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Please make your way to the nearest exit. Coco is now closed.

Ok, a little bit more catching up to do.

We’re leaving Costa Rica. Much sooner than we thought. Why? It’s just time. We sold everything in Utah and pulled up the anchor so we could travel around and find a place where we want to live forever…or at least for a long time. It’s not Costa Rica.

Maybe we would have stayed a little longer had we picked a town closer to San Jose where there’s a little more going on than just a beach, and beach bumming. We also hear about good restaurants down there, organic food stores, and communities that have a bit more social interaction. Out by the beach, in this part of the country that is tourist central, Americans are expected to pop in for a few days, spend a bunch of money, then move on. We’ve never felt like we were doing anything more here than vacationing, when what we really wanted to do was mesh in with the pace of real life and feel like we were home here.

We talked about just moving down to the San Jose area. Some parts of it are appealing; but in the end, we know that we’re not going to live in Costa Rica so we might as well pick up our search now. Honestly, with how familiar this feels to places we’ve been in Mexico, Brazil, and Peru, we’re thinking we can go ahead and scratch off the whole of Mexico – meaning, Central and South America – from our list of possibilities.

Tonight is our last night in the apartment we’ve been staying in for the last two months. So long Coco. You’ve been hot to us.

We’ll bus out of here early in the morning and then spend a night in a lodge at an organic, self-sustained farm near the Arenal Volcano. Check it out: http://fincalunanuevalodge.com/. Includes an organic dinner, organic breakfast, and a two hour tour of the farm. (Still trying to talk Kelli in to waking up early so we can milk the water buffalo.)

When we leave there we’ll finish our trip down to San Jose where we have some friends from Utah who have agreed to host us for a night and hold on to our suitcases while we travel around the country for a couple more weeks. This will be our first taste of going completely mobile, meaning, trying to figure out a place to stay each night, and live and work without any type of permanent location at all. We’ll see how that suits us. On tap is a tour of the Caribbean side of the country, a peak into northeastern Panama, then a trek back to the Pacific side where we’ll stay at the national park that is rumored to be better for wildlife viewing than anything America has to offer. We’ll see about that.

Two weeks of that kind of traveling around, then we’ll head back to San Jose, grab our bags, and fly back to Utah. Please, please warm it up for us by the time we get there.

As far as what we’ve been up to here, this past weekend we took a little journey to a famous beach just south of us. It’s called Playa Conchal (conchal being Spanish for seashell) because of the billions of little seashells that wash up shore, get crushed by waves and flipflops, and turn into a sparkly wonderland. Get wet, roll around in it, and your skin too can look like diamonds (see your nearest Twilight fan if you don’t get that one).

The 5-hour bus ride to this wonderland 50 miles south of us was worth it. Again, the scenery in Costa Rica is amazing. This is a vacationer’s paradise. You could stay here for months and do nothing but travel around, and you still wouldn’t see all the cool stuff. The beach was gorgeous with great waves to swim in.

Seashells, seashsells, seashells

Our highlight was our half hour ride on a rented wave runner. In that 30 minutes we smacked into two fish that jumped out of the water right in front of us, we saw another huge fish leap entirely out of the water just to our side, we almost ran into a turtle bobbing on the surface, and then the trip was topped off with a whale siting. No joke. We wondered if it was sleeping because it was hanging out just below the surface, moving along slowly on auto pilot. We’re no nature tv show hosts, but by the gnarly bumps that poked out of the water we guessed it was a humpback. Sitting right next to that huge thing with us on our little waverunner was a thrill.

Here’s Kelli enjoying our favorite beverage:

Love the pipa fria

and further down the same road we came across this sign. It says “Bathroom and Services for Rent.” We didn’t dare find out what services they were renting.

Service for Rent

And food. We actually found a great meal in this tiny little town. We’ve been asked, and we’re still trying to figure out, what country we’re going to next. Still not sure, but could this be a sign?

Are we still in Costa Rica?

Then after dinner, back at the hotel, we had this view from inside our bathroom:


If you look on a map, as a bird flies it might be 30 miles between this beach and our town of Coco. By road, it’s 50 miles. By bus, 5 hours. I think I could have swam (swum?) there faster. But it was certainly a fun trip.

We’ve definitely enjoyed our time here and we have some fantastic memories that we’ll treasure.  We’ve also learned a lot about how we are and what we like.  We’re ready to move on, but we have learned to love the charm of Costa Rica that comes with, with…life. Pura vida.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kevin Klein January 25, 2011, 12:22 am

    Hey guys – it’s obviously been a while since I checked in here, but glad I did! What a great despedida de Costa Rica. I love the sense of place, action, and emotion. Glad to have experienced it through youse.

    Outback Jack’s indeed! A definite sign, mateys. 🙂 And speaking of which, there’s a beach up in Shark Bay, 10 hours north of Perth, that’s all shells just like that one. And buildings made out of blocks of shell-based limestone.

    Ooh, we excited!

    • Brad January 26, 2011, 7:47 am

      Thanks Kevin. It’s hard to put in words everything that we see and experience here. There are so many contradictions to this place. At times I feel like I could be happy here forever, and at others I’m so fed up with it I start counting the days until we leave. Costa Rica is definitely at a crossroads, trying to figure out if it’s their own identity to stick to (which is hard to define) or if they should mold themselves to what all these tourists want while they’re on vacation. It will be interesting to come back to this country in 10 years and see which direction they decided to go.

      I’d love to see buildings made of seashells. That sounds fantastic. Soon, soon.