Flush It Friday: Costa Rica – The Toilet ov Hell Review
Yes, this is a #humblebrag about how #blessed I am to get to go to Costa Rica. And now all you #wanderlusty readers get to hear about it. #takemeback.
Dr. Mrs. W. and I touched down in San José, capital city of 333,980 people, on the muggy, overcast afternoon of October 18th. After a brief shuttle trip past dense blocks of local stores and metal-roofed dwellings, we rented a car and dove straight into Costa Rica’s frantic, disorganized transportation system. It took a bit of effort (and lost faith in Google Maps), but we eventually got our Suzuki SUV pointed in the right direction (northwestish) toward Costa Rica’s active volcano, Arenal. We were excited, exhausted, and a little homesick for our sweet dog. Mercifully, the mountain did not disappoint.
We spent two days in the Arenal area, soaking in Costa Rica’s stunning vistas, lush tropical rain forest, and sweltering natural hot springs. We hiked over hanging bridges, dined on the traditional casado dish, and searched for jungle frogs sleeping on the bottoms of broad fern leaves. Everyone we met was kindly, informative, and more than accommodating of my limited Spanish verbal skills (Fun Fact 1: Costa Rica spends more on education than the global average, and almost the entirety of its workforce is at least bilingual). The food, even the pizza from one of the many, many pizzerias we saw along the road, was fantastic; the coffee equaled the food in quality and abundance. The wildlife was incredible, and both mornings in the region we were awakened by the sound of packs of nearby howler monkeys crying out to each other (Fun Fact 2: howler monkeys are the loudest land animals in the world, and their roars were used for the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park). Really, my only complaint was the poor quality of the roads leading up the volcano, but I suppose that’s my cross as a transportation engineer to bear.
Unfortunately, that cross would continue to haunt me through our third day, a long trek across the country to the seaside village of Puerto Viejo in close proximity to the Panama border. We spent no less than 2 hours sitting in traffic on the high-speed, two-lane highways that comprise the transnational routes, either waiting for fallen trees to be cleared or for one of the many motor vehicle collisions we witnessed in our brief stay to be resolved. It was a bit of a downer, but nothing a nice coco loco on the obsidian beach couldn’t resolve.
Speaking of that beach, Dr. Mrs. W. and I spent the last three days of our trip upon the sea shore, in a decidedly different but no less enjoyable locale (Fun Fact 3: Costa Rica’s economy was largely driven by agriculture until the 90s, but an extensive reforestation and environmental protection program has allowed the nation’s stable democracy to capitalize on ecotourism and green energy production). There on the outskirts of Puerto Viejo, we drank piña coladas, chased crabs, swam in the warm Atlantic riptide, and visited some sloths. The food, here influenced by other Caribbean nations, was no less sumptuous, and the bartenders at our hotel were immensely capable. Even the sun’s reticence to appear on our first full day in the area could not damper our spirits, lifted as they were by baby monkeys and turtles and peccaries (Fun Fact 4: Puerto Viejo hosts the world famous Jaguar Rescue Center, a tourism-funded, volunteer-operated clinic that works tirelessly to protect wildlife in Costa Rica, no small task considering that Costa Rica’s minimal landmass – approximately 0.03% of the global total – comprises 5% of worldwide biodiversity). We lived at the coastal town’s leisurely pace, enjoying our much needed break from the constant deluge of bad that is the news cycle in the United States.
Alas, as all good things are wont to do, our time in Costa Rica ended after one more long drive across the country. Still, our spirits were renewed and our hearts were filled. Costa Rica is a land of stunning sights, beautiful people, and a gentler pace of life. Plus sloths. If you’re looking for a vacation destination, you could do much, much worse.
Costa Rica Gets 5 out ov 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell
Anyway, let’s see what you jerkoffs were up to while I was gone.
Karhu threw a Black Parade for Musta Paraati.
Ben Serna-Grey continued the spoop with ToH’s Great Junji Ito Read-Off!
Joe broke some sad news from Melissa Moore.
Spear finally went full-on Arsis.
And Richter got wild in the Street (Sects).
That’s it for me and my sloths, folks. Tell me what’s good in your world. No bad or ugly (unless you gotta get something off your chest so you can feel better!), just good.