I’ve been in Costa Rica for 10 days now. My friend, Arturo, and I have cobbled together road trips that were centered on searching for geocaches. Since he doesn’t drive, he’s had to partner with friends that are taxi drivers.
One in particular is his friend, Jorge. Just like any taxi driver I’ve ever met, they have questions. Like how much did it cost to fly here, and I smiled only. The gift of travel experience doesn’t have a price tag – it’s immeasurable.
First Time To Costa Rica
The first time I visited Costa Rica was when I met Arturo, I explained. Costco Travel was preparing to launch it’s Costa Rica product line up but needed to train the personnel. Since I was part of the Caribbean Buying Team at that time, that essentially meant I was eventually would be traveling to Costa Rica.
I was absolutely amped about the opportunity!
Any time you can travel, you should. The gift of travel experience is also the best teacher. Jorge asked if anything crazy happened while we were together. I yelped yes.
One of the resorts we had to inspect was Dreams Las Mareas. It had been opened for only a few days in 2014. The resort was second to none. After the site inspection it was time to return to the lobby area.
Arturo was walking with the Sales Director, while I followed the group from behind to ensure no stragglers wandered off.
One of my teammates attempted to cut the corner by walking diagonally. I desperately reached out for her prior to her stepping off and into the pool of water.
Then splash, splash, splish, SPLASH! Kris is thrashing around in the water with her papers floating on top and her other possessions popping up.
Arturo and I jumped in after without any regard. We fished her out among the algae covered rock and cold water.
No Shoes, No Socks, No Monkeys
Since my shoes and socks were soaked from jumping in after Kris, I took them off. I assumed we would have an uneventful ride to the next hotel. I should really stop tempting Fate like that …
Arturo stopped the bus because he spotted howler monkeys in the trees.
At the time I was armed with a Nikon D5000 and 300mm zoom lens. They said hurry, so I jumped off the bus to take pictures of the howler monkeys without socks or shoes. One of the ladies asked me why I didn’t stop to take off my shoes and socks before I leapt into the water… I replied with this quote.
A hero is a man who does what he canRomain Rolland
I’m no superhero by any means, but I was her hero at the time.
Caught In The Act
An idiot on the other boat in Rincon de la Vieja river float had his Go Pro and selfie stick stolen by a white faced monkey.
Arturo was our tour guide on a boat tour in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Tourism to Costa Rica is a large percentage of income so that means more than one tour company exists for business.
Well, while on the river, another competitor boat was spotted near us. However, the pilot and guide blatantly broke rules and purposely stopped near the river bank.
They had found a troop of white faced monkeys or Capuchin Monkeys. The tourists coaxed one monkey on-board with food i.e. a banana. It crawled on top of the roof.
I grumbled, “That is a very bad idea, Arturo.”
“Yes, it is,” he replied.
“I’m the King of Bad Ideas, so I recognize one when I see it,” I declared.
Sure enough, a tourist with a GoPro camera on a selfie stick ventured too close so it was stolen out of his hands by said white faced monkey as it raced off back into the forest.
Bye, Bye, Costa Rican Birdie
One of the last days of the business trip was one of adventure seeking, and boy did we get it!
The entire day was spent at Adrenaline Adventure Tours. Our tour guide, Arturo, and his trusty sidekick that drove the bus were fantastic. The “bus” was 15-passenger vehicle with large windows to ensure everyone had a great view of the passing landscape and animals. For example, birds in the tropical forest. As in, bye bye Costa Rican birdie.
Speaking of windows, whenever the bus was stopped we would open the windows to cool off since the A/C was turned off. While it vented out the hot air, it also allowed for other things to come in.
The reason for the extended adventure was it started with a zip line course, plus a rock wall climb and upside down free fall plunge. While traveling to the next stop, we picked up our fearless leader who had to attend to a separate issue. Then we flew off, like bye bye Costa Rican birdie.
Next was a white river float in our own personal flotation device. I’ll describe all the fun that was had in another story, but I must stay focused.
After all that adventure we were graciously fed by the same company as part of the experience. Alas it was time to leave for our hotel. So we all piled into the bus very amped from the fun. The driver put the vehicle in gear. Now I usually sat towards the front to speak with the tour guide, Arturo, mostly about soccer. After a few minutes the girls in the back were making a commotion, and there was a ton of racket emanating from the back.
I snapped my head back to see a bird fly up and into the ceiling, feathers falling and it started circling. The girls were shrieking as it buzzed everyone onboard. The driver stopped because of all the yelling. Arturo and I hop up. The birdie was scared, and the girls were frantic. The it zoomed towards me! I yelled at Arturo to open the nearest window.
On approach, I raised up my white, 3-ring plastic binder #CaptainAmerica’s Shield as the bird was on a collision course. Then with a sweeping motion, I connected with the bird to bounce it outside through the open window.
It literally flew out the window after a course correction. Bye, bye Costa Rican birdie! Fly away please!
So tell me your funniest bird story, Spaceship Earth and Seattle. Or any travel story whatsoever.
Comment below, or contact in the best way you feel comfortable. Until then, be good like you should, and if you can’t be good, be good at what you do.
Mic drop *Pura Vida*