Between meetings in LA and a book talk in Nassau I had three days.
Three days where I wanted to Get Lost, and have an adventure, with my 11 year old. (Sometimes one on one is good when you have five kids)
When a friend said she was going to Costa Rica with the words ‘jungle’ and ‘surfing’ thrown in somewhere we were on our way. Flying all night, to be there in the morning.
I knew very little about Costa Rica except the waves were bigger than the Bahamas. We landed in Tambor, rolled our luggage across the scalding airstrip to the tiny exit gate, where a young girl in a sort-of uniform spoke some speedy Spanish, which after a moment I realized meant she wanted us to pay to leave the airport. I’ve traveled a lot, been to many hidden parts of the world but paying to leave the airport was a whole new excitement.
A long bumpy taxi ride through small villages and tiny coastal settlements brought us to Santa Teresa, a little fishing town on the edge of a rain forest. Hot surf chicks with hot surf bods wearing nothing but string bikinis roared past on motorbikes, expertly balancing surf boards across their laps, whilst tattooed dudes on parked quad bikes discussed gnarly waves, as their dogs snoozed on the handle bars.
Yoga retreats call out to the passing traveler as Howler monkeys howl in the canopy of trees overhead. The smell of the Ylang Ylang tree mingles with marijuana and the noise of a powerful rolling surf is ever present.
Conrad was in the water before our bags hit the ground.
By the afternoon we were on quad bikes, flying along dirt tracks, crossing mountains. A few hours later we came to the waterfalls of Montezuma, swam in the water below and zip lined through the jungle above.
Our young local guide suggested we go into the tiny town for something to eat. As we climbed back onto the quads a long snouted Coati ambled past and an alarmingly large legged Iguana watched us from the side of the road. We ate very local food, in a very local bar and it was all delicious.
By now the sun had set, trucks and quad bikes thundered past and backpackers spilled out of bars and Costa Rican farmers in cowboy hats commuted home on their horses and cows stood frozen on the tarmac. Frozen and staring. The guide gave Conrad his ski goggles to wear for the journey home as the dust was blinding, but crickey my heart was pounding as my 11 year old and I negotiated our way through the main roads, before hitting the mountain path back to Santa Teresa, in the black of night to the beat of the jungle.