Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We're Here! Wait ... Where??

We made it ... to the middle of nowhere!

Except it's so much better, cooler, more interesting than just being somewhere remote.  It's hard to know where to begin and it's all been so amazing (and I'm really tired) so this post will be in short bits.

that's the end of the runway ahead.  and, yes, it's raining.

The flight from Golfito was beautiful.  It was easy to appreciate the skill of the pilots who handled wind variance associated with mountains and ocean and the transition from sight to instrument ratings due to alternating rainstorms and sunshine, all of which was culminated by a runway that has a hard stop into the jungle at the base of a mountain.  Nice.

not the bridge of death ... the former ferry site
The roads from Golfito to Pavones really are THAT bad.  The first hour we spent on paved roads dodging potholes and feeling superior.  The second hour was a soul searching process of survival.  (Take away: it's worth it!)

THIS is the bridge of death. 
To that point, I'm thinking about the idea that form follows function in travel - as in, your experience is directly related to the journey required to get there.

We arrived at Castillo de Pavones in the dark. Which I am enjoying because we'll get to wake up to the cacaphony and color of the jungle all around us.  Aaron and Jamie, who built and own Castillo (AND have a 10-month old little girl) are amazing hosts.  Best dinner ever after a long day of travel! Fresh caught baked dorado and grilled yellow fin tuna with veggies.  Clean and perfect.

Most important, as nervous as I was to travel here, I have never felt so cared for.  I thought about that description for a long time.  Cared for is the only way to describe it.  Not by a company or a person or a destination.  But by this place and people in general.  From the moment we landed in San Jose to the moment we arrived in Pavones, I felt more than safe.  I've felt looked after in little ways that are hard to describe.  We're not in a "civilized" place by our standards, but that contrasts in an interesting way with the hospitality.  It's not a route phrase - "my pleasure ..." - but appears to be an actual pleasure by this place to have us in this place.

Must sleep now because we've been warned that the monkeys will wake us early. Sweet dreams.  What an amazing world.

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