Day 10 of 30 Days of Indie Travel Project, Topic – Earth

At what point in your travels have you felt most in tune with the Earth? Share a story of how you interacted with the local environment or nature.

I know it might sound typcial or even like I’m shilling for their tourism board, but the most in tune I’ve really felt with nature was on our trip to Costa Rica. They tout their country as an eco tourism hotspot, guilt free traveling for those trying to green it up and to be fair….they’ve got it mostly right. Now I’ve never been to Bolivia, Nicaragua or any of the other less traveled spots that probably have comparable scenery and things to do but for a person taking their first trip to Central America I feel Costa Rica is a great starting point.

We stayed for a few days at a small town called Montezuma in Puntarenas Province on the Nicoya peninsula. There’s not a whole lot to the downtown area. A few small streets downtown right next to the water. We arrived in the afternoon and our first brush with nature , as it was, were all of the lizards running around downtown. I’m not talking up just your garden variety geckos, some of these guys were bigger than our cat. We came back with far too many photos of these lizards and they were everywhere, downtown, cruising around the cabins we were staying in and quite frankly I harbored the thought that it was entirely possible that I might walk outside the cabin in the dark and loose a foot to one of these mini Godzillas.

 Our first morning there I was awoken at 5 am by this ungodly noise. It  sounded like a huge rush of wind, if that wind were full of angry pitbulls. Pitbulls that were so angry that they didn’t need to take breaths in between ominous growls. Harmony of course decided to go investigate where the possible portal to hell had opened up at so we set off down the road following the noise. What we ended up finding out (and perhaps we were uneducated to this, note to self: read more about a country before going) was that the hills around Montezuma were full of howler monkeys. To be honest once we saw them it was even more impressive that their size was less King Kong and more Curious George. They would continue to wake us up each morning often accompanied by screeching flocks of parrots. When the sun goes down and the howler monkeys start up and the parrots fly overhead, when the bushes rustle and a giant lizard scrambles across the yard, you definitely feel a lot closer to nature not in the spiritual sense obviously but if you can touch a lizard I’d say that you’re pretty damn “close” to nature.

There were a lot more instances like this. Hiking up to the volcano in Arenal at night with our guide pointing out sloths, frogs, bats and spiders then sitting on some lava rocks watching the volcano erupot in the distance, sending red hot rocks into the air like a 4th of July firework fountain. We took a hike through one of the nature preserves and saw a lot more monkeys. While in Montezuma we also took a snorkling trip out to an island and swam among the fish, then had lunch while a boar wandered around the table looking for scraps.

I suppose others taking this challenge will talk about a spiritual connection to nature, or communing with some metaphysical part of themselves while in a hut in the middle of the rainforest and I can’t wait to read about those experience because I’ve never really had one like it. To be honest though, I’d be perfectly happy right now to be laying in my hammock on the porch of our cabin in Montezuma watching the sun go down and seeing the sky flash green with swarms of squawking parrots.

1 Comment

  1. Monkeys, parrots, lizards…and a hammock sounds perfect. Anything with a hammock sounds perfect actually!!
    ciao for now

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