Chernack Greenstein in Costa Rica, 2011
01.08.2011 - 01.23.2011
Hola from Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. It has been more than a year since we updated you on our travels, and yes, we are still going … just at a slower, more realistic pace, given the fact that we have 'real' American working hours and limited vacation time.
For the last two weeks, Dave and I have escaped the snow for what was supposed to be sunny Costa Rica. For the first ten days we experienced horrific torrential rains, while sleeping in a house with a tin roof that amplified the sound of every drop.
Without a car or phone to call a cab, we stuck to biking around the area, despite the rain.
We also managed to do mini hikes at the Cahuita and Manzanillo beach areas.
The best part about the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica was the cuisine. We loved the coconut infused sauces, the jerk chicken, meats, fresh fish, sweet rice and beans and plantains.
At a local spa called PURE we treated ourselves to jungle chocolate facials with products smelling so good it was hard to resist licking our faces.
Please note that if you are traveling to this area, DO NOT go from December to the beginning of March if you want sun. No guide book will tell you this, but it is the rainy season in this area, and a slight damper on a vacation. The Pacific side of the country is quite sunny during this time, but more touristy!
We originally planned to visit turtles in Tortuguera National Park on the northern coast of the Caribbean side, but with rain in that area too, and turtles in hiding, we opted out. We went straight to La Fortuna to soak ourselves in hot springs at the base of Arenal Volcano.
We splurged for a night at the Tabacon Resort Hotel to allow us admittance to the hot springs. It was absolutely worth it. (A tip: online there is a two night minimum stay, but if you call the day you want to stay, they will give you a room for one night if they haven't booked up.) We piggy backed our luxury night at the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort with a hostel rightly named, Sleepers Sleep Cheapers Cheap, or something like that. At $9 a person per night, it was a dream destination, plus we had our own room : - )
This rustic town is new on the tourist trail, mostly occupied by surfers and yoga enthusiasts from around the world. Oddly, there aren't too many locals in the area, which just received electricity in the late 90's. Israeli and Argentinian ex-pats seemed to own most of the properties.
Both Dave and I have visited Costa Rica before, taking advantage of the wealth of adventure sports the country has to offer (zip lining, kayaking, canyoning, etc.,) but this time we stuck with a needed mellow agenda.
Here's why .....
After ten months of living at our friend Niel's home in Boston, we finally bought a place in the South end, and love it. I work a few blocks away at a non-profit called Room to Grow, dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born into poverty. Dave continues his work at StillSecure.
We spent a week this summer in the San Francisco area, visiting Sonoma and Napa Valleys to continue our around the world wine tour. We both completed the 100 mile Rodman Ride for Kids, a charity bike ride, and we've enjoyed reconnecting with friends and family.
During the year, our new friends from our trip from Amsterdam, Hester and Freck, visited us in Boston, and we've made an effort to stay in touch with many of the other travelers who made our year abroad such an experience.
We've included some photos of our year, and will certainly be in touch again, soon enough!
- Elizabeth (and Dave, editor and advice giver for this blog entry)
P.S. We are still working on our around the world book. At this rate, by 2013 it should be done ; - )