So . . . did you get to Costa Rica?
I’m sure that’s the burning question on everyone’s mind.
But, after my second to last post (and the one before it), I thought I should give an update. (Next time, I’m back to real estate.)
Yes, I did make it to Costa Rica. Our trip was from Antigua, Guatemala to San Jose, Costa Rica, visiting Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua along the way.
It was my third time touching Costa Rica, the first one being a tour of the country itself, the second being a trip that started in the country’s capital, San Jose, and went down to Panama.
As it happened, the scheduled last four days of this 17-day trip overlapped with my original Costa Rica tour.
Now why would I do something twice when there are alternatives I’ve not yet done once? (Hey, as long as there’s still a portion of Planet Earth that I haven’t visited, it’s on my bucket list.)
I negotiated with the tour operator, Intrepid, to check out of the tour when we got to Monteverde. (When you’ve been a tour operator yourself, you’re not shy about pushing the edges a bit.) BTW, if you’ve never been to Monteverde, put that on your bucket list! But I digress . . .
Instead of those four duplicate days, I spent a day travelling directly to San Jose on my own, then joined a three-day tour to Tortuguero, the “little Amazon” of Costa Rica.
It did not disappoint! We travelled along multiple waterways amid tropical jungles, ever on the lookout for sloths, monkeys, crocodiles, caiman, iguanas, multiple tropical birds, frogs, lizards, etc. We saw them all. But nary a turtle that makes this place famous, it not being turtle-hatching season.
I arrived back in San Jose about the same time my Intrepid friends arrived there from La Fortuna, and we spent our last happy night together at the farewell dinner.
Our great Salvadorian guide, after a brief speech, asked us each to identify a highlight of the trip. The first guy pointed to the guide, himself, as his highlight, and we had to agree. It was hard to follow that gesture. But we each identified a specific element of the trip as our highlight.
For me, it was hiking up Cerro Negro volcano in Nicaragua and then sand-boarding down its side. It was not only the hike and the slide adventure, but also the other-worldly landscape that I’ve not seen anywhere else on this planet. (I’m a bit of a landscape junkie.)
But, on reflection, what really makes or breaks a trip like this, is the camaraderie of the group and the guide. I’ve been blessed to have had that on most of my adventure trips. And made new friends from around the world. Maybe it’s “the group” that is the real highlight.
Within about two days of arriving home, I had caught up with business, partly because, with available wifi every night, I’d been able to keep on top of many things while away; and partly because of help back home to address the most urgent things.
Don’t call me a digital nomad, yet. But with so much of business being online now, it’s much easier to get away than it used to be. (I know of one university prof who taught her classes during the pandemic via Zoom from a foreign country, with her students none the wiser.)
Would I retire to one of these countries some day? I’d certainly consider it. Costa Rica had always been an attraction for me in that regard (see my post from May 13). But I, and others on this trip, fell in love with Nicaragua: just as scenic, just as safe, just as tropical, and much cheaper.
Not that I will ever retire there. That’s likely just a pipedream.
But I suspect I’ll be back to those parts, sooner than later, despite the duplication with this and past trips.
Maybe to lead a group of people from this list through a similar adventure? (Hey, we could talk about rent 2 own, if you like.)
What do you think? You in?