We have been in our new home since April 11 and in addition to being wonderfully relaxed, we have been very pleased with how well we have settled into this lifestyle. We can already see and feel positive changes beyond the obvious darkening of our skin. After some terrific Costa Rican coffee and a breakfast we usually take about a 2 km walk along the beach. How can you have a bad day that starts out watching seabirds diving for fish while you hear waves rolling in, smell the salt laden spray and feel the sand beneath your feet?
Costa Rica has excellent coffee and there is a good range even in our local Mini Luperon which is just around the corner. Coffee has been grown here since the 1700s as the fertile soil, high altitude and cool climate of the Central Valley produce world class beans. Costa Rica is the 13th largest producer of coffee in the world and its export accounts for about 11% of the country’s export trade. Tours of coffee plantations are a popular tourist activity and can make for a fun and delicious day out.
The mornings are relatively cool so this is when we will do any chores or run errands in the main town. The walk into town is about 20 minutes and we have a choice of the main road or along the beach. Of course we generally choose the beach path. At this time of day tour boats are loading up, terns and pelicans are fishing, parrots are chattering in the mango trees and a cooling breeze brings in the fragrance of the sea.
There is one main street in the town of Playas del Coco with the expected souvenir shops, bars, restaurants, massage parlors, sodas and tour outlets; however there are many services in and around the area. There is a good selection of grocery stores, a clinic, police station, hair salons, cellular stands, and an organic food store to name a few. We like it as it has everything we need but isn’t overcrowded. There are plenty of good places to eat from higher end beach clubs to local sodas. The seafood here is excellent although a little pricey. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be bought from trucks at very reasonable prices.
It gets very hot in the early afternoon so it is a great time to get caught up on our emails, paperwork or read a book. We have been taking a lot of photos for this blog and our Facebook page so there is a lot of review and editing to keep up with as well. We have been practicing our Spanish and are trying to add a phrase or a couple of words each day. There is a local volunteer group which teaches English so we will look into joining in as a way to give back a little to the community, learn some Spanish and meet people.
If none of those things are too urgent it’s never a bad time for a siesta!
As the sun starts to sink slowly across the Pacific it seems like a perfect time for another walk on the beach, perhaps to dodge the waves or just enjoy where we are and be thankful for the moment. There is always something going on – kids frolicking, teenagers skimboarding, dogs chasing each other, fish jumping or people just hanging out. We also get a kick out of watching the grackles dodging the surf as they try to catch small crustaceans at the water’s edge.
Of course what perfect beach day can end without a sunset. We have a perfect view as the sun sets directly behind the numerous small boats at anchor in the bay. We haven’t made them all but each one is different. If the clouds are just right it is a wonderfully magical moment that can’t help but bring out a sense of contentment and a satisfaction of being right where you are.
We have been eating very well and feeling better than we have in a long time since we have arrived, and it’s only been three weeks! There is such a great variety of fabulous food available and locally sourced is much more affordable. We have tried several new recipes and become much more adventurous in our eating already. There are many varieties of mango trees in the area and we can often pick freshly fallen fruit which are so juicy and tasty either fresh or in salsas, salads or smoothies. They made a savoury addition to a coconut milk sauce with our fresh shrimp.
One of the reasons we chose to start our journey here was to relax and try to get our minds wrapped around this new lifestyle. Other than some hives from the heat during our first two weeks our bodies are reacting even better than we hoped and our minds are already more clear and uncluttered than they have ever been. We are loving it so much it will be very difficult to leave! So for now we are enjoying the moments and know that we can always come back. Nos vemos amigos!