A Costa Rican Massage

I’ve heard the experience of driving over the rockier Costa Rican roads referred to as the “Costa Rican massage.” Because we didn’t have plans to head to more inaccessible areas of Costa Rica, we booked a regular car instead of a 4×4. Overall, it’s been fine even on the rockier roads, as long as we drive slowly.

However, last weekend we made our way to guesthouse up a hilly, very-massage-giving road, in the rain. Our car made a valiant effort, but, alas, we ended up needing to abandon it about a half kilometer away and walk. (Our hosts were kind enough to meet us at the car and guide our way.)


The guesthouse is focused on sustainability: the property is off-grid and the owners, Marga and Chema, grow or exchange locally for most of what they need. Solar panels provide some electricity, but the bedrooms are lit by candles at night.




Marga and Chema don’t have a car, but they do have four horses. We three adults went on horseback tours of the countryside that meandered through the forest and several villages.


Marga’s amazing meals, sourced to a large degree from the garden, were another highlights of the visit.


I woke up early both mornings and watched the clouds roll over the countryside. In the afternoons, the clouds would often envelope the house itself, and we joked with Theo that one was coming to lunch as we watched it seep through the open doorway.




Climate-wise, I have to say that I find the higher-altitude regions of Costa Rica easier to manage than the beachside region where we are spending most of our time, where the temperatures often reach the 90s. While I have acclimated somewhat (it’s easier if I just resign myself to the idea that I’ll be sweaty most of the time), it was welcome change to snuggle under a blanket in the morning and sit by a fire in the evenings.