Costa Rica - Oly Mingo

Costa Rica

In September Katelyn and I took some time off life and traveled south to Costa Rica with our awesome folks and favorite traveling companions Dan & Lori. It was a life changing experience - my soul is glowing, my spirit is charged, I'm humbled and thankful for the many friends, family. blessings and opportunities in my life. I’ve whittled over 1,200 photos down to 150 or so that I’ll be sharing over the coming days. My first installment is Playa Hermosa - Our basecamp for the first two weeks in the country. Nestled along the northwest Pacific coast, Playa Hermosa is a small and mostly quiet resort community with several small hotels along the beach and a large sprawling condo/timeshare campus rolling up the northern hill from the bay. Hermosa provided the perfect basecamp for day adventures throughout Guanacaste’s national parks, volcanoes, hot springs and endless beaches. The “resort” scene wasn't really our thing, and the swarming locals selling fishing packages and jet ski rentals every time we hit the beach was cheap and aggravating. But our room was nice, 100 meters from the beach and the infinite pool and bar provided lovely R&R during our days off from adventure and saltwater.


Today’s Costa Rica theme is Beaches: Part 1 I’ve adventured many shores throughout the Hawaiian Islands and mainland Pacific coast, but nothing prepared me for the surreal and pristine beaches of Costa Rica. If there is heaven on earth, it is here.. Nearly the entire Pacific shore is endless beach, yet each bay, estuary and community is uniquely different from the next. Black sand, white sand, brown sand, fine sand, course sand. Green water, blue water, brown water. Party beaches, surf beaches, city beaches, jungle beaches, turtle beaches, coral beaches. Sharks, crabs, crocodiles, monkeys tarantulas, beach dogs and bon fires. Costa Rica is a global leader in progressive environmental policies, and their Blue Flag Ecological program rewards communities who take pride in keeping their beaches clean. The result is gorgeous coastal views - unspoiled by trash, flotsam or human encroachment. And the sunsets… don’t even get me started on the sunsets.


Todays Costa Rica theme is zip lines! Our tour also included horse back riding and a white water jungle tube float that absolutely puts slide waters to shame - but didn't take a camera for that leg of the adventure.


Our third and final week in Costa we rented a SUV, threw in the backpacks and got out the tent. Over the next seven days we drove over 1,500 km and camped on a different beach every night - Skinny dipped in the Caribbean at sunrise and watched the sunset into the Pacific in the same day. A monkey stole our granola bars, making off with as many as he could carry - and we learned tarantulas hang from trees.


Todays Costa Rica theme is hiking. We put in several dozen kilometers through rain forest, cloud forest, dry forest, highlands, dry lands, lowlands and beaches. Hiking Costa is nothing short of magical - I always found a waterfall, a beach or a beautiful girl at the end.


Todays Costa Rica theme is canino amigos. Costa is full of many friendly souls, but perhaps none as warm and welcoming as the canines who greeted us along our journey.


Today’s Costa Rica theme is Beaches: Part 2 - Nearly the entire Pacific shore is endless beach, yet each bay, estuary and community is uniquely different from the next. Black sand, white sand, brown sand, fine sand, course sand. Green water, blue water, brown water. Party beaches, surf beaches, city beaches, jungle beaches, turtle beaches, coral beaches. Sharks, crabs, crocodiles, monkeys tarantulas, beach dogs and bon fires.


Todays Costa Rica theme is Strangler Fig Tree's! These Massive organisms start as epiphytic vines in the forest canopy where they derive moisture and nutrients through the air. Sending roots downward, they eventually make contact with the ground and encircling their host tree, usually "strangling" to death. Not a bad way to go I suppose.

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