Back from Costa Rica

By popular demand! A post on my recent stay in Costa Rica!

I got back from Costa Rica a little over a week ago. I had planned to stay a little longer, but my laptop started acting up and I didn’t want to take a chance on not being able to get parts to fix it (It seems fine now). I was there for a little over a month.

As I did last year, I stayed at Norma’s Villas in La Garita, about twenty-five minutes from the San Jose airport (which is actually in Alajuela, because Costa Ricans are liars). Here’s me in my outside office:


Thanks to the awesomeness that is Amtrak, I missed my flight out of Chicago, but managed to get on another flight the next day. Unfortunately, my exhaustion resulted in a migraine, which resulted in nausea, which resulted in me puking all over the patio shortly after arriving. The groundskeeper, Sergio, got to clean it up. Here’s Sergio with an iguana he caught:


After recovering from my illness, I spent most of the first three weeks working, but I did manage to get out for a few trips to the beach at Jaco (about an hour and a half away). Here’s a shot from the “crocodile bridge” on the way to Jaco. No one knows why it’s called that.


This place is an abandoned restaurant/resort in the hills above Jaco. Apparently a lot of construction in Jaco and other resort areas was halted when the American real estate market crashed ten years or so ago.


Here’s a view from the unfinished terrace.


Obligatory shirtless pic of me at the beach.


This was taken at the hot springs in Arenal. Basically a bunch of really big, natural hot tubs. You can see how happy it made me.


Here’s me at Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park. I bought the bright yellow poncho because I wanted to look like a banana to attract monkeys. It didn’t work.


I stole most of these pics from my friend Lauren, who joined me for the last week of my stay in CR. She’s a better photographer than I. Fortunately, I speak Spanish better than she does. My comprehension is still lousy, but I found that I could generally communicate what I needed to, and occasionally even decode what people were saying to me. During last year’s trip I noted that I almost never heard anyone say “pura vida,” which is supposedly a standard Costa Rican greeting. This time I noticed people saying it quite often. I think the problem was that my comprehension at that time was so poor that I simply couldn’t make out the words.

I found on this trip that although my Spanish vocabulary is pretty impressive, my ability to string said words into a coherent sentence is limited. I almost had a stroke asking a security guard how to get to the rental car office, but if you need someone to point to random objects and name them in Spanish (“woodpecker”, “screwdriver”, “dishwasher”), I’m your guy.

Nice shot of the rain forest:


And one of the canopy overhead:


Finally, here’s a video of me doing a dance to attract monkeys:

As I mentioned previously, I was unsuccessful, but you can’t fault me for trying.

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4 Comments on Back from Costa Rica

    • It went well. Had 5 students in the workshop and we talked about all the ins and outs of self-publishing. May do it again next year.

  1. I suspect the yellow poncho also makes it much easier to locate your body when you fall from the Hanging Bridges. You should Skype parts of the workshop next year so those who can’t take the time off, or have a healthy fear of iguanas and hanging bridges, can get a feel for what its like.

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