Last month God gave me a huge gift: One of my dearest friends in the world, Bekah, and her sister Lis came for a visit! Or make it two; He gave me the time to go on vacations with them!
They gave me the news a few months ago and kindly welcomed my suggestions of things to do and see (it was quite a list!). After much anticipation, we were able to spend several and wonderful days together!
The first few days we explored downtown San José by foot, visited museums and landmarks [while I was writing this post I found these walking tour guides. Apparently I did my job well as we visited many! One of those was the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, picture below].
Who knew you could have fun at the museum?!
The thing is, I can’t remember when was the last time I had visited one in Costa Rica; but being ‘all grown up’ and becoming interested in learning about cultures, and after travelling around Europe and visiting museums there, I now saw everything with other eyes and really appreciated what was on display. It also felt differently as I was playing ‘tour guide’ for my friends and had to dust off my memory on history to elaborate more on a certain event, place or a person portrayed in a picture, painting or statue.
Despite our rainy season had already started, we were very blessed to enjoy “very fine weather” (with the voice of Margaret Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility, 1995) so we were out and about all day! It also favoured us Sunday morning as we went to a botanical garden and drove up to Irazú, one of our 100+ volcanoes.
The following day, the girls left for Monteverde, a Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and I was able to join them halfway through the journey to the beach! We went to Tamarindo, Guanacaste. I had never been there, or perhaps I was too little to remember.
We also visited two neighbouring beaches: Playa Langosta and Playa Grande, all part of Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas, a marine national park famous for being a nesting site for leatherback turtles; which I thought would be a cool place for Lis to visit, as she’s interested in Marine Biology; though unfortunately, it wasn’t nesting time… well, that gives us an excuse for coming back!
Tamarindo is also well known for a sport: surfing! As we were feeling adventurous, we decided to take our first lesson! We had a great instructor, a Canarian, Marketer too, who’s greatest passions are surfing and people. He’s here on a sabbatical. Funny how you learn about people while you’re travelling!
Sure, I fell off a thousand times and got tossed by the waves, but I also managed to stand and ride a few! yay! :) More importantly, I had a lot of fun and made new memories! :D
We each left with life lessons too, mine was: “Never look down; always face where you want to go”
What happens when you go on a trip with a foodie friend?
Well, I made them taste as much food as I could! Not in quantity, but in variety.
Beverages: Coffee! (of course), Coconut water (Agua de Pipa, very refreshing), Tamarindo, Cas (family of guayaba, guava), Horchata (made from rice) [Last 3 pictured above].
Fruits: cas (picture below), papaya, granadilla.
Salty: Patacones (fried plantain, salty), fried beans, yucca (cassava) chips, chorreada, picadillo de papa, rosquillas, pejibayes, shrimp ceviche and fish ceviche.
Sweet: Maduros (fried ripe plantain, sweet), cajeta, mango chips, guava paste, empanaditas de chiverre, tanelas (typical from Guanacaste), Torta Chilena (like a Mille Feuille with dulce de leche filling), and one of the things they liked best: Churchill or Granizado (shaved ice with syrup and condensed milk).
I’m sure I’m missing a few things on that list…
Though it wasn’t originally my idea to post recipes for typical Costa Rican food, now I’d like to share with you some, from the things I made them try. Stay tuned!