Pura Vida

Often when you ask someone how it’s going here in Costa Rica, the response is “Pura Vida!” Or if you thank someone for letting you in traffic. Or if you do something for someone. It’s good to keep in mind.

Our hostel room here in Tortuguero is a bit grim. It’s clean and has the basic, albeit very minimal, amenities, but the overhead bare bulb casts a pall over the room. On the pura vida other hand it’s quiet, away from Calle Principal and thumping disco beats. It also looks a lot like many of the homes on the island. And truly pura vida – the ocean surf can be heard just 60 yards away! The three beaches I’ve been to in Costa Rica all post signs warning of danger – strong currents and rip tides. The waves here seem to roll in non-stop. I’ll give it a go tomorrow after our canoe tour.

Stopped in a tiny (2 tables) Soda on the way here today and had one of the most delicious chicken empanadas and fresh piña liquados ever. Empanada made with corn. We already plan to stop again on the way back.

I should mention that the only way to Tortuguero is by boat. We left the car in a paid secure parking lot at the embarcadero. Then took a long, low slung boat down river. It was peaceful – yes, even with the roar of the engine. I saw an iguana, a caiman, a few herons, and white egrets. They have bright yellow feet, long and slender like their necks.

So, no cars here! All the locals wear flip flops (chanclas) or go barefoot. Ate a savory pork, cheese, and bean pupusa in a park by the river and watched kids playing. There was quite an age range and they all were having a riot of a time, the shrieks and giggles and guffaws a delight to hear.

For high season, it’s not all that crowded here. Though it could be that high season for Tortuguero is when the turtles are active.

Another great day in another part of another paradise – ¡pura vida!

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