iKamper blog: Episode 8: Costa Rica tour
Travel Day 65 out of 270
“¡Pura vida!” When visiting Costa Rica, the number one phrase you have to learn is “Pura Vida.” Although it literally translates to pure life, it is a way of saying that something is cool, something tastes great, and even a way to say hello. But to the ‘ticos’, it is way more than a phrase, it is a way of life. This costal culture is very relaxed, easy-going, friendly, no worries, no stress! Since life on the road can be challenging, we were 100% prepared to take on this way of life.
Word on the street claimed that “Playa Hermosa” was the best surfing beach in the area, so we headed straight for said beautiful beach. We pulled up to the golden beach and found shade under a nice tree. It was the perfect spot to ‘wild camp’ right on the beach. We met a couple surfers who introduced us to the friendly restaurant owner who, for the price of a cup of coffee, let us us use his restroom, water, and invited us to the beach bonfire that night. We were reminded how much the experience of camping and living outdoors allows you to meet so many more people. You literally always have an open door policy when you don’t even have a door to close. We met some great surfers from all over the world and we learned to surf! At least we tried to surf…
Being in Costa Rica during Christmas time, and we were pleased to have family fly in to visit us for the holidays. Since our ‘VUELTA1’ only had two seats, we opted to try out new forms of transportation with family including riding local buses, renting bicycles along the beach, and took a sailboat through Bocas del Toro Caribbean islands. Thanks to Costa Rica’s large biodiversity, we saw monkeys, sloths, iguanas, dolphins, and more insects that we would’ve liked. Overall, we had a wonderful time with family, and it was time to hit the road.
After a week away from our rig, it felt good to get back in the saddle. First night, we headed straight for the beach. We found a beautiful little spot in Puerto Viejo overlooking the Caribbean coast, and parked next to locals camping as well. We pulled in and immediately sank into the sand. We looked at each other. It had been a long day on the boat, and we were both exhausted and cranky. The last thing we wanted to deal with was getting stuck in the sand. We boiled water, ate Ramen soup, and headed straight for the Skycamp. Ironically, out of the variety of beds that we had stayed in that week, nothing was a big and private as our roof top tent! We woke up with the weight of stress on our shoulders and climbed down the tent to check out the damage. The tire was just as sunk as ever. Almost immediately, our Costa Rican camping neighbors walked over and asked if they could help. Their car was smaller than ours, so they ran out into the street and flagged down another random stranger with a bigger car who happily agreed to help as well. Before we knew it, we had an army of ‘ticos’ attaching the strap to both cars, putting a wood plank under our car, and setting it free. Not only did they pull our “VUELTA1” out of the sand, but they truly showed us the carefree, stress-free, pura vida attitude.