Tuesday, Januray 8th
Unfortunately all good things come to an end and this is the last day of our holiday. We started early as we were determined to make the most of our last day in Costa Rica. We wanted to bath in the hotsprings, maybe do a canopy tour, maybe see some butterflys and frogs and check out the volcano. We started with hotsprings, opting to check out the spot where the Ticos go under the bridge at no charge. It turned out to be the best choice since we all had a wonderful time lounging around in the warm water feeling that it was a more authentic experience to be in a river rather then a man made pool. Plus since we had saved the $100 that it would have cost us at the Baldi or one of the other luxurious hotel/spas. We were happy to spend that money doing something else more exciting so we opted to do a canopy tour. We were so lucky since when we arrived at the Canopy tour place to inquire as to cost and get info etc the next tour was starting in ten minutes so we went with it. Since we were not properly dressed for the adventure (panse/shorts and runners are recommended) we improvised putting Ruan’s spare shorts on Leilani and my shorts on Saoirse. Each childs stylish and oversized shorts had to be held up by string before we got the harnesses on them. I had a short dress on so I made an attempt at moulding the end of the dress like a grown up nappy before putting on my harness. The guide took Saoirse with him first on every zip wire which made her day. I went next, followed by Leilani, Ruan and then our fellow zip liners in our group. After some hesitation from the kids they were soon pros and totally enjoyed the experience. We had a blast. It was a very exciting way to see some jungle, zooming through the trees at some incredible height and speed.
With tummys rumbling we found a place to have lunch right in front of the volcano at the Mirador Restaurant. We had a nice lunch here enjoying the view and meeting a lovely American family with four blond little daughters. There was also a chatty couple from Quebec. Running out of time before our planned trip to San Jose we went to a butterfly garden. The butterflys were beautiful and plentiful. We really liked seeing the array of colours fluttering around us and on us. We saw some cute little frogs too before hitting the the road for San Jose and our last night stay in Costa Rica before our early morning flight back home tomorrow.
The road trip was longer then we thought and a lot of it was completed in the dark which I find quite scary as drivers here go too fast, take too many risks, keep their lights on full glare and the roads are fairly lethal at times with sheer drops on either side.
Anyway we arrived safe and well to check into the Double Tree Hilton Hotel. It is nice! Fairly luxurious especially since we were “roughing it” by the coast. We had a good meal here. Overpriced but with great service. The waiter even took Leilani and Saoirse for their complimentary cookie at reception while Ruan and I finished our meals. After when the girls were ready for bed I went to have a dip in the jacuzzi while I admired the stars. I took the time to reflect on and be thankful for the amazing trip that we had just been on. Later when I went back to the room to look after the girls it was Ruan’s turn to check out the jacuzzi. And well, that’s it, our Costa Rican holiday. So perfect, so wonderful, so picturesque, so much fun, so warm, so spectaular, so friendly and so thrilling.
Monday, January 7th.
Time to leave Nosara! Ruan surfed while I packed with the girls. Then it was time for our last swim in the pool before leaving for Lake Arenal. The road trip was again fun and so scenic. We got closer and closer to the volcano as we travelled around the lake which was so picturesque. We arrived at our hotel the Magic Mountain, checked in quickly, savoured the beauty of the fabulous view of the volcano from our window, before we went to explore and decide which hotsprings to go to. We had a look at the Baldi Hotel and got a guided tour of their hotsprings pools before deciding that it was overly priced and too man made. We took the girls back to the hotel. They were not disappointed as they had got a tour on the hotels cart and only wanted to swim in the pool in our hotel anyway! We discovered that we had a puncture again and Ruan went to fix it while girls and I went for a swim at our new hotel. Turns out that the pool bar had the warmest water so we hung out there mostly and Leilani, Saoirse and I had a happy hour cocktail. Two for the price of one, virgin cocktail for the children of course. Saoirse said “this is the best place to have a cocktail in the whole wide world!” After Ruan got home with tales of his trials and tribulations of changing a tyre for the third time on this trip, we had dinner at the hotel. We met the owner of the hotel who made us feel very welcome and treated us to a drink at the sports bar. Leilani and Saoirse again fell asleep and we carried them to bed.
Sunday, January 6th
So sad that this will be our last full day in Nosara and our last day surfing in the warm water and basking in the sunshine until our next holiday. We went with our routine of beach in the morning with surf all round for the family. Back to the pool for lunchtime where the girls and I had a picnic by the pool while Ruan booked our accommodation for tomorrow night in Fortuna, near lake Arenal and our last night in San Jose.
We went back to beach for a sunset surf and watched the sunset with our new friends, Matt, Nicole and Lucas Peterson and our Montreal friends, Christine and her daughters Ann and Marie Eve. We ate at The Blue Azul tonight. The food was delicious. My tuna was perfect. We listened to the live band and looked around us to see all these faces of local people and surfers who we have met or have just come to recognise on the street or in the water. We carried our sleeping children back to our room at the Iguana before having a cocktail and choosing some photos from Jeff, a photographer, who visits Nosara regularly. He got a few good photos of Ruan and some of the girls too.
Saturday, January 5th
We slept in a little after last nights festivities, got up with the children and went to the beach. Ruan surfed while I played with the children. We surfed and built sandcastles and enjoyed the hot sun and the warm water.
After the beach we swam in the pool. I took the girls to the Kaya Sol pool across the way from the Gilded Iguana for a change of scenery and we relaxed in the cooler water as the pool was in the shade. We decided to go to Lagarta Lodge to watch the sunset and have a drink and appetiser. We ended up seeing our new friends Matt, Nicole and Lucas there. We shared a table as the sunset and we soaked in the awesome scenery in the knowledge that this wonderful holiday is coming to an end in a matter of just days. We wish it could go on forever. Together with the Peterson’s we went to a Tico Pizzaria in Nosara.
Friday, January 4th
My 40th birthday
What a great day. The best birthday ever. Ruan got a morning surf. The girls woke me gently with love and kisses. Then made me breakfast in bed. Granola with no milk since we forgot to go to the grocery store and a juice that had been left out all night. Thanks girls. After getting up and getting sunscreened up we went for breakfast here at The Guilded Iguana. Ruan got back from his surf and then he and the girls presented me with two birthday gifts. A beautiful necklase and earings. Then we all hit the beach. It was my turn to surf. I got a few good waves. After it was Leilani’s turn and she surfed so well. Saoirse does not want to surf now as she has had one too many wipeouts! We went back to our hotel for lunch and a dip in the pool. We booked a babysitter with Joellen for the evening and made reservations for dinner.
We took a drive with the main objective being to do some groceries but we got lost and somehow ended up at Bruce and Peggy’s house, a lovely American couple who bought land overlooking Nosara back in 1992.
We hit the beach again for sunset and I had a good surf and a lovely time watching the sun going down over the Pacific Ocean, while the children played on the beach with their friend Lucas, Ann and Marie Eve. Ruan took the girls for their dinner at Kaya Sol as I got cleaned up to go out with Ruan for my birthday dinner. After getting the children ready for bed the babysitter arrived and Ruan and I went to eat at the Gilded Iguana. Matt the manager brought us a bottle of champayne on the house and we had a yummy dinner. The Thai prawns were delicious. We enjoyed some music and some chat before heading down to the beach to look at the stars which were so vibrant and clear. My birthday was so perfect and dreamy I could hardly believe it was all real!