Still pinching myself

The Christmas holiday that came to an end just a few days ago was unlike any previous. We packed bags and travelled a good 24 hours to beautiful and exotic Costa Rica, the greenest place I have ever seen. Rainforest green, cloud forest green, mountain green, pineapple, mango, banana, coffee, sugar cane and rice plantation green.

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We spent just short of three weeks exploring a world so, so different to our own. We toured the country moving from low lands to high lands, from volcano to beach, jungle to city, sea to river and sea again. Swam in rough and salty surfing waves and quiet, clear bays, pools heated by hot springs, pools shaped like turtles and in lakes and rivers with goose bump creating waterfalls with milky white spray. We went to the most stunning beach where thousands upon thousands of turtles come to lay their eggs each year. We did not swim in its shark infested, rip tide pulling Atlantic water. Others did!

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Ants and centipedes spotted along the way were studied in depth as were other creatures no matter how big or small. They were all pretty amazing. Slow moving sloths, ugly crocs, fluffy opossums and coatis, cross looking (but surprisingly) vegetarian iguanas, bright green frogs, scarlet macaws, tiny hummingbirds, beautiful toucans and butterflies, tree climbing porcupines, sleepy bats and noisy monkeys. Loads of monkeys. And the list just goes on and on. We count ourselves very fortunate to have had the most amazing and passionate guide with funny stories to tell and knowledge that exceeded our wildest imagination. Leo, is his name and I think I will tell you more about him another day. Passionate people, you know. Always inspiring. Always worth sharing.

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Then there was the food of course. It was so good. Often quite simple, which I prefer, rich in flavour, healthy and made with abundant sun ripened, freshly picked or just caught, local ingredients. We picked coffee, ground cocoa beans, pressed and sucked sugar cane and baked tortillas on a wood burning stove following sweet Mama Rosa’s gestures and skilful movements. How spoilt we were and how I will miss is all.

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The greenest country I have ever seen, the food, the wildlife, the adventures, the exploring, the people, Leo. How grateful I am for this Christmas holiday. It will no doubt last a lifetime.

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