welcomed friend joins the fray . . . BRING THE RAIN!!!

: )

: )

MOMENT OF ZEN:  “Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, SNOW is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” – John Ruskin.  “The same can be said of people : )  PURA VIDA!!” — Chris Nepomuceno (on when he saw the John Ruskin quote on Facebook and thought, “Who the f*ck is John Ruskin?  Good quote for my blog though!)

Also on this beach I made a new friend by the name of Justin.   Here is our conversation about where we were from:

“PURA VIDA!  What’s your name?

“My name is Chris.  What’s yours man?”

“Justin.  I’m from Costa Rica.  Where are you from?”

“Canada.”

“Cool!  Toronto?”

“Winnipeg.”

“Never heard of it.  Where is that?  Is it near Toronto?”

“It’s in the middle of the country.  I live in Ottawa now.  The capital city of Canada.”

“I don’t know where that is.  Where is that?  Is it by Toronto?  By the water?”

“Sure.”

He was a nice guy and though I didn’t want to meet his friend “Maryjane” I wished him all the best in his entrepreneurial endeavours ; )

Another cool interaction I had with a local Tico was when someone yelled at me “Hola Bruce Lee!  Pura Vida!”  And I thought my tan was dark : )

In the evening we took advantage of the Happy Hour at our hotel!  One of my teammates stated “I don’t drink!  I haven’t had a drink in a long time!”  My thoughts at the time: “If God/Allah/Buddha/Superman (Simpsons reference!) gave me a purpose, I believe she/he put me here to reunite her with al-kee-hol.  So I got her a drink and she nurses it for an hour. : )

This girl rocks!

This girl rocks!

We finished the night with laughs, cannonballs in the pool, and a drinking game called “Arrogance”.  FYI, this game is brutal to the loser.  And when I say loser I mean me.  I had to chug a concoction of pina colada, , gin and tonic, and beer.  To my horror I was actually chewing something.  My friends are the best!

MOMENT OF ZEN:

Yup.

Yup.

Pura Vida! ; )

Click for here some good karma.  It’s my favourite version : )

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