Here in Costa Rica, there’s an expression that you’ll frequently hear. Either as a greeting or a thanks, you’ll hear, “¡Pura Vida!” The translation is Pure Life, and it means to not worry about the things that you cannot change. You must live in the moment and be thankful for what’s in front of you. It has quickly become one of my favorite things to say in Spanish. Followed closely by supermercado, la ventura, and claro que si.
This morning I woke up early to take pictures around Santa Elena and to find a coffee shop to try some Costa Rican brew. This little town has grown on me. The people are so kind and the shops are endearing. The roads are absolutely horrible. And if it’s any indication of how much of a social butterfly I am, I walked to the grocery store and had two locals call me by name and say hello. “Hola, Santos! Como estas? Ah, muy bien, gracias. ¡Pura Vida!” Makin’ friends everywhere.
A couple of weeks before I left Dallas, I was telling my mom how I always fall for guys who ride motorcycles. Well, just look at all the opportunities!! 😉 kidding.
Today was my last full day in Monteverde, and I just didn’t feel like I got all of my cloud forest experience out. So I went to reception and booked a ticket to the Santa Elena Conservation Park. Best decision ever. I’ve never experienced hiking like this in my life.
According to my Fitbit, I hiked almost 9.5 miles (lawd knows how many meters that is) and 190 flights of stairs.
At one point, I heard the most terrifying howl somewhere in the midst of the forest. At just that moment, an older man with binoculars around his neck appeared on the trail. I inquired about the sound. He said, “Oh, those are howler monkeys.”
Oh, awesome. Just how I like my monkeys: close and howling. ¡Pura Vida!