Costa Rica 1- Turbo Bloggin’ Catch Up

Written after a sun and sweat drenched beach run and lazy breakfast

• A month in the UK in a few sentences
• Costa Rica??
• The first few days

Back in the UK

Due to much laziness and the usual dashing around these posts have lapsed- apologies! In a few weeks back in the UK we ran(/limped) the Royal Parks Half Marathon (our joints didn’t thank us for the lack of training and Anna’s knee and my ankles gave in), had the luxury of time to visit pretty much everyone we know in the UK which was brilliant (hi all!), went clubbing in Sankies despite adhering to Sober October (different), put Fes (the camper van) away for the winter, packed in a load of work and of course met my new nephew.

I also had time to reflect on that post about my friend’s birthday- I haven’t had the chance to say sorry in person yet but I owe them dinner and an apology for being an ungrateful guest.

Costa Rica?

Where did that come from? Weren’t we supposed to travelling Ireland in the van by now? Well…

1. The unexpected trip to Greece and work pushed us back into dark November to get away- not great for northern climes.
2. A friend of ours happened to be heading to Guatemala, made and excellent sales pitch for Central America and assured us flights could be had for £650 each.
3. We saw they could and thought, ‘What the hell, Costa Rica sounds nice this time of year.’
4. Here we are, enjoying the plan not to plan too much!

Washington(?!) to the Pacific Coast

Okay, a bit random, but our flight transferred via Washington and gave us 17 hrs there- just enough time to take a jet-lagged evening walk around the sites and get some sleep as well. Having just come back from Classical Greece the links are evident; it’s like visiting a contemporary Olympia and absolutely magnificent.

But at the same time eerie. Despite being about 7pm on a Friday night there was nobody around anywhere, and nowhere to go anyway. Okay, there were some school trips and tourists, a bit of security and a few cars driving around, but other than that the centre of the Western World is a ghost town on a Friday night, and I find this very disturbing. We walked for literally miles around state buildings without seeing one bar, restaurant, shop, hot-dog stand; anything a human might want during a lunch break or after work- very strange indeed. We just about managed to get a slice of (delicious) pizza before boarding the bus; otherwise we literally would have gone hungry. Coming from London, where it’s almost impossible to walk 5 minutes without passing all of the above I’m puzzled- can someone explain it to me?

San Jose (Costa Rica’s capital) the next day couldn’t have been more different; barely a magnificent building in sight, but instead a plethora of vibrant life and this sunny Saturday downtown. Hoards of lively Latins shopping, eating, hanging out, Free Running, hula hooping and generally being extra-human. Ahhh, much better!

Having said that, it’s not exactly holiday paradise either. Sleep, bus, beech= Tamarindo, a little-American paradise outpost on the Pacific. Cue a few days of eating well, sleeping plenty, shopping for beachwear and surfing longboard stylee on perfect gentle waves amongst the hundreds of other learners, improvers and absolute masters.

We’ve now rented a car, collected our bearings and are heading down the coast for more of the same but quieter. We picked up an old, wild-looking American hitching into town as we arrived at a small coastal village, ‘This here’s the real Costa Rica. Tamarindo? Pah- Tamagringo I call it. Hear that? Tamagringo! Hah! I been here 11 years, this is the real Costa Rica. You want somewhere to stay? Try the Dutch place down the front, or there’s a Swiss guy with rooms.’ Not a hint of irony. You couldn’t make it up!

So that’s the flavour of the place, tropical hang out Asia style but with an American price-tag; think $100pp day tours, $50 for a cheap double room off-season and about $15 a meal without drinks. It’s lovely but I need to keep reminding myself that I’m no longer a 20-something bum but a 30-something pro and can afford it happily!

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