Tamarindo, Costa Rica

This post is going to double as a feature of Mike’s photography because (1) all of the photos to follow were plucked from his Sony’s memory card and (2) because his photography skills are miles ahead of mine – which is to my benefit as he is (grudgingly at times, I’m sure) my mentor in this space.

Costa Rica has been on my list for some time – the fact that my “list” is less a series of destinations organized together in a meaningful grouping or sequence so as to constitute a record and more a ceaseless declaration of “I want to go there” is irrelevant. Jungle-fringed beaches and swelling salty waves… you exhale and collapse into a calm that can only be felt somewhere like this.

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We stayed in Tamarindo, on the Northern Pacific coast in the Province of Guanacaste. The slow, steady rhythm of the town pulses through you  – a deliberate thump, thump  – the waves expanding and contracting along the shore, as if breathing in the hot, heavy air.

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Along with the heavy heat filling our lungs along the shore, were the salty winds sweeping us away from shore, pulling at us the more we pushed ourselves away. We spent a day fishing for red snapper –  the photo below accurately depicts my afternoon. While the boys were pulling their catches in, fervently and in regular intervals, my success rate  was well below average. Fine by me though – the idea of grilling our (their) catches on the lantern lit beach that evening was plenty motivation for me to continue to cast.

Sun beating down, our laughs being swallowed by the winds, time seemed to slow down with us – it seemed it had nowhere else to be either. And what will etch this day into my memory long after this trip are the dolphins that followed our boat – closely, amiably, as if to keep us company, keep us at ease, while we rocked back and forth in their unfamiliar and extraordinary territory.

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We stayed at a beautiful boutique hotel, Jardin Del Eden – a fitting name. The flourishing gardens enveloping us, cradling us, sheltering us as we sprawled out by the pool – our books open over our faces.

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Mike and I would spend afternoons strolling through Tamarindo, peaking in and out of shops, hunting for our next good eat, always an iced-coffee in hand. Costa Rican coffee beans are considered among the best in the world – I relished every bright, buttery sip.

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We also spent an afternoon sinking our feet into the sand of, to our bewilderment, a stretching beach all to ourselves – only a short swim across a rising river.

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It was later that day, over dinner, made apparent to us exactly why we had this pristine beach all to ourselves. We weren’t alone in that rising river.

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To this I have no comment other than I now and will forever have a gripping, and completely justified, fear of foreign rivers. Likely all rivers for that matter.

Costa Ricans navigate through their lives in a way that not enough of us will ever allow ourselves to experience and even less of us have the mindset to absorb.

Simply. Contentedly.

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Pura Vida.

The only way I can end this post is by expressing my gratitude and happiness for having these kind and wonderful people in my life, inviting me to spend time in their company.

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