First true yogi day. Up with the sunrise (actually 2 hours or so before as my American room mate hadn’t changed her clock and was up and showered at 4am wondering why I wasn’t up……I sent her back to bed.) and down to the waterfall at lunch for a jump into the plunge pool below. Very pleased with myself that I led the way and fearlessly jumped in first. The yoga class was intense, especially as the sun pours onto the deck at that time in the morning,but with the added heat it made for more flexibility than normal first thing. New experience of doing meditation (will I ever sit still? 10 mins was too much today) at the end, and by the end of the day, having merely gone through the different types of yoga and their history, I’ve come out realising that meditation forms a far bigger part of a yoga practice than I knew, we just don’t often practice it as much in the West. It’s a new way of seeing things as for me the asanas (poses) are the key way in. I’m certainly learning. Sunset dip in the pool and disgusting food. No wait, DELICIOUS. Someone mentioned we should fast a day a week. I mentioned we shouldn’t.
There aren’t sufficient superlatives to describe this place, so I’ll stick with unbelievable. I’ve never felt so relaxed in my life. After a 6 hour shuttle including the slowest ferry known to man, we jumped onto another bus the other side and started the final leg. The countryside on the Nicoya Peninsula is deep jungle, and huge dramatic cliffs. It is pure Jurassic Park territory, and you can see why it was based on an Island not far from Montezuma itself. There are long hill tops too, with trees standing to attention, guarding their land.
5 new yogis met, and so far so good….I’m trying to keep the jokes on the low to see how the land lies, what with the culture barriers and so forth! After nearly killing a dog and a child, and a hell raising journey where the sides of the road are blurred, we screech to a halt outside Anamaya, and our luggage is once again thrown on the ground (this time not nearly run over by the shuttle bus). Thankfully, it is more than we could have imagined and, as we had been told, pictures really cannot do it justice. Perched on a hillside in pure lush jungle: our home for the next month.
We are staying in cabins and are already being warned of the “wildlife” we may have to tackle…..expect scorpions, snakes, multiple bugs, tarantulas, monkeys stealing things and any number of birds. Within about 20 minutes, I’ve taken refuge in a hammock on the yoga deck, and don’t move again until I hear more talk of tarantulas, and decide I need to take note of this incase one appears.
The place is idyllic; the main house is tropically inspired and has Moroccan style sofas and cushions everywhere, and leads out onto the yoga deck. The only slight worry I have is there are massive drops everywhere and surprisingly no barriers. I imagine I’ll be slipping off the deck from a headstand more than a couple of times, and try to remind myself to go at the back of the class in the morning.
A long day, happily jumping in and out of the pool and getting to know the fellow yogis.
It’s going to be good.
So, it’s raining. But it’s still Costa Rica, and I was woken by a myriad of birdsongs that I desperately tried to see from the window. I saw a suspiciously pigeon looking one, and went back to sleep hoping to awake with a Toucan on my shoulder. First day, and still counting down the time to get to Montezuma to start the yoga! Staying just outside the capital in a town called Alajuela. The town itself is lively but not particularly cultural, but just being able to see the vast mountains in the background is enough. I walked about 10kms out to a zoo where they keep rescued animals, and got my first taste of Costa Rican wildlife and a few others. Unbelievable birds! Toucans, macaws, everything! And a sleeping puma and a monkey who looked like he was licking his lips at me. Walking back I spotted the smallest bird I have ever seen; no more than 3 cms high and about 2cms wide. By the time I’d found my camera I could still hear him but had lost sight of him. What the Costa Rican’s lack in material wealth they make up for in the wealth of colour which gives the country it’s character. A stone grey block in England or elsewhere, here is a beautiful bright blue with huge yellow writing. The shops are all so friendly; I mistook a furniture shop for a restaurant (not my fault, they set up chairs and tables outside, and I thought “muebles” meant “food”) and if you ask where a supermarket is, they just take you there whether it’s on their route or not! So far so good. Costa Rica gets an A from me.
Happily being mistaken for a Costa Rican, despite the deep lack of a tan. Good flight, minus a dodgy pre-landing, where the plane jumped up and down for a good 10 minutes leaving most passengers feeling sick and wary. Rules seem more relaxed on Spanish flights; table open, book open and legs up for take off and landing. Amused by the Don Draper steward who then turned the entire safety demonstration onto me once I couldn’t stop staring at him and how “Don” he was. Safely (ish) in my hostel, downtown Alajuela! I can hear some sort of bird, though no sign of a Toucan yet, just lush palm trees and dark green mountains in the background. Desperate to get exploring, and it seems there may be a little daylight left to do it. I endeavour to find a new bird every day………
Less than 24hours before I get my yoga on and set off. I have not packed. I have no foreign currency. I’ve spent the best part of the morning watching “Friends”. The only thing I’m sure I want to take is my frisbee, however much help that’s going to be up a mountain in the jungles of Costa Rica. I’m sure with all the love and light that’s about to come my way, this won’t be a problem and somehow it’ll just work out….. either that or I’ll sleep through my alarm, and adios all those yoga with the monkeys dreams.
I also need to buy an alarm clock.