Where the Cicadas Sing Like Dirt Bikes

Notice by pool:
“For your safety, please do not feed Iguanas”.

We certainly are not in Canada anymore. We finally managed to get on another trip regardless of COVID-19 and we find ourselves on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica once again. (We were here in 2004 – twice. Again in 2019 and again now in 2022). We love this little country in which it is so easy to find calm.

Last night at sunset, we walked the dirt laneway to the beach in order to see the colour of the sky. It was gorgeous shades of orange and pink. Just shortly thereafter, the switch flipped and on came the cicadas. Yikes. No kidding, my initial thought was to look for the coming dirt bike and prepare to dive into the ditch.

These guys are LOUD!

One of the truisms of travel is the pleasure of meeting folks who happen to be out and about in the world too. Fanny and her mother were two of those incredible people who most certainly have good messages which will now be in my toolbox going forward. Here are quotes: “if you were bringing something ‘just in case’, leave it at home”. So very true. Fanny said you will be able to buy things wherever you go and, she said, on the Camino de Santiago (a 30-day walk or pilgrimage in Spain) I learned that I would be given something I am missing and she went on to highlight examples of this. The conversation about being provided for totally reminded me of my post Yo Universe! Thanks Again.

Later, the mom added, as we were talking about going into retirement, wanting to travel more and longer and not sure about the house as well as not being in love with the work involved in the yard and snow maintenance. Her answer “hire a gardner and a snow clearing company!” She says it’s better to keep the house. She doesn’t trust condo politics and fees (nor do we) as well as we may not know anyone on the condo board. Also they are small and don’t offer easy access to nature. In your house she says, just open the door and you’re outside. Also, you are in control of your expenses and maintenance bills like when to sink money into a large project – your roof for example. With your own home, when you spend money on something that’s up to you.

***

I have just practised yoga on the dark golden sand of Jaco beach, late afternoon. I did headstands while watching the crashing surf upside down with the odd barefooted beach walkers passing by. We arrived here yesterday by taxi from Samara. We are reluctant to rent a car although many travellers do so. It’s a pleasure to be chauffeured and so we simply enjoy it. Without a rental car, we alleviate the worry of damage to the vehicle, taking the wrong turns, finding gas stations, parking spots and service stations. It just feels a whole lot freer to travel without a car. And, I have heard the opposite from folks who rent a car. So, as always, it’s up to you.

I am inserting a few tips on what to pack and wear on your travels. I get asked questions about this stuff and so I will insert ideas for you. (WTW= what to wear.) Please comment with your best ideas. Remembering that travelling without checking a bag can mean decisions need to be made on every item you bring in your carryon luggage. Why not check a bag, you ask? Mainly to not give the airlines a chance to lose your bag which then causes delays and claim headaches. So, planning and judiciousness is key when choosing the items to bring with. Almost like the funny song by Monty Python: Every Sperm is Sacred, well every item going into your carryon is sacred. (And ever frugally, we buy most clothing items second hand.)

Jaco Beach Costa Rica March 2022

What to Wear (WTW): shorts with pockets (!) are great for a beach walk. Ladies, tropical-weight clothes with pockets are something to watch for, especially the coveted zipper pockets. Bathing suit that stays on is best for swimming in the surf and light weight rubber flip flops protect the feet when there are sharp rocks and are ok wet (unlike say, leather sandals).
Happy to be oceanfront and tropical.
Just saw a squadron of pelicans float by in formation then breakneck speed diving for their breakfast. It’s hard to tear my eyes away from their precision flying.

WTW: Dean is wearing his light weight linen collared, button-up long sleeve shirt. Best to cover up in the tropical sun especially starting from bright white winter skin á la Canada.

Today we arrived to the village of Atenas, Costa Rica which is known for its favourable climate, being in the highlands at 800m above sea level. Of course when I read that elevation my mind flitted back to 1994 when we arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal having flown from Australia where we had been travelling and working on a farm for two months. We had no idea how chilly it would be in Kathmandu and found ourselves wearing woollen toques to bed in the Kathmandu Guesthouse. We had tippy-toed passed the staff of twenty young men wrapped in blankets sleeping on their sides on woven mats in the great room where we had read our novels and swapped stories with other travellers earlier that day. When we eventually made our way to Pokhora, Nepal, at sea level, we sighed at the relative warmth. Much later, after 30 days trekking in the Annapurnas, we found ourselves in the tropics of Royal Chitwan National Park where we fondly remember the entrepreneurs all along the arid dusty roadway selling FREEZING COLD drinks – these were highly sought after by us and were quite the feat to proffer.

I digress. We have a cool bungalow surrounded by majorly huge house plants (grin).

Check out the size of this cactus!

WTW: In this shot I’m wearing a linen skort with pockets and light cotton tee. Nearly naked sandals are reef brand and I love ‘em!
Man about Puebla (cutie!).

WTW:
Dean is wearing Tevas brand sandals that last and last, are light and sporty as well as waterproof. He also has lightweight shorts which dry fast and have zipper pockets. Finally, a small daypack with contigo can for water or coffee. His sunglasses were a gift from our son and he wears them with a lanyard for safekeeping.

The biodiversity abounds in this country. Iguanas, birds of all sorts, monkeys, sloth, some sort of raccoon that ambled across our path one evening, geckos, marine life and a gazillion insects. One evening in Samara, a grasshopper the size of a well fed nuthatch flitted into the open-walled dining room and landed then froze on a chair. Ok. I was frozen too except for my hands which were waving and my mouth which was shrieking. A waiter calmly palmed it and gently released it to the jungle just beyond the non-wall. That was a relief. That thing was huge.

How’s it going?
Traipsing around the town gets tiring. A nice little coffee break is just the ticket.
This guy just walked by our table. Apparently, this is normal in Costa Rica. Isn’t is great?!
Getting to the Liberia airport with windows open, obviously.
Cheers folks. This is one of the local beers. Imperial.

Leave me a comment. I love ‘em!

2 thoughts on “Where the Cicadas Sing Like Dirt Bikes

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s incredible being in the tropics with its warm sea waters and exotic creatures (a grasshopper the size of a bluejay sailed into the dining room last night. I dropped my fork.) and recognizable giant versions of houseplants everywhere. And did I mention the sweet nature of the Ticos (the affectionate name of the Costa Rican people)? We are blessed to be here.

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