Monday, January 17, 2011
We arrived last night at the Pura Vida sometime after 9 p.m. and were welcomed by some nice dogs, luscious sandwiches, a cold bottle of wine, and Judie! This place looks fantastic, but we are ready for bed.
This morning I woke up with the first light and was seduced out of bed by the birdsong. What a beautiful place! It’s totally clear and we have a view of the Poas volcano from our patio. (Doug not so much – he’s still in bed). The flowering plants here are amazing: bouganvilla, passion vine, salvia, heliconias, orchids, unbelievable daturas, hibiscus and tons that even Judie, a trained botanist, can’t ID. Doug will not get out of bed because of the sign that says “don’t feed the boa constrictor”.
Breakfast was an amazing assortment of fresh fruit: pineapple, watermelon, grapes, papaya, red and yellow bananas, starfruit, passion fruit, cantaloupe, plus the best, fresh-squeezed pineapple-orange juice imaginable, served garnished with tropical flowers. Granola topped with yogurt, grapes and banana. AND bread pudding with raisins and rum—butter sauce. This was all included with our room. Then Doug had a three-cheese omelet that came with roasted tomatoes, bacon, and toast. OMG. We are in heaven.
Our Toyota Rav4 was delivered at about 8:30, right on schedule. The drive to Santa Elena was fantastic! We stopped at a roadside stand and bought mangoes, a watermelon, oven-dried bananas, a yummy, thin, corn/cheese chip (Goleta polaca) and pipas frescas (chilled fresh coconut water served in the coconut). $5.20 for everything. We are in heaven. Once we turned off the pan-American highway, the road gets worse, eventually becoming just a dirt track. Bumpy and slow! But the view is amazing, much more than we had realized. The house we have rented is fantastic! The woodwork is incredible, with a wall of windows overlooking the Golfo de Nicoya – the weather is unusually clear and just fabulous.
Next we head out on a shopping adventure. The bakery just down the street has a surprising variety of fresh pastries, fresh sandwich bread, and the lightest, fluffiest “French” bread imaginable (reminiscent of Wonder bread, only fluffier). Also granola and tiny pizzas, good for breakfast. Then into town and the grocery store, to buy a few supplies: vodka, juice, beer, milk, local cheese. After a drink and some cheese, we headed into town for a wonderful dinner: avocado and shrimp salad (the best shrimp I’ve ever had); Covina (sea bass) in garlic butter; pulpo (octopus) in garlic butter; and grilled lobster. We are stuffed and tired, going home and to bed early. We’re going to the cloud forest at Santa Elena Reserve tomorrow at 7:30 with our guide Henry.