|Heavenly Bahia Drake, Costa Rica|
"I believe that the primary healing of human loneliness and meaninglessness is full contact with reality itself, especially in its concrete forms. But, as T.S. Elliot said, 'Humankind cannot bear very much reality.' What human existence often prefers is highly contrived ways of avoiding the real, the concrete, the physical." -- Fr. Richard Rohr
I'm sure some have chided slightly sarcastically that Chris and I have run from reality in our decision to sail south and leave American civilization behind for awhile.
This would certainly be an understandable point of view. After all, we are exploring some of the most spectacular natural beauty on God's green earth.
|Espiritu and the tiny mooring fleet at Puntarenas, Costa Rica hunker down for the afternoon's lightning storm|
But I've found that this experience we're having -- and life in Costa Rica itself -- is very, very real. We're not fooling around down here. And neither is Mother Nature.
We just found out yesterday that our friends Aaron and Nicole suffered a severe lightning strike to their sailboat home "Bella Star" a few miles north of here.
|Nicole and Aaron of Bella Star (on the left) during happier times in El Salvador|
Fortunately they are both fine, but the boat suffered major damage. The thing about lightning -- and about anything "bad" that lurks out there -- it can feel so random. We sit, we hunker down, we wait, we pray to be spared -- and in situations as these, there is truly no control. But we all have to deal with this, don't we? Even you guys up there in the states.
In many areas of our lives, we are simply powerless.
So the further south we get, the road gets narrower. And life gets more and more real.
We've continued to head south along the Costa Rican coast for the last couple of weeks.
We spent a night in the anchorage on San Lucas Island where the ghostly remains of an
Alcatraz-style prison, long closed, sit as a reminder of sad days past.
|The shattered remains of the chapel window at the abandoned prison on San Lucas Island, Costa Rica|
The prison walls are a testament to the sad existence of the prisoners.
This message translates in English says "What misery we have in prison."
It was shocking to find this patch of cacti growing in the midst of a thriving
rain forest on San Lucas Island. Cactus is actually quite common in the tropics.
|A typical Costa Rican rural scene in Herradura|
A local relaxes under a coconut palm in Herradura, while the fleet of
Espiritu, Palm, Blue and Talaria rest in the anchorage.
Costa Rica is much more prosperous than El Salvador. And with more prosperity
comes the occasional slightly chubby, slightly spoiled youngster. :-)
|Next stop: Manuel Antonio National Park|
|Playful Capuchin monkeys came within feet of us on the paths through the park|
|This was our view of the park in the Manuel Antonio anchorage. The water was pristine, crystal clear.|
|We also viewed Three Toed Sloths in the trees along the path. |
We were told they move so slowly that it takes them 24 hours to make love.
|Next stop: Bahia Drake, Costa Rica|
|This crop of super-sized bamboo in Bahia Drake was unlike anything we had ever seen|
|We loved strolling along this car-tire path|
|The dinghy dock at Bahia Drake is the prettiest we've seen|
|This tiny beachfront tienda screams old world charm|
|Just another day in beautiful Bahia Drake|
|The de-riguer "suspension bridge shot"|
|This mother and daughter happily strolling along in sleepy Bahia Drake |
epitomizes the "Pura Vida," sweet life of the Costa Ricans
|How's this for prime waterfront real estate? Complete with a satellite dish! ;-)|
|A typical Bahia Drake scene|
|They say a transfer of grace can happen merely by being in the presence of a person or a place. |
Costa Rica definitely has had that effect.
|A mango tree groans with its sweet bounty over a field of wildflowers|
After the storm, the four of us took our dinghies up the estuary for some serious jungle river cruise action. Here we glide under a suspension bridge which traverses the river.
|The jungle canopy rises more than a hundred feet on either side. Simply spectacular!|
We were told maybe Colonel Kurtz lives here. Needless to say,
we didn't knock on the door to find out -- we let him be. ;-)