Livin' la Pura Vida

Trip Start May 23, 2010
Trip End Aug 31, 2010

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Costa Linda backpackers

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ems here - I have finally managed to wrestle control of the blog from Andy!  So...

We left Montezuma on Monday morning, and headed straight to Manuel Antonio. This entailed a short bus ride (during which one girl just stopped short of throwing up over Andy's back) to a beach where we we took a water-taxi...which, to my delight, turned out to be a speed boat!  Luckily for Andy, the nauseous American proceeded to board another boat, saving her Technicolor yawns for those lucky passengers.  For the next hour, we sped across the Gulf of Nicoya towards Jaco - for the most part, a very bumpy ride throwing us clear of the benches we were perched on and giving my ribs a rather unwelcome massage!

Once at Jaco, we were persuaded by another American (a UC Berkeley lecturer in International Relations...obviously works then!) to take a taxi with him on to Manuel Antonio - I don't need much persuasion where air con and a comfy seat are on offer.  En route, the driver pulled over and there ensued much confusion (on the American's part, may I add) over whether we had arrived or not...turns out that there was a cute little sloth in one of the trees above the restaurant car park we'd pulled into.  Andy - in true paparazzi manner - flew out of the vehicle and started snapping away.  We later heard from a guide that sloths move so slowly because they have very little muscle...they have to rest for up to 4 hours after a period of exertion. Andy remarked that this sounded like a tradesman we hired a few years ago!

Four hours later (three of which Andy spent glued to his camera...) we arrived in Manuel Antonio - at which  point it started bucketing down for a further 3 hours. Nice. Just like being at home! Anyways, things brightened up considerably later on that evening when some monkeys popped in (...I have just been informed by Andy that they were squirrel monkeys...) to our hostel bar. V cute...although I managed to miss all this due to being on the Internet at the time. Luckily they returned the next night!

The following day we woke up to beautiful blue skies, and headed straight into the National Park to do a spot of exploring. Although it is the smallest national park in Costa  Rica, it is one of the most popular, having stunning  beaches, tropical forests and mangroves.  It was such a brilliant morning - we saw lizards, iguanas, more sloths and white faced monkeys, raccoons (sooo cute!! - want to take one home...), huge butterflies, and some random rodent thing that was cross between a rabbit and a giant mouse with golden hair across its saddle. We then reached the beaches, which were so lovely - shame we were rather overdressed as it was incredibly humid that it would be so easy to have just run straight in to the water. 

When we got back to the hostel we got chatting to a couple of Americans who had also gone into the park, but had decided to sample the local fruit off the forest floor. They wondered why they felt so ill. Duh! He'd just spent 5 years in the US Army but had obviously snoozed through the bush-craft course!

On our final day we just chilled out, with the highlight being when we (quite literally) stumbled across a tortoise waddling along the road side by our hostel. Dr  Doolittle decided to pick this little tortoise up to say hello...probably scarring the poor thing for life. Other than that we had to endure continuous Latino pop being pumped out in our hostel bar. Not quite Girls Aloud!  Incidentally, this probably led to the Ricky Martin inspired title. Pura Vida is a popular Costa Rican expression which means 'pure life' but translates as 'cool'/'ok'/'all's good'.

Next stop San Jose - then off to Ecuador for the Galapagos (yay!) and more insect spotting in the Amazon (eek!) xxx
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Steve I on

Great read - thanks so much for the card, it was brilliant!
Best choose the red lane at LHR and declare the racoon when you come back x

M on

Very good Ems......Just as good as Andy's. .......! xxx

Anne Cleaver on

Hi you 2. I've given up watching TV now, I look forward to your show every day! David Attenborough had better watch out! Happy travelling!

Sheila on

Hi you two. Loved the latest blog. Richard loves your quirky sense of humour Emma. Lovely pictures especially those of you both. Take care, Love Ma x

Stuart on

Hi Emma & Andy,

Hope your having an amazing time, how could you not! Keep on with the updates, lovely to hear and see what your up to although I am get very envious of your adventures.

Amazing photos, I think we might have to borrow some of those when your back.

Have a great time,


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