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The First 24 – Day #1 in Costa Rica

Lauren Blacker

December 1st had been on my mind for a long time.

The thought of standing on a beach far from just about everything I had grown accustomed to was unimaginable.

The idea of sleeping under a canopy of palms and listening to the sounds of a wild jungle just didn't seem real.​

Yet today this has become reality, and here I am, on a jungle peninsula in Costa Rica.

Ryan has been talking about doing something like this for years. And for years, I have been accepting the fact that wherever we chose to go on the map would definitely be a place where fishing was the main purpose of the trip.

I am after all dating a fisherman.

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Gorgeous Country

Getting here was quite an adventure. We flew on Jet Blue from Boston to Ft. Lauderdale, and then from Ft. Lauderdale to San Jose, Costa Rica.

We left Boston just after 6am, perfect timing to see the sunrise over Provincetown, which you can see just to the left of the plane's wing.

After going through customs we made our way out of the main airport to a different section of the airport operated by Sansa Airlines where we would soon board a very small Cesna "hopper" plane. 

The minute we left the building we were approached by an older man local to Costa Rica who asked us if we were looking for Sansa. We replied yes, and to my surprise, not only was he more than happy to explain where to go, he walked there with us!

It was my first introduction to what the people of Costa Rica are like - friendly, generous and just plain happy.

I feel that the people here have life figured out. They want to be happy and make others feel welcome. No judgments, no questions-everyone is welcome here and it’s an amazing feeling.

Trying to get my point across to someone who speaks literally no english is another story, but it’s all done with a smile.

So after getting to Sansa, we sat in an open air waiting room for the flight.

Sansa only allows 30 pounds of checked luggage and 10 pounds of carry-on per person so we had to pack light.

They called us up, checked our name off and out we went onto the tarmac to the tiniest plane you could ever imagine.

There was no divider between passengers and the pilot-we were all in it together. The plane wasn’t even big enough for Ryan to lay fully across, nor was it tall enough for me to stand upright.

Needless to say, going up into the clouds in that thing just about did me in, but my goodness, it was a beautiful way to see some of the country.

Costa Rica is actually quite mountainous, and very little has been built up. Coming from me who visits Cape Cod so often, it was different and wonderful to see miles and miles of open, untouched seashore.

We flew across the mountain range and out over the Pacific coast.

We looked down on palm and coffee plantations, endless miles of conservation land full of jaguars, macaws and monkeys, before finally landing on a small airstrip in the jungle between two mountains.

After landing on an extremely small tarmac surrounded by beautiful dense rainforest, we fumbled with our bags and made our way to the only cab driver there.

We threw our stuff in, said in our very best Spanish where we needed to go, and off we went to find Chico our boat captain, who would take us to our final destination.

A Boat Ride Thru The Jungle

I had prayed our cab driver knew where to take us, because even in our very best Spanish, he still looked at us with skepticism.

Thankfully though, we arrived at the dock to find Chico - one of the happiest men I encountered on our first day.

Chico barely said anything at all, besides that his name was Chico and some jumbled words to tell us to get in the boat.

Chico's boat was simple but seaworthy. He didn't know any English and we barely speak Spanish so conversation was minimal but pleasant.

The boat ride was magical.

The air was so warm with a slight breeze to keep things comfortable. The light illuminated the dense green jungle which surrounded us. 

All sorts of different species of birds flew overhead and we kept our eyes peeled for the numerous saltwater crocodiles which inhabit the area.​

Chico took us through the mangroves, past a gorgeous little island filled with beautiful birds, and across a bay - all at sunset.

As soon as we stepped off the boat and out of the wind, I was immediately assaulted by mosquitoes, and very quickly had giant welts on my neck and arms.

I set my bags down down take a break and bat the bugs away, only to next thing feel little legs crawling up my legs! I looked down to see that I just so happened to drop my bags and stand right in the middle of an ant highway, and I was clearly in their way.

So that was a nice welcome!

By now the sun had set and the sky was getting dark. I looked at Ryan and he looked back at me, and we both understood that we didn't know where to go.

Where was our jungle house?​

There is just one dirt road on this jungle peninsula, so the question was whether we take a left or a right. 

We decided to take a left...

by Lauren Collins

Through the eyes of a fishermans' wife, I'm excited to share my cooking and photography with you here on MFCC. You can learn more about cooking, and get more recipes by visiting my website Creatively Delish.