After spending a day or so in Playa Matapalo, we’ve gotten used to seeing one particular phrase everywhere—on signs, splashed across tee-shirts…in fact, printed on mugs, key chains...darn near every kind of souvenir you can imagine. It proclaims: Costa Rica, Pura Vida. It finally dawned on us that this must be the country’s motto, extolling its virtues (literally) as a land of “clean living”, and acting as a (metaphoric) reminder that here you can experience “the good life”. And I’ve gotta say that although we didn’t actually DO much with our Sunday, a quiet day at a tropical beach is better than….almost any other day, anywhere else. (Which probably should be MY new motto for life, don't you think?)
As expected, we woke up earlier than we would have preferred, due to the time zone difference (7:00 local, translating to 9 on the old body clock). What to do? Hey, might as well check out the breakfast buffet! (Remember, I do live with 3 male creatures, one of whose standard response to “Are you hungry?” is “Eh, I could eat.” I’ll give you exactly one guess to whom I’m referring…) Let me tell ya, no matter how tired I felt, starting the day with fresh pineapple and mango, accompanied by locally-grown coffee…was pretty heavenly.
Next we decided that the best use of our day might very well be to make the most of our resort surroundings—that is, alternate between the natural beauty afforded by the sand and salt water option, and the contrasting enticement of the hotel’s pool, with its lounge chairs and swim-up bar. Don’t worry, we did our darndest to give equal time to each…that’s just the kind of fair-minded tourists we are…or some such nonsense. We’ve actually been quite lucky so far—the weather has given us periods of both sun and clouds, keeping the temperatures pretty mild and the UV danger at least a little lower than it could be if we had blazing rays all the time. This is especially appreciated by me…and my similarly pasty-pale clan.
So….that was honestly about the sum of our first full day in Costa Rica…a nice, easy orientation, if you will, with stretches of vigorous water play…punctuated by multi-course meals. And it’s a good thing we rested up, too, since one of the few things I actually had to accomplish was booking our tour for tomorrow…in which the van departs from the lobby at (the less-than-desirable hour of) 7:30 a.m., to whisk us 2-1/2 hours to a national park that reportedly boasts rainforest, hot springs, and waterfalls, along with the highly anticipated array of insect and animal life. Thus, Monday promises to be a much longer and more productive…albeit still “vacation” day. Besides, I figure I can always grab a nap on the ride if I really need to…and the coffee is available at 7, so I don’t have to face the morning without caffeine. (I know: “Oh, the horror!” Am I right?)
For now, I’d better get some beauty sleep so I’m ready to face the…abundant gifts of Mother Nature….and…whatnot. Pura Vida!