It’s awesome when “work” gets me out of town for a bit – even if only for a quicky trip. I got a booking for a wedding up near Volcan Poas – which is a few hours from where I’m located. I’d never been up to that area of Costa Rica before, so I was pretty excited to not only get a chance to get outta’ town, but to have a money-making, all expense paid trip to do so.
When I booked the wedding, I was told that it would be near Volcan Poas, so I searched for a hotel to stay the night before the wedding near….yup…Volcan Poas and discovered a great hotel “5 minutes from the Volcan Poas Nacional Park” – Altura Hotel.
Ok, let me just say, this hotel is badass!! I want to go back there for leisure — with a few days to spare because this hotel was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!! A small hotel (my favorite type with only 5 rooms), rustic, beautiful gardens, picturesque, in the midst of rolling green farmland/hills and with a view of San Jose from high up in the mountains.
The room itself was perfect — like a little apartment. Lots of natural light, windows everywhere with views of all the greeeeeen.
I knew the weather up there would be “cooler”, but I didn’t anticipate the bone chilling winds, dense fog and intermittent rain and sprinkling. What an amazing break from the scorching hot, dry landscape, yet humid conditions where I live! I was more than happy to slip into a pair of jeans, closed-toe shoes, jacket and hat!!
Whenever I do an out-of-town wedding, I always thinks it’s a good idea to drive to the wedding location the day before so that the next morning I know exactly where I’m going and can be sure to arrive on time. As it turns out, my hotel was technically near Volcan Poas, however, the hotel where the wedding was — well — Volcan Poas maybe wasn’t the best location to use for logistics. The drive was a bit over an hour, weaving around the mountain, in and out of dense fog, picturesque landscapes that reminded me of Jurassic Park and a number of amazing waterfalls.
This view was from the patio of a roadside cafe. The fog was so dense.
Within a few minutes of this photo, the fog cleared…..to reveal….(see next photo).
Eventually, after many stops and photo ops that left me speechless from their beauty, I came to the turn off road and a sign indicating the hotel where the wedding would be the next day was 10 km up the road. So I turned and headed back to my hotel.
I guess if the drive had not been so breathtakingly beautiful, I’d have been a bit irritated at being so far from where I would be working the next day, however, it had the opposite effect. Had I not been mis-informed, I would (perhaps) never have traveled along this stretch of road, nor seen (once again) the amazing landscape of this beeaaaauuutiful country, nor fallen so deeply in love with it — once again!!
By the time it got dark, brrrrrr, it was really chilly. It was nice treat to have my teeth chattering as I struggled to get the key in the door. And sleeping with blankets and a room heater — yeah that was quite a treat too. It doesn’t take much to please me these days!!
After a cozy sleep, I woke and pulled up the shades in the room to discover dense fog. It has definitely been years since I’ve seen that!
I put the coffee on to brew and when I came back to pour myself a cup, right outside the window, there was a cow, rudders eye-level as if offering me “fresh milk for your coffee ma’am.” Unfortunately for her, I’m a black coffee kinda’ gal. 😉
After coffee, I wanted to wander around the property a bit. It was just too pretty not to explore just a little before heading off to work. As I ventured around the corner, I stumbled upon a man in the stable, milking a cow.
As much as I wanted to stay and do some more exploring in this area, I had to get to the wedding.
The wedding hotel was in an area named Bajos del Toro and well, after driving there, I’ve got to say, I’m quite smitten with this area. Driving up the mountain to the wedding site, I felt an internal regeneration. It’s so completely opposite of where I live. Mountainous, g-r-e-e-n, foggy, chilly, farm land, views, lots of space, and I felt that same liveliness that I used to feel when I’d come to CR on vacation years ago. That same — surge of being alive – completely alive. And I realized that I’m at a point in my life once again where I feel myself changing.
I’m not sure if everyone is like this, but it seems to me that every 7-8 years, I go through a sort of metamorphosis of self. I feel that I’m in one of those stages right now and traveling up and around the lovely roads and farm country, I realized, I’d like to spend some extended time in this area. I don’t know that I could or would want to live there full-time just because it is quite chilly, but perhaps for a few months (Aug/Sept/Oct) when there’s not much going on in Tamarindo and just escape to another place. A different climate, a different pace, a difference landscape. Rent a little place, set up a nice studio, hike, explore…..
I daydreamed and envisioned myself 15 years in the future, with a little farm, maybe a few animals, an amazing garden, a simple, beautiful life. I want that. I want to have a place I can call home, near the ocean like what I have now, but that I also have a deep, spiritual connection to nature and I want to have a place I call home in the mountains. I think I found the place, hell —I even discovered my dream house!!
After the wedding, I drove back through the windy roads for the 3rd time and into San Jose where I met up with my hubby. We took two days, driving around all the loveliness I had just discovered (4th time for me in 2 days!!), taking our time and loving the weather. We spent a night in Arenal – another beautiful, chilly, mountain/volcano area.
Driving back home, coming down the mountain, little by little the climate became warmer. Soon the hat came off, then the sweater, then the A/C got turned and the landscape slowly became less green and vibrant and as the temperature went up, the horizon got more and more brown. Eventually we arrived back in my area – Guanacaste – to the blistering heat and humidity.
It felt amazing to take time to reset my battery and reconnect with myself, outside of my routine and explore some unfamiliar places.
Grateful to have two jobs that allow me the freedom to do these sorts of things.