The first week in Costa Rica was an adventure. Kaithan had arrived on December 14 and would be with me until we both flew up to Canada on December 21. World Vision has a policy that allows your kids that are under 21 to visit twice a year, fully paid. So, we took advantage of this to allow him to come down and see Costa Rica.
It was much cooler for me after being in Haiti for most of the year and Kaithan in a t-shirt did not help! Coming from December in Canada, Costa Rica must have felt very warm for him. At the Casa Conde there was a visitors booth. Here we found some activities to do for the week. We needed to find a balance in activities and getting the house ready, which worked out well.
After taking Kaithan to the office to meet my co-workers, we were set to learn about Costa Rica.
From the brochure in the visitor’s area, we decided our first adventure would be a trip to Pozo Azul, in Sarapiqui. We would take a shuttle from the hotel to the venue where a day of activities would be had.
Sarapiqui is located on the Eastern side of Costa Rica on the other side of the mountains. We left the hotel at 0530 in the morning to beat the San Jose traffic. Crossing through the Parque nacional Braulio Carrillo was amazing. This is pure rain forest in all its glory. As you go up into the park, the rain is forever constant. We were told that it rains here pretty much all year long.
The ride took about 3 hours, but well worth it. The road crossing the Parque nacional Braulio Carrillo is a two-lane high way with many curves. Here I learned that a double yellow does not mean much, traffic passing is rampant and dangerous.
Once we arrived at Pozo Azul, we had already selected our activities for the day. First, we would go horseback riding in the mountains followed by some canopying (zip line). This was the first time since I had taken Kaithan to British Colombia that he would be on a horse. Then he was with me on the same horse, today he would have his own.
We rode for 2 hours into the mountains and took in some beautiful sites. Although, I could have done without the helmet!
Next up was a little flying over the trees with some zip lining. This took just over an hour, but what a rush. Some of the best canopying can be found in Costa Rica, and Pozo Azul did not disappoint.
The return to Casa Conde was quiet, I think we were both exhausted from the fresh air and excitement of it all. Kaithan slept most of the way back as I just admired the scenery of what would become my new home.
Our next trip we would drive in the car provided by WV to a beach. My first car in Costa Rica was a small red Subaru Outback. It really was a piece of junk, but it served its purpose. Kaithan and I had decided we would work one day on the house and adventure the next.
I was still getting used to driving in this country, where driving can be a challenge. We took out and headed west, hearing all the nicest beaches were on the west coast. We drove as far as highway 27 could take us, then North to Puntarenas. Now, this beach is definitely not the nicest in Costa Rica, but only in country for 4 days what did I know.
We parked the car at the far end of the beach and walked down to the jetty. The beach was populated mainly by locals, not many tourists here. After, I found other beaches of much better amplitude. Nevertheless, we did enjoy our day together here. There were several food trucks parked near the jetty, so we decided to have lunch. This was our first experiment with some local food.
Our lunch was a local version of chicharrón on lettuce with sauce and plantain. This was the day that I fell in love with Chicharrón.
Returning back to San Jose later in the day, we noticed a mall just outside of the city. We agreed that the next day, we would take on the mall.
Multiplaza is a newer shopping mall located just outside of San Jose. Kaithan told me that it is bigger than some of the malls we know of in Ottawa, and I would agree. It seemed to take forever to walk around the three story complex. Most of the stores are of North American quality and name branded. The only difference is price, where here most is expensive.
Over the years I would come to frequent this mall. It has everything you could want from a full food court with both local and international restaurants, a movie theater and more. There is even an Audi car dealership!
Kaithan and I did make some purchases here for the new house in preparation for returning in January. We also enjoyed an authentic Mexican lunch in the food court from El Fogoncito.
Departure for Canada
On December 21, Kaithan and I left Costa Rica to enjoy the holiday’s in Canada with the rest of the family. I would return in early January to meet my new GRRT team. This was my final Christmas holiday in Canada for the next 6 years.
Next Story – Settling In with the GRRT