Raw nature and Costa Rica wildlife are plentiful on our daily walks near home.
On our first real "tourist-oriented activity" (meaning priced for tourists) of the trip: we joined our Canadian friends on a two-hour, guided river float. The excursion came highly recommended and did not dissapoint.
We had naviagated several rapids without incident but, on the final riffles, we all got wet! I'm sure this was intentional; after two hours in the mid-day sun, it felt rather refreshing. We saw many other birds and even some very-elusive coatimundi; I just wasn’t quick enough with my camera to capture them.
We've been in Costa Rica for half our two-month stay now, immersing ourselves in the local culture, joining in on many expat activities, and traveling around a bit but this river float was our first tourist-oriented activity with any real cost. Despite the price (US$50 per person, which included a hot lunch), it won't be our last. Expect to see our expenses spike a bit in the next few weeks! These activities are not cheap and we've been saving them as "treats" for when family and friends come to join us , which will happen soon. When people visit us on THEIR vacation, it feels like we’re no longer on vacation ourselves - that we live here now, however temporarily. That's exactly the feeling and the experience we were looking for on this trip.
We've seen other wildlife while we've been here (but have not yet captured them on camera): toucans, parrots, hummingbirds, egrets, lizards, butterflies, vultures, hawks, and various other birds and insects. So far, we've not encountered even one snake or frog, although they are, apparently, abundant and some species are poisonous (so just as well). We've been told there are two-toed sloths in the area of our house but, so far, have not been lucky enough to spot one.
One evening we had a bat in the house. We live Tico style - without screens and doors and windows wide open - but this bat was our first real "intruder". He had walked in through our front door; I guess he took that welcome mat seriously! Randy gently guided him out. And yesterday a hummingbird crashed into the picture window - we thought his fall was fatal but within a few minutes, he came to, stood up, and flew off. Life is resilient.
In this climate life is also very persistent! We are surrounded by living fences. I wondered whether farmers plant the young trees in rows, and then, after the tree has grown tall enough, attach fence wire. I found out that they actually carefully select fence posts - cut from various local tree species - slender and more substantial logs that they “peg” into the earth, alternating with a few sturdy dried fence posts for stability - just in case some of the limbs don’t take root. In this climate, even dry wood is likely to grow. In fact, I was told there are few plant cuttings that will not take root here by simply “pegging them” in soil. Even cut and dried lumber intended for construction has been known to sprout.
It occurs to me that one should not stand still for too long in this country!
But there's little risk of grass growing under our feet (or vines wending their way up our legs); we're keeping pretty busy! I'll share more about how our social calendar has grown in a future post. It's not nearly as full as that of others we've met but hey, we've only been here one month! That post should also shed some light on why our grocery expenses are quite low while our total entertainment/and restaurant total is higher than on most of our previous (RV) trips.
Expenses to date follow: (for the two of us and converted to US dollars):
I added a separate expense line for tourist excursions since these are certainly a “splurge” item. We were curious to learn that many expats in this community haven’t even been to most of these nearby “attractions” - despite living here for years. Others have gone but only to accompany friends who are visiting. That should tell you something about how idealic just "living here" is. You might be interested in this link to the monthly expenses of one expat couple who have been living in Costa Rica for several years.
Posted on day 31 of our 62-day trip. (Jan 27 to Mar 28, 2016)
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