• Joanna

Me & My Knickers

A while ago, a former colleague of mine recommended these longer, silky boy shorts to me. I bought one pair, with the intention of wearing them under a dress or a skirt... to eliminate the discomfort and irritation of chub rub. Truth is, I never wore them... not even once. But for some odd reason, unbeknownst me to, after my entire packing debacle and enlightenment, I decided to pack them. Perhaps I was thinking of the sticky, humid weather and the inevitable chaffing. Anyway... smart thinking on my part. I found them buried at the bottom of my pack the other day and decided to throw them on.

Wow.


They've become my favourite bottom part of my body outfit. Comfort I fail to put into words.


UNDERWEAR.


They've become all I wear! Easy to hand wash every night... quick to dry!


So basically, I'm just running around Costa Rica in my panties.


Everywhere I go... just me, in my undies. It's liberating.


It’s all fun and games until someone eventually yells at me to go put some pants on...


On another note... I just have to say ~ this country would fail miserably if there was ever an ice storm. I think that each and every single time I go up or down a steep hill.


After a very long slog in disastrous driving conditions ~dodging potholes and boulders, darting along over gravel, mud and mountain streams... I finally found my self at the gates of Vocaré Finca Agroecológica.


My accommodation for the evening.


I won't mention I drove past the gates three times, in sheer confusion. That's the trouble with putting all your faith into a map app... it's not always correct and can end up trying to lead you astray, especially out in the boondocks of rural Costa Rica. On more than one occasion, it has been adamant on having me turn into a field or a river, quite insistent there is, indeed, a road there. But I made it.


Eventually.


Any exasperation, irritability or exhaustion disappeared as I drove onto the property.


I had not put much thought into this place when I booked it. It was about half way between pin-pointed locations, seemed reasonably priced and, in pictures, looked like a lovely place to lay my head down for the night.


For off the beaten path, this place was an absolute delight.


A pure sanctuary of self-succifiency.


Ernesto, the owner, came out to great me at once and directed me to my cabin. He could only be described as the perfect host, as he immediately made me feel welcome and right at home.

As soon as I had parked my Bird and settled in, Ernesto sent over two of the internship students he had working for him. They were instructed to give me a full tour of the property.


Admittedly, it was a little bit of a strenuous tour. Neither of the boys spoke English very well... and my limited knowledge of the Spanish language did not coincide well with farm lingo. We managed though. They dumbed it down to the best of their ability, and throughout the majority of the circuit, I smiled graciously and nodded my head in a facade of understanding. Lime and lemon trees, orange trees, bananas, sheep, yucca... it was a very, almost elementary, show and tell tour.


Point... and say.

... and repeat...


As we strolled along, you could see the aftermath of what the monkeys and toucans had decided to take one bite of, and then toss to the ground. Ernesto had lent me some big rubber boots, which were appreciated, as my flip flops would not have fared well in the muddy trails.

Ernesto was quick to point out the tall, white tree on the property, enthusiastic about what sat at the top.


Nothing. I saw nothing.


But... at the very, very, very top... if I zoomed in and looked really hard... there was a sloth.


See?


Once my tour was over, and Ernesto had given the thumbs up to the boys, they allowed me to return to my evening abode, my beautiful, little rustic bungalow, fully decked out with live plants growing down the walls of the bathroom. I was in love with this place. I showered, sorted through my ever-increasingly dirty & smelly pack, got myself somewhat presentable and joined Ernesto and his wife, Leslie for dinner, drinks, fabulous conversation and a lot of singing!


Ernesto loved his property and was very passionate about eco-farming, and it showed in everything he did - from discussing his daily farm activities or sharing his vision to preparing our meal. Every item was either raised on his farm or harvested from his garden. Everything.

It was a simple dinner of beans, rice, chicken and plantains, but it was the BEST meal I have had since being in Costa Rica. Every homemade bite was scrumptious… Considering I have lived on two weeks of dining restaurant roadside, it was an honour to have been able to partake in his hand-crafted culinary creation.


We spent the night engulfed in a few bottles of wine, captivating conversation… and song, of course. It didn't take long to discover a mutual adoration of Garibaldi and Luis Miguel songs! Maybe adoration is the wrong word… perhaps it is more appropriate to say, we all knew the words!!!


We discussed the influx of American and Canadian tourists buying up property in Costa Rica and what that means for their economy… also the anti-vaxers currently fleeing Canada, with the romantic idea that Covid regulations won’t affect them here…


Families have even approached Ernesto, with an idyllic idea of moving south and living off the grid. There’s a documentary idea… people raised in a life of privilege, fighting for their “freedom” and fleeing their country, in order to be self-sufficient in Costa Rica.


Sounds easy enough to me?

We’ll just live off the land!


Perfect.


Have at 'er.


Currently, Costa Rica has a well-deserved reputation as a leader in environmental matters and action against climate change. Ernesto has been invited to many conferences in order to contribute his knowledge to these global conversations.


This was a very special place,


I was blessed to have met Ernesto and Leslie on this trip and I will be eternally grateful to have chosen this place.

When I left there, I made my way to Rio Negro to take part in the natural wonders of the natural hot springs.


Natural wonders sure aren‘t cheap!


$21 US…


WTF?


There had better be a open bar, chocolate covered strawberries and a free bowl of soup for that price… and diamond clusters embedded in the rocks.


I was tempted to steal the blue towel they leant me... but I decided I didn't want to risk getting deported over a cheap piece of cloth.

It was beautiful… to be sure… different hot pools with varying temperatures, set amid a very natural, jungle river setting. The pools were apparently heated with the heat of the volcano… but I have a sneaking suspicion there might have been a tiny little of man-made help… to warrant that price!


Each pool was numbered, in accordance with their temperature, and it wasn’t until I had thoroughly scalded my feet did I realize there was a process.

Method to madness…

I hopped from pool to pool, doing my best to avoid any groups of people, though they were scarce, as I was a little intimidated with my outfit. I wasn’t entirely convinced the authorities would be enthralled with me lazing about in my bra and undies… and neither could pass for bathing attire.

Biking shorts, yes

Bathing suit?… hard no.


Finally I succumbed to just jumping in, fully clothed, quickly taking the obligatory selfie… and getting out as quickly as I could. I really should not have felt so intimidated, as I’d paid my exorbitant… yet obligatory fee to participate... just like everybody else… in their swimming suits!


Me and my knickers should’ve taken those pools by storm!


Drenched from my pool dips, I wandered up the short path, located across the street from the pools, and saw four different waterfalls, cascading down towards where the hot springs were located.

They told me the hike was included in my fee.

That was nice of them.

Three kilometres up the road from Rio Negeo was Ricón de la Vieja, and a waterfall I had heard was 100% unmissable!


It was a spot I had saved on my Google Maps as a favourite to visit, and I was eager to see it. I pulled up, parked and hit the kiosk to, of course, pay my dues.


Just ONE small problem.


I was only going to be permitted to hit the 1km trail to the falls IF I paid for a buffet lunch.


hmmmm….


No, thank you. I’m not hungry. I’ll just pay the fee and do without the lunch.

Nope. Not an option.

To be honest, I hadn’t eaten yet… and I probably could have easily consented and enjoyed a lovely buffet lunch... but pure defiance prevented me from doing this. I genuinely felt I was being financially drained at every turn. So primarily on principle, I declined the ultimatum and left Ricón de la Viejo without seeing the most picturesque waterfall in Costa Rica.


No stunning Instagram-worthy shots of me in my underwear, bathing under a scenic cascade.

and onwards i went…


Me, in my knickers... off to La Cruz...








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