Liatris on Assignment in Costa Rica

Day 1.-

I sit gazing over the tropical treetops at the Pacific Ocean. My chair, a rocking chair, is comfortably padded. It is a solid chair without seeming to be, but big enough that my feet do not touch the ground. The sky is powder blue with puffy clouds off to the west. The ocean itself is darker hued, but calm with cheerful white waves breaking over the rocks offshore. I can see a magnificent frigate bird soaring in its magnificent style, and I hear a toucan singing somewhere in the direction of the composto, or farm. My coffee is Costa Rican delicious. I have the place to myself, and yet I am sad. This is my last day at La Cusinga Eco Lodge in Uvita, Costa Rica.
Alyssa from Trips4Fundraising suggested I write a blog during my trip because, “You seem to be trying a lot of activities.” Let me tell you about it. I have had no energy to write a word because we experienced so many wonders here. Our first taste of Costa Rica involved insects. I must admit I am not a huge bug fan and had two varieties of eco-friendly bug repellent. I told myself I could deal with almost anything for the week we had planned. Then the unidentified flying object flew in the window of our car while my husband was driving from San Jose. I thought is was a bat! It turned out to be a mantis that landed on his headrest. When we stopped, it finally flew out of the car only to flutter over to a cicada the size of a small bird. The next morning, on our way to breakfast, we met this guy:

But I must say, all the insects have been very nice! They pose for photos, fly by and make us jump and laugh, but never bite and never get in the bed. We have had minimal discomfort from insects, and in March, virtually no mosquitos. We had a little difficulty with our flights and ended up renting a car and driving from San Jose. We took the coast highway and arrived at 10:30 PM, the entire trip in the dark. Next time we will take a shuttle or hire a driver. It is less expensive than renting and easier on the traveler. We were greeting by possibly the sweetest soul on the planet. Nuilyn stayed up to make sure we arrived and show us our room, or, more accurately, our little house. The next morning the cicadas and howler monkeys woke me up to the jungle. This is the view from our balcony in the morning light:

We spent the rest of our first day exploring the property a little and resting. Poza means swimming hole and here there is a beauty. My husband has a particular fondness for pozas so that was our first goal. It was well worth the climb down the slope.

As we rested, soaked, and made friends with the fishies and lizards, we noticed that leaves and small twigs were falling from the trees. We were being watched from above!

Monkeys! And it was only the first morning! Very fine. Our next exploration led us to the beach. Arco Beach is a hike. It really is only a short walk from the lodge, but it is straight down and straight up coming back. We are 50 and 61 years old and both of us over weight and we made it fine, but I found myself thinking about folks with artificial limbs. Coincidentally, the next day I met a man with an artificial hip who said he was careful but had no problems. It was on this trail that we met the pair of resident Chestnut Mandibled Toucans. To see a toucan in the wild was my number one primary goal for this trip. I did not get a photo this day, I was too busy jumping up and down whisper – shouting,“Toucan! Toucan!”Here is a later view from where I am sitting as I write this:

The beach was deserted and beautiful. We played and body surfed. The ocean tried to take my husband’s shirt off which he found delightful. I swam in the ocean for the first time since high school. We found the hike back from the beach easier than down and stopped to admire this view:

Back to the Gecko Restaurant here at La Cusinga for lunch (muy delicioso) and an afternoon of rest. Every meal we have had here has been fabulous. Fresh local ingredients. Nuilyn says, “We cultivate this on the property,”to many comments about the food. The outdoor restaurant feels tropical. We did not have trouble when the thunderstorm arrived during dinner. A little misty but no soaking. Each dinner has four courses, but we worked up a good appetite so this was welcome. They make the best helado, or ice cream! “Yes, we make it here,”Dennis the chef told me. He gets such delight from how much we love his food!

The rest of the day we spent resting and getting used to the heat. It is in the 80’s most days, but so is the humidity!