A Hummingbird’s Home

From the people, the tourist attractions, the animals, the waterfalls and the mountainous landscape, Costa Rica is a beautiful place and was such an amazing experience for me.

I was only able to spend 10 days in the country making it one of my shortest international trips to date. It was an unfriendly reminder how a full time job with a specific amount of vacation time would prove to be difficult for someone who enjoys traveling as much as I do. However, for the time being working is what funds my travels so this will teach me how to make the most of every trip no matter how long.

I came to several realizations in Costa Rica:

  1. It’s time to start traveling and experiencing the world with loved ones. Although I absolutely LOVE solo traveling and have learned and grown so much from every solo trip I’ve taken I also want to learn and grow with those close to me. (Don’t worry there will still be a post about solo travel coming soon)
  2. I really enjoy writing in this travel blog and I want to continue to expand it – my own domain, an Instagram account (@ChasingSunsetsAbroad), etc. I hope it can serve as an inspiration to those who want to get out there and travel as well as a guide to help people who are planning a trip soon
  3. I need to get better at taking selfies when I do travel alone (an assortment below for your entertainment)
  4. And last but most certainly not least I’ll never be done traveling, there is so much to see in this world and so many people to meet I’ll never reach a point where I’ll stop wanting more

I couldn’t have asked for a better trip to close out 2016 and I’m excited to continue seeing what 2017 has to offer.

Make sure to read about the trip that followed this: Quintana Roo, Mexico

If you’ve been following my blog long enough you know no trip is complete until I try the ice cream

IMG_3564And I won’t say it was but the best I ever had but Costa Rica didn’t disappoint

Native Fruits

Some of these food pictures I’m double posting but I think they should be grouped together for anyone wanting to learn specifically about the food in Costa Rica

Probably my least favorite food item I got while in Costa Rica, I ordered this having no idea what it was because of the recommendation of a local in La Fortuna as I was ordering. Just a little reminder that not every recommendation will be a good one and you just have to role with it. However, one or two bad recommendations are worth all the great ones you get along the way.

 

I don’t even remember the name of this but almost certain it isn’t a usual Costa Rican dish as I didn’t run into it anywhere else.

Refrescos

Refrescos (frescos) are also extremely popular in the country, they’re a mix of a local fruit with sugar and water (sometimes milk). You can find frescos in just about any fruit flavor including blueberry, strawberry, orange and passion fruit.

 

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, the Tico Way

 

Different Typical Breakfasts

Tacos Ticos

Olla De CarneIMG_4234

 

The food in Costa Rica was great, it reminded me a lot of food from my culture (the Dominican Republic) but with different names. I might also be extremely biased because I absolutely LOVE sweet (yellow) plantains and this country has an insane abundance.

Their breakfast tends to be on the heavier side with rice & beans, eggs, plantains and sometimes different choices of meat as well as fruit on the side. However, Ticos are very conscious of portion sizes and on most occasions even your rice is in the shape of the serving bowl.

I asked my first host “mom” for a list of dishes that were very popular in the country and I should try to have before my departure. Below is her list with some of my add-ons and thoughts.

  1. Casado (literal translation “married man”) – the mix of rice, black beans, plantains, salad, a tortilla and a possible entree of either fish, pork, chicken, beef, etc.
  2. Gallo Pinto – the rice and bean combination usually had for breakfast, very similar to Dominican morro
  3. Tacos – Tico tacos are rolled in dough and deep fried, one is big enough to be quite filling but they are a bit too greasy for my liking, you can also getMexican style tacos in many places
  4. La Olla de Carne – the Tico version of a beef stew – reminds of a Sancocho from the Dominican Republic, like it was “winter” in Costa Rica they had it available for lunch in many restaurants in Alajuela
  5. Los Vigorones – seems to be more popular in Costa Rica but I was not able to try it

Desfiles – Parades

After my time in Costa Rica I realized Pilli, my cab driver in Liberia, wasn’t kidding when he said there is always a parade happening somewhere in the country.

When I left the markets in San José it was around 8pm and dark out. As I walked to the bus stop I noticed baracades in the streets, no cars passing and large crowds emerging. I immediately realized two things 1. I’d have to figure out where the bus was now running through 2. I’d figure it out after staying to learn what was happening.

It took very little time to realize this was another parade, the crowd was HUGE and just kept growing. It was at least 10 blocks long and there wasn’t any open space that wasn’t crowded on both sides of the street. There were people walking around selling stools for people, mostly children and the elderly, to stand or sit on. There were also several food vendors a bit on the outskirts with different finger foods. As the markets closed many of the vendors also walked over to this parade – it was evident that it was a big deal in the area.

The parade itself was extremely lively. There were tons of dance and musical performances, people in costumes, they really went all out. It was surprising to me to see a parade happening late at night rather than through the day but the turn out was spectacular. I stayed and watched the parade for about an hour or two and then decided to try to find where the bus was being rerouted. It was getting late, I was exhausted, my phone was close to dead and I was suppose to meet with my host to go out that night.

It took me about 15-20 minutes maneuvering through the crowd and asking police officers before I was able to find the bus stop and started heading back to Alajuela.

Lesson of the day: when there are large crowds emerging stay with them, something great is probably coming

Unfortunately, after a jam packed day my phone batter didn’t last and I lost all the videos I did have from the parade so these pictures are all I have left to show for it

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