A mini (working) vacation

Last month, I took 4 days to visit with clients and check out a new area (for me) in Costa Rica.  The first two nights were spent in Tamarindo, the second two were in Cerro de la Muerte.

Playa Langosta Costa RicaArriving in Tamarindo, I knew immediately this was not where I wanted to be.  It’s just not home.  Yes, I lived there for my first year of living in Costa Rica but no, this was not home.  And in a future post, I’ll write about the differences between Tamarindo and Manuel Antonio but for now, let’s focus on the good.

The afternoon that I arrived, I went out on my client’s catamaran and got to see my friends who work on the boat. Super fun day, warm tropical water and a much needed nap in the sunshine on the way home followed by a little salsa dancing!

I was staying at Sueno del Mar where several of my friends work so it was fun to catch up with them.  Plus, it was so nice to stay at this sweet beachfront bed and breakfast.  Before, while living in Langosta, I had enjoyed many delicious breakfasts there but staying there was even better.  I enjoyed a tranquil sunset from their beach chairs and loved the outdoor shower in my room.  And Lily, the hotel’s chef, made me a special breakfast on my first morning – their stuffed tortilla.  Mmmmm, so good!

breakfast at Sueno del Mar

I reconnected with the howlers (who are pretty much nonexistent in my area of Manuel Antonio)…and they kindly woke me up each morning at 4:30.  I even got a photo of the white squirrel…finally!

On the second night, I met with Kevin, my team member, for dinner.  It was great to catch up with him over a good meal at my favorite pizza place in town, Esquina.  And it was so nice to see the owners of the pizzeria and their growing family (they’re mentioned in my first travel book…which is now available on iBooks!).

I went to Lola’s for lunch on the second day and caught up with one of my awesome wellness clients, Bob Witty from Real Surf Trips.  While I don’t miss living in Tamarindo and the Guanacaste province, I will admit that seeing the good friends I made there was a nice bonus to the working trip.

Sunset in Cerro de la Muerte

From there, I traveled to the tall mountains southeast of San Jose.  Cerro de la Muerte (translated: Mountain of Death) is the highest mountain in Costa Rica that is accessible by car (Chirripo is the highest mountain) and is a part of the Inter-American Highway.  Our lodge was at 2,650 meters (8,694 feet) and at one point on the road, we reached almost 11,000 feet.  There are actually endemic pine trees and oak trees there…which of course requires a certain type of climate…

climate in Cerro de la Muerte

I was traveling with new friends and they warned me that it would be cold – like in the 40’s kind of cold.  Having forgotten what cold feels like, I wasn’t totally prepared…plus, I don’t own long pants!  But the beauty of the area was well worth the shivering teeth, the 5 blankets I slept with and the horrendous allergies that ensued.  Without a doubt, I have got to be allergic to the cold.  For the short time that the sun came out during my stay there, the allergies went away…But quickly returned as soon as the clouds came back and the cold returned.

quetzal in Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

The highlight of this part of the trip, besides making new friends, was definitely seeing the elusive resplendent quetzal.  WOW.  What an incredible bird.  It’s height can measure, from head to tail, almost 3 feet!  And it’s colors are like no other bird…it’s truly remarkable.  And totally worth the cold.  When I posted a picture of it to Instagram, one of my followers wrote:

“Guatemala’s national bird, a symbol of hope, freedom, and my people’s strong heart.”

Such a beautiful sentiment.

As we left the wild avocado grove near the Tapanti National Park where the quetzals were spending their morning, our guide from the eco lodge, Paraiso Quetzal, thanked the birds for letting us be in their presence and to photograph them.  I smiled and nodded…I do the same thing any time I get a shot of wildlife, especially the ones who are a bit more difficult to photograph.

Sadly, I learned on this trip how there are still people who don’t appreciate (or respect) the loveliness of our world (*sigh*)…but alas that is another topic which I will someday post to my business blog at Social {media} Wellness.

For now…enjoy the slideshow…of our lovely world…

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Pura vida…Chrissy

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  1. Pingback: Venturing to the lesser known areas of Costa Rica | Rich Coast Experiences

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