Something for everyone

Leaving the lovely, magical Aquila de Osa Inn on the Osa Peninsula for the Arenal Volcano involved taking a boat to a van, which would drive us to the local airport. From there, we would take a small plane to San Jose International Airport, where we would wait endlessly until we took another small plane to Arenal (or thereabouts), and then finally a van ride to our next lodging.

We said goodbye to the wonderful folks at the Aquila de Osa Inn as we and our massive luggage boarded a small boat at their dock. We quickly motored to a nearby inn to pick up another gentleman and his one small and probably efficiently packed bag. From there, our boat driver headed to the beach where we would meet our van and driver.

Leaving the Aguila de Osa InnIt was low tide, so our boat soon got stuck on the sand just below the water. The three guys in charge of the boat jumped out, stood around the boat until a wave flowed underneath it, then gave it a shove. As we were moving, they jumped in and motored forward, only to stop again a few feet later and repeat the whole process.

After several of these stops, my husband and the other gentleman got out of the boat with the crew and into the water, lightening the load and helping to push. The water came to just below their shorts until a wave came, making the water come to almost their hips.

Pushing the boat in Drake Bay

While the other man didn’t seem to mind, my husband was already grumpy after spending three days in a humid climate without air conditioning and with intermittent internet access. (Thank goodness there were no bugs!) Getting his clothing wet as we began our multi-hour travel day did not add to his experience of fun and adventure.

Once we reached the beach – well, we got near to the beach. To actually get to the beach, we got out of the boat and walked through the water to the shore. Yes, I did that! Thankfully, the water was warm and beautiful and I had worn flip flops. I have never done something like that or gone into water without wearing a swimsuit. I felt so….outdoorsy! This only added to my sense of fun.

It helped that the boat guys carried our luggage.

Unloading the luggage at the beach

The boat guys and my husband. I am eternally grateful.

Tiron with luggage at beach on Osa

Our next hotel had AC and fast internet access. Something for everyone on this vacation. Even if not always at the same time.

 

Keeping the magic alive

Our family just returned from a fabulous trip to Costa Rica, so the next few posts will be about our experiences there. We visited three areas: Manuel Antonio, the Osa Peninsula, and the Arenal Volcano. The first and especially the last are quite touristy; the Osa Peninsula is more remote.

Though I was worried that the Osa Peninsula would be too remote for my tastes, I quickly fell under its magical spell. To get to the intimate Aguila de Osa Inn, we boarded a small boat to travel down a river, through a mangrove swamp and into the Pacific Ocean. I’ve never arrived at a lodging via boat before!

On our way to Osa, through the mangrove swamp

Riding through the mangrove swamp

The manager greeted us on arrival.

Arriving at Aguila de Osa

After a brief orientation to the inn, Dixon the chef spoke with me to understand my diet and to tell me about his meal plans for me. I was stunned by the wall of fresh, organic produce in the kitchen.

Produce in the kitchen

For every meal, every single day, he thoroughly accommodated my vegan-no-sugar-no-acid diet by creating beautiful and delicious entrees. He even suggested a fancy cocktail made without alcohol or sugar, and made sure that the happy hour appetizers worked for me.

Happy hour

The visually peaceful surroundings include beautiful wood structures nestled in the rainforest, and it is all open-air.

The open air dining room and common space at Aquila de Osa

The open air dining room and common space at Aquila de Osa

You can barely see the structures from the water and even when you are on the property, you can only see small portions from any vantage point.

Each small structure has two to three rooms. The rooms have no closed windows, only screens, so you remain connected with nature even when you are inside. I felt the breeze on my skin at night, fell asleep to the sound of the ocean, listened to the rainfall in the middle of the night, and woke to the sounds of the birds.

Screens, no glass!

Screens, no glass!

Early every morning, one of my sons and I sat together on the deck to listen and watch the variety of birds as they woke; to catch the loud, deep call of the howler monkeys; and to see the colors of the sky at sunrise.

This place has a soul.

When the manager encouraged us to come to happy hour followed by a communal dinner, I cringed. I don’t like forced mingling. However, once we arrived, I got caught up in the positive vibration, as this unbelievable energy ran through the structures, the staff and the guests. It was like a thread connecting the best in us all.

I was thrilled to meet a fabulous and friendly guest who is a Hippocrates Health coach – the place where I got the diet that I follow! I wanted to attach myself to her.

Her husband radiated love and laughter. I felt calmer and more grounded just being near him, and I wanted to soak that all in. I later learned that he is a shaman, and he and his wife lead trips to Peru – something I have been thinking about doing for years. I could not believe I was getting to spend time with them!

As we shared stories about our travels through Costa Rica, I learned that they hadn’t planned to be at this inn, but suddenly felt that they needed to travel there for some unknown reason. They stayed for only two nights, and we got to snorkel together and have a picnic on a nearby island. It was like they dropped from the sky into my life, giving me some infusion of something intangible, something I could feel but didn’t even know I needed.

We met another family with kids around the same age as ours. My husband and I really liked the parents – we value the same things and live a similar lifestyle – so everyone played happily together.

Just when I thought that I had met more cool people than I could expect to meet in one place, another group joined us. Stephanie and her two male friends were smart and funny and easy to be with – my favorite kind of people! They got along with the kids and with us, and I couldn’t get enough of them.

The air was so fresh that I could take breaths clearer and deeper than I thought possible. I effortlessly climbed the hills and had more energy than I have in years. Our son did not need his inhaler. This was truly a healing, sacred place. When the chef came up with a fancy drink for me that had no alcohol or sugar, I felt like it couldn’t get better than this.

Though I was in my own version of paradise, my husband was miserable in the humidity. We had one more destination on our journey, so after three days, we left Aquila de Osa. From there, we moved to a hotel where two busloads of people arrived at the same time we did and the service was impersonal. It did make our family happy to have air conditioning, a fast internet connection, multiple swimming pools and a spa.

The culture shock made me feel amazed and in awe to have experienced the magic at all, and reminded me that it is up to me to keep that magic alive.

Thank you for being here with me. In gratitude, I send you bits of magic and hope it helps to keep alive the particular magic alive in your life. It is way more fun to keep the magic alive for each other.

Love,
Marie