Yesterday, I passed a group of two couples who had just arrived to the beach.
They were discussing where on the beach they were going and what they were going to do. They didn't seem to be getting close to any decision. I walked by and just smirked. I can do whatever I want without needing to compromise. This solo traveling thing is pretty awesome. I think I'll do it again (she said on day two).
Anyhow. This road trip started out a day trip and is ending up an overnight trip. No, no emergency or anything like that. I left my place at 7 to drive the 106 miles to see my tica familia from Monteverde. They actually live elsewhere now, so it was a closer drive. Tronadora, Tilarán, right above beautiful Lake Arenal.
Getting to Tilarán was easy, but from there it took a few random turns to find a sign that said Tronadora. My map was only to Tilarán, and the road from there barely shows on a map. My Waze link they provided was not working after I turned data on, so I winged it to town. Fortunately there are not many roads in which to make wrong turns. I sent the link to Misty who sent me a screen shot but it still wasn't their house. So, I called them. I was able to say I was in Tronadora, I was lost, and I was near la escuela. Papa Alfonzo and daughter Génisis came to the rescue. Fortunately as they made their way to la escuela, they passed el collegio, which was where I actually was! Génisis saw me, I saw her, I honked, and just like that I was found, three hours after leaving my rental.
So, a very short drive after I arrived at their house, high on a hill overlooking Lago Arenal. Alfonzo and Génisis took me on a walking tour of some of their property in my dress and sandals not made for wind or mud, respectively. They have chickens and cattle.
This is Copetilla, who I had to bribe with a guava in order to take this picture.
Génisis with her calf Nieve.
Nieve had several guava.
And might have wanted a hand or fingers.
Beautiful Lake Arenal. There is a Volcano on the other side of the lake, Volcán Arenal. I'm not sure which was named first, lake or Volcán? I'm guessing Volcán.
My last time here, I was so fascinated with the living fences. I am holding out for a better picture of one, but until then, this is what I have.
Another view of the lake.
After our hike and a delicious lunch of arroz con pollo, we sat outside, talked, and played volleyball. When I said it was time for me to leave so I could get back before dark, there was discussion. Some I understood (palabres, i.e. words), though mostly I just stared blankly. It was offered to show me around the lake for fotos and then I can go back tomorrow. I am so glad I agreed, although I was wondering where there was room for me. There are five of them and I've counted two bedrooms ... My small bag is on a twin bed in a room with a full size bed. Whatever. I'm flexible.
Once we returned from our drive, we had an afternoon snack of fried plantains, homemade queso, cafe, and a dessert called boudine. That would have sufficed for dinner for me ... But then we had grilled chicken, tomato salad, boiled bananas verde, and of course rice and beans. So, I ate again. I haven't eaten three meals in a day in months, and the snack was enough to be a meal. And it was good. All of it. So. Good.
And did I mention I was so glad I stayed? Here is one of many reasons. This was before we played pick up sticks, tic tac toe, ball games in the dark, and sharing Spanish/English words. Just precious.
Does it get any better than that? And it was wrapped up in a decorative envelope. I don't need to buy any souvenir now. This beats anything I could buy.
Some ideas I have for next year's word:
Pura Vida (yes, I realize that's two words.)
Next up, surf lessons mañana after my drive back. Wish me luck!