“DID SHE TOUCH YOU? WE PAID SOMEONE TO TOUCH YOU.”
This is where the conversation finally arrived between 9 former strangers, after six days together in the rainforest. To say the least, we had become close, to clear up any confusion, we were talking about my very first massage.
Our venture to Puerto Viejo would prove to be one filled with many firsts. For myself, this also included showering with geckos. I have bathed in hippo pools and under teakettles in the mountains but geckos were an adorable first. For most of us, it was the first we had ever surfed. I have never had so much fun being awful at something before. We spotted wild monkeys, sloths, and rays. The whole week, a rich vibrant display of how life simply erupts along the equator.
The week as a whole was the perfect challenge to an AMRAP culture too many of us get caught up in. It forced us to slow down. We were now on ‘Tico Time’ where life was measured in joy, Pura Vida, not minutes. Over an hour of yoga per day forced a focused discipline over a focused intensity. Breath and movement working as one through each sequence.
Cashew Hill Jungle Lodge is a paradise within itself. The staff and instructors are amazing and the food is perhaps the best in town. The three geniuses behind the bar there in the kitchen are brilliant artists, who’s love for their craft is self-evident in the care they take with each meal.
This is in no way a recommendation to stay put though. There is quite a bit to see in such a tiny town. One particular highlight was a small restaurant called Bread and Chocolate, which you smell before you see. Here, you must get the peanut butter and chocolate sandwich. Each piece, homemade. The bread, the peanut butter, and the chocolate … oh, the chocolate. At night, music pours through the streets. One bar, Outback Jacks, offered one of the most eclectic scenes and perhaps some of our most interesting beverages. I may or may not have had a Beach Zombie, which may or may not have included 4 shots of rum, absinthe and I think a shot of tequila. For some reason I can’t remember whether it had tequila or not, I don’t know why.
In this life, we are afforded very few opportunities to walk barefoot through the rainforest. There are just as few offered to gallop along the beach or raft along one of the world’s most beautiful rivers. This trip gave us the gift of being able to do all of these. And as it cool as it all was, the coolest part was we did it together. Nine people came together on this trip and went from a group of strangers to this goofball tribe who two weeks later are still finding excuses to make each other laugh. This is the miracle of Puerto Viejo. It is a warm and welcoming place and in its presence, you emulate this virtue. Open to the world and all which is good in it, like good food, good times and in the end, good friends. Pure Vida – the pure, simple life.
Ps: she did touch me and it was amazing. I ceased to walk and simply floated for the remainder of the day but this is another story for another time!