2004 was our first time to Costa Rica and what an amazing introduction to this mystical country and the world of travel.
We started our six week stay in Jaco. Hot ! ! Man was it hot. Luckily we had a fabulous wide beach across the street, perfect for our morning walk. Looked like a pretty hokey little town though, when we arrived; basically one main street with a few eateries, a little grocery store and of course lots of famous Costa Rican dogs.
So many new things to discover, like when we spotted the white faced monkey on on the mountain at the end of the beach and scarlet macaws flying overhead. This is all so new for us. Probably our biggest thrill here was when we came across a big brown snake on our walk through the jungle at the end of the beach. We stood still while he tossed around in front of us before disappearing into the shrubs. Hummm, a bit of a rush.
Soon we were in love with the place and in no time began to feel like a local . Everyday we trudge up to the grocery store for food and drinks. Every now and then we’d forgo our little homemade dinner from our kitchenette and pick a little place “out” for dinner. This is where we grew to love ceviche .
Lots of day trips are easy from Jaco. The one I will always remember is when we went to Manuel Antonio. It was here, on a hike around the park I got badly bitten. It wasn’t life threatening but definitely life altering. That’s what “travel bugs” can do. Expecting to come away with great memories of the white faced monkeys but instead it was the travel stories we heard from a fellow hiker, Ronnie, from Belgium . He told us he had another trip planned to Borneo, within a month after his return. Wow, that is impressive. When I questioned him about his past travels, he told me he had been to 50 different countries. That was it. Boing!! Inspiration set in and my first thought was how many countries had we visited. Second thought was why are we going back to the same places over and over.
As soon as we get back to our hotel we make a list of the places we have been. 23 countries so far.That’s it! The very next day we book a trip from Costa Rica to Panama and we are still trekking and haven’t looked back.