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By Our Retreat Leader, Stephanie Neuwald
My Morning in the Jungle…
Awakened by the sounds of the birds, I get up early. The sun is shining in my face and I’m having fresh, tasty mangos, papayas and pineapples for breakfast. I set out to rent a bike. Yesterday, some locals told me about a very nice beach that I want to explore today.
I’m driving on a small road surrounded by shining vegetation in all shades of green. My view sweeps over huge trees, abundantly covered with vegetation, bushes, ferns, big leaves and banana plants along the road.
Now and then, cars or other bikers come by, greeting friendly or stopping and explaining or showing me something I’m watching.
Sometimes Ticos just stop to have a little chat and I’m fascinated how friendly and open local people are because I’m not used to this in Germany.
I Explore on Foot…
I find a turn where a small path is leading to the ocean and I leave my bike at a tree and go on walking. I’m following the path through the jungle accompanied by the singing of the birds.
The air smells of flowers and I can scent a first breeze of the sea.
Shouts of howler monkeys make me look up the giant trees. And there they are, a howler monkey family having breakfast. I’m watching them, they are watching me. I keep on walking, along giant trees, big ferns and bushes with colorful flowers.
I Reach the Caribbean Water…
The trees eventually clear and I reach a small bay with white sands and crystal clear turquoise water, reflecting the sun in a sparkling, almost magic way. Delightedly, I enjoy the view over the beautiful water and beach. I take of my shoes and feel the fine, soft sand between my toes.
Walking along the sandy beach I discover a nice place in the shade to lie down under a coconut palm tree. I try to suck in the whole beauty of this place and enjoy it to the fullest. Then, the ocean calls me and I jump into the warm sparkling flood. Soft like velvet the water enwraps me, holds me, bobs me up and down and I start swimming into the sun.
Enchanted by the twinkling and sparkling of the water I look back to the wonderful beach, the big, cantilevered trees and palm trees and I feel the energy and vibrancy brimming over me. I feel free, full of live and energy. I swim about 20 minutes, then supine I let myself be carried by the waves. I watch the sky getting darker with grey clouds and I feel the first tender raindrops.
The rain gets heavier and I feel, surrounded by soft warm water, the lightly cooler raindrops touching my skin and prickling. After about 10 minutes the rain stops and the sky clears. I leave the water and let myself get dry by the sun. Then, I lie down on my towel in the soft sand and enjoy the calm. After some time, I want to push along to discover more of the beauty of this place, so I walk back through the forest.
I meet 2 locals greeting me with a smile and full of enthusiasm they tell me they saw a sloth with a baby a little bit farther on. They accompany me back and seem to be as enthusiastic and delighted as I am watching this strange animal hanging in a tree with its baby, though they might have seen it already maybe a 1000 times before.
I thank them for showing me and they just smile and say “pura vida”. I feel they don’t just say it, they really live it. I feel grateful, full of joy, energy and vitality. Yes, this is Costa Rica, Pura Vida, the pure life!
Costa Rica is perfect…
I got so many presents and treasures from every travel to Costa Rica, so many wonderful experiences and encounters, an abundance of energy and inspiration.
Costa Rica is the perfect place to experience pure nature, to relax and regain power, to enjoy, to think about your life and to find inner balance and strength. It’s crystal clear for me, I will come back, as often as possible.