Wild hair and wild rainstorms is how I will fondly remember the charming beach town of Nosara. It is a romantic part of Costa Rica with it's sweeping landscape, pastel sunsets, and hazy humid nights with the twang of jungle noises. Beauty is raw here, nature takes over and you get lost with the rhythm of it. There is so much to tell and words not eloquent or pure enough to describe it. The air feels fresh and senses free to explore. We arrived as we did all of the places we visit, long travels, crazy sights and roads, feeling more and more like an explorer conquering a journey. We stayed at the green sanctuary, a resort made of shipping containers by the loveliest couple from Argentina. Everyone had a story of how they settled here, every story with a common theme of that pang in your gut guiding you to a place that calls to be home; the jungle does that for some, myself included. As soon as we settled we headed out for dinner, plantains can only sustain you for so long. Fernando, our host of the green sanctuary, with his long curly hair and world wildlife fund t-shirt looking like an expat Argentinean surfer suggested we go to the best restaurant, La Luna. We arrived just as the sun was setting over the beach, horses were tied up to the palm tree, jewel-tone colours dancing in the distance, I took a long breath in trying to extract the magic of it all. How can this country get more beautiful by the day I thought, how did I get so lucky?
The restaurant was busy, you must make a reservation, something we learned after the fact. They created a table for us, the kindness of the Costa Ricans prevails. La Luna exceeded its referral, white walls with moon detailing, nestled on the beach with couches out front to watch the sunset and an abundance of yogis cocktailing for the night after their daily practice. We were zonked and pleasantly stuffed from the pizza and beer so we headed back to our shipping container for the night. An early night was needed for an early morning awoken by the howling monkeys. More like the sound of a hungry beast stalking its prey, the monkeys were our terrifying alarm clock. A 5:30am start meant a full day of beach exploration, visiting the local shops, many walking detours because of the usual road floods and a healthy dose of hitch hiking in a golf cart with our new friend Josh. The town was full of characters, many travellers in their own right who call Nosara their temporary home, sucked in by that pastel sunset I am sure. Josh our golf cart saviour was no different, relocating with his wife and 4 kids to have "a new adventure" for a year, learning spanish and living a life many write on their bucket list but seldom cross off. He told his story with pride and excitement in the heavy rainstorm and excessive potholes that guided our way back to our cabin retreat. I connected with his story of a travelling family and thought how much I would love to meet his wife, a woman travelling the globe with 4 young children teaching them culture and adventure, a woman I aspire to be. We found our cabin and said our thank yous and goodbyes and ran to our room in a shrill as the rain showered us in its glory. How wonderful it is to find the amusement of it all, just letting go and embracing all that mother nature so freely offers.
We decided to go our for the evening to El Chivo, a colourful mexican style restaurant we saw close by. A relaxing night with no makeup and no fuss, just some good food and drinks. El Chivo had the vibe and the perfect company, a local spot for the surfers and yogis to mingle at their hearts content. Many local pints and tacos were had as we joined some new surfer friends for the night. They even somehow convinced me to join them onstage for a very strange rendition of Britney Spear's '...baby one more time' our version had a rap portion. There's a strong sense of community here with an emphasis on bringing your authentic self, a very chill vibe that included all. If this is what all of their friday nights were like count me in! There is still a wildness about the town that is kept sacred here, like their own little piece of paradise they are willing to share but not willing to destroy at any cost. People are happy here, its not something you need to work for, its embedded in the fabric of the place.
The next morning after our much needed coffees and smoothies we headed back on the road, for another crazy drive to one last adventure on a coffee farm. Pura Vida Nosara! You were the life of the Costa Rican party...
Bathing suit by Jordan de Ruiter
Pictures by me and Alison Sharp
Hotel Green Sanctuary and Nosara Retreat