It may or may not be fitting that
the perfect span of time for me to sit and write to you, all lengthy and Andie-like,
to tell you all about my Costa Rican life so far, is while in bed on the third day of illness after haphazardly drinking the local water.
Where to start.
For the past two and a half weeks, I’ve been living just off the shore of LOST. I’m in Punta Uva, a teeny tiny beach town near Puerto Viejo on the eastern coast of Costa Rica. It’s known to be a hot surfing spot. I pictured seven foot waves and people so athletically inclined that my arm muscles would make fun of themselves. That much was true.
Our house is set remotely on the beach, amidst coconut trees and all manner of wild leaf and bug. It’s the jungle. Almost to the point where I’d need a machete to hack my way through, were I not on a man made dirt path. Hot and humid, surrounded by the sounds of what must be twelve hundred live bug bands and the slapping tide of the ocean, I can’t help but feel that each and every minute here is an adventure. The greenery, the sand, the coral- they’re all untouched and happily unmanicured by my traveling standards. Those banana trees, though they look like they’re leaning toward the water for a postcard picture, they’re not. It’s just their natural bend. Puerto Viejo is thought to be quite touristy, but I’d say it’s fairly rustic and raw. I say that because:
1. My kitchen is outdoors, outside of my actual living space.
2. My kitchen is outdoors.
3. Mom, my kitchen is outdoors.
4. There is no air conditioning to be had, except inside the town pharmacy and the one ATM (an hour walk away)- and boy do I loiter there.
5. I walk fifteen minutes, at the very least, to arrive at the nearest market to buy water. Any and all drinkable water, that is.
6. Restaurants generally stop serving food after 8ish pm.
7. The internet, similar to my sense of direction, cannot be trusted nor relied upon.
And what amazes me most, other than the fact that life is a whole lot more active, is that I’m quite happy in this ultra-simplicity. On average, Camille and I walk 8 miles everyday. And by 8 I mean 9. And by 9 I mean ask my legs.
Everywhere that requires getting to or coming from- we walk. The other surfing beaches, the markets, the restaurants, bars, you name it, we grab a two liter of water and go. There is one main road that runs straight through all of the connecting towns. It sits just meters from the shore. On many occasions, Camille and I have rented bikes- 1970’s style ones with big swooping handlebars and baskets on the fronts- and ridden them all over. But mostly, we walk along the water to every destination. We’ve found that we can get almost anywhere in 4 miles (one way). And as long as we head home an hour before the sun is due to set (6pm), we’re golden.
For a diehard walker, a gal who already knew herself to be very active, this trip has made me feel like an ultra-marathoner. Badass, to put it lightly. I’ve never moved this much. And even if I were to spend hours in the gym at home, I don’t know that I’d be so thoroughly exhausted, so completely worked out at the end of each and every day, as I am here. Because once we walk to one location, generally four miles away from our home, we’ll likely swim for hours, practice vinyasa yoga across from the beach, hike, or attempt a sport that I should not attempt. And this is all before trekking back home another four miles on the sand.
Part of me might call it blissful. But that could be the heat talking.
And at night, when the sun has set and the mosquitoes have RSVP’ed to a cocktail party on my legs, Camille and I go out dancing. And when I say ‘go out dancing’ I don’t even necessarily mean to a dance club. Often, it’s anywhere with loud music and enough space for Camille to twirl me. Not every night, but perhaps three out of the given seven? Because we are dancing fools.
Be back soon with more