Flutterby Butterfly

Heading back into Costa Rica was the beginning of my journey home. I had just one week left and I had two places I had hoped to hit before heading home: Uvita and Dominical.
I  had heard some mixed things about the two. I’ve read that they were expensive touristy places, and that it was all ‘new’ surfers, and lots of places to do yoga. I heard that it was worth it to go, and that it was a waste of time. I heard mixed things about the hostels I was thinking of staying at, and mixed things about taking the bus there. But when I arrived only after a short couple of hours later, I got myself a taxi and I hesitantly told him the only hostel names that I knew (regardless of the mixed things I had heard about it). And that was when I arrived in paradise.
The Flutterby House is truly something so amazing. It’s this hostel made up of a bunch of different tree houses and cabinas. It had hammocks all throughout the gardens and there were chickens clucking and running all around. The pathways were lined with colorful glass bottles that had been up-cycled into this beautiful, crafty pathway. There were people all over the place, playing the guitar, cooking, reading, playing board games, waxing surfboards, etc. All of them so friendly and welcoming. There was a big dinner area where each night and each morning there was a community meal, consisting of locally grown, if not organic,  fruits and veggies. They were so delicious, so fresh, and so filling! .There was this common area that was referred to as ‘The Loft’ since it was a rooftop, covered with a high tent-like ceiling, with the floor covered in mattresses and pillows and a few hammocks hanging about. When the sun went down, these little white ‘Christmas’ lights came on. It was absolutely magical. The hostel was located a short 2 minute walk from the beach, surrounded by trees and forest and that’s about it. It was at LEAST a 20 minute walk to anywhere around us. The little grocery store/liquor store was about that. And the main part of town right off the highway was about a 40 minute walk.

Going to Uvita, I was really hoping to spend the majority of my last week of this trip doing yoga. I had gone on this trip with the intention of really grounding myself and really embracing my spirituality. And even 4 weeks in, I still hadn’t done as much as I was hoping to.When I started to ask around about yoga studios and what there was in the area, I realized that that, unfortunately, wasn’t necessarily going to change. I promised myself that I would stay at least two nights to see what Uvita had to offer and then I would go up to Dominical where the town was bigger and there was more to do and a few different yoga studios to choose from.

But I ended up spending 5 days there! (Oops!) I fell completely in love with the hostel, the small town of Uvita, and the peace that I found within it. It was quiet. It was peaceful. It was pure. It was free of judgement. It was relaxing. It was enchanting. It was all I needed. Honestly, in those five days, I spent probably 90% of my time in the hammock. The other 10% was exploring the few (but absolutely amazing) attractions that Uvita had to offer. I realized that I didn’t NEED to do yoga. Yoga was not imperative to making the trip the best that it could be. What was imperative, was the intention to enjoy myself! I took this opportunity in this little, quite piece of paradise to take a ‘vacation’ from my vacation. I looked back on all that I had done this trip, all that I had done the past school year, all that I had done since arriving back from Asia, and I came to the conclusion that I needed a break. So, I took a break. 

Not long after I arrived, Max, a ex-military man in his 60’s, and I immediately clicked. Not sure how, or why, but we did. And we were pretty inseparable from that moment on. Max and I spent the majority of our time in the loft reading, chatting and napping. If either of us needed to go to town, or wanted to go for a walk, or to explore something, the other one followed. We ate our breakfasts together. And usually snacked together throughout the day. We had beers together, and ate dinner together. Max was my buddy, as I was his. And everyone around us knew it! He shared a lot with me, really opened up and let me in. He answered all of my questions. And asked some of his own. He taught me so much.

One morning we went for a walk on the beach to the Whales Tail. It took about an hour to walk down to this incredible part of the beach where, at low tide, this little island connected to the main beach, creating the shape of a whales tail! But there was a VERY short window of time where you could get out to it, because soon the water would come back in, and the island would become an island again! We set out really early in the morning, just after 7, to make sure that we wouldn’t be trapped out there. When we emerged from between the trees onto the beach, it was easy to see where we needed to walk to. I remember thinking ‘Oh this walk will be no problem! It’s so close.’ But it took SO much longer than I thought. The beach was so beautiful. Much different than any beach I’ve ever been on. The difference between low tide and high tide was about 8 or 9 feet, so when the tide was low, there distance between the trees and the water was HUGE. At least half a kilometer, if not more. The sand was clean, smooth, and perfect. The water was SO warm. Even though we went early in the morning, the sun was super hot, and shone on our backs as we walked there, and on our fronts as we walked back. I took SO many pictures of this beach, it was so perfect. When we got to the Whales Tail it was so surreal! So unbelievable that there is place in the world where the ocean parts ways like that. We walked across it, no problem, surrounded by water from three directions. We explored the island a little bit. Looked at some of the rocks, took some photos, admired the beauty around us. We found a HUGE fish, probably the length of my leg, washed up and dead on some rocks. In it’s mouth was another fish, about the size of my forearm. Max says it probably choked on the smaller fish and died, then was washed up on the shore. It was definitely one of the oddest things I’ve seen! By the time we made our way back to the main beach, the water had started to come back in. We had some waved coming at us from two sides, and as we walked it got higher and higher on our legs. If we had taken any longer on the island we probably would have had to swim!

Another day we teamed up with Kelly and Deima, a couple of volunteers at the hostel, and walked the long journey up to the waterfall just past town! It was a warm day and quite the walk. By the time we got to the water we were hot and sweaty and the water looked super appealing! We had heard rumors about people being able to slide down the waterfall. We didn’t believe them, but as we arrived we saw someone come down it! So, naturally, we followed. We found the very muddy, slippery and outrageously difficult path to get to the top, and one by one, we sat between some rocks and let the water take us down with it! And sure enough, the water had eroded an extremely smooth path down the side of the cliff. It was MUCH higher up that expected… and that resulted plunging into the water MUCH deeper than expected. What. A. Rush. So glad I experienced that. So glad I went with the people I did.

Since I was loving Uvita so much, I really didn’t want to leave. But since I didn’t want to leave, that meant that I would be missing out on what Dominical had to offer. I really, truly did have intentions to make Dominical my next stop, I had even made a reservation for a hostel there! But I was convinced to stay. Again and again. And soon, my desire to go to Dominical became hardly anything! I met these two lovely ladies one evening up in the loft, Aurea and Estrella  and they had suggested that I join them in a day trip to Dominical since it was only a 30 minute bus ride from Uvita !! BRILLIANT ! So that’s exactly what I did. And I’m extremely glad that I only spent that one afternoon there. Compared to Uvita, it was horrible! The beach was dirty and rocky and the waves were violent. The town was a party town. The shopping was pretty good, but the one afternoon was enough! It was so busy. I was thankful to go back to my home in Uvita. But of course, I was thankful to my two new friends for their company and a great day spent wandering through the stands!

That pretty much sums up my time there. I loved it. I really didn’t want to leave. I could have seen myself spending MONTHS there. Or creating a place of my own that was similar to it. I felt so safe. So happy. So at peace. So content. Just, so so perfect. It was exactly what I needed. But sadly, the time came for me to leave.

Max had spent about a month there and needed to do a border run for his visa! It only made sense since we were buddies that we left together. So we woke up extremely early and walked to the bus stop before sunset to catch the bus into town to the main bus station. We got there before it even opened. Max had bought his ticket a couple days prior, but I hadn’t done so! I hadn’t had to to do that for any of the buses my entire trip, but apparently this one WAS different. When the station opened, I asked the only two girls working there about purchasing a ticket and they were totally not helpful at all. They just said ‘No.’ THANKS FOR YOUR HELP! Not. Luckily, there was a Spanish speaking lady who was there to help me out a little bit. Finally, I was told to ask the bus driver if I could buy a ticket directly from him. The first bus driver was about as useful as the girls in the station. He was extremely rude and wanted nothing to do with me. So, I quickly gave up on that guy and waited for the next bus. When he hopped of the bus, I asked him. He spoke no English at all, but was extremely kind. He motioned that all the seats were full, but that I could sit on the floor. So I paid him. He offered to let my take my pack with me on the bus to sit on (usually they are put underneath for the duration). I was so thankful for him. I said my goodbyes to Max, and we parted ways. I climbed on the bus and tried to find an appropriate piece of floor to occupy. I was
NOT looking forward to this 6 hour bus ride on the floor of this bus, but I knew that in order to make my connection in San Jose, that this is what I needed to do. There was an emergency exit about half way back and there was a row or seats missing. A very large man was occupying the space, but it was still the most space that I could get on the floor. So I sat in the hall of beside this opening and tried to get as comfortable as I could for the ride. (Which was not very, at all!) An hour or so in, a couple of people got off and the large man was able to get a seat. I was left on the floor, but at this time, I had the space alllllllll to myself. This was small space for one large man, or a huge space for a small girl and her pack. I was able to curl up on the floor, using my bag as a pillow, and slept the whole ride!!! I went from ‘Dangit. This is going to be an awful ride.’ to ‘All these suckers get to sit uncomfortably and try to sleep, while I get to sprawl out and lay down on the floor!’

1 up for the adventurous Canadian girl who doesn’t mind the sticky floor of a Central American bus!

I made it safely to Liberia, where I would spend the next two nights to await my flight. At this point, I was anxious to get home. I was looking forward to good food. My boyfriend. My family. Laundry. My bed. I was looking forward to easily getting around from place to place and not having to worry each time I got in a cab if they were really going to take me to where I wanted to be (Don’t worry, they always did!). I was looking forward to not having to meet people, but be surrounded by those I know and love. I was looking forward to not having unmet expectations of the trip I was on. There were a lot of good things that I experienced on this trip. There were great people I met. Great things I did. Beautiful places I saw. But, I think that there comes a time with each trip that you are ready to be home.

Although this trip wasn’t exactly what I envisioned it would be or all that I hoped it would, in some ways it was much better than I ever expected. It pushed me to new limits. Reminded me I’m human. Allowed me to recognize the good things in my life. Let me be thankful for my body, my mind and my spirit. Reminded me that attitude really is everything. Let me know that everything is okay, everything it always okay. Once again, I was reminded that I am one little part in this huge, beautiful, powerful universe, and that there is always so much more going on that I know.

 Everything that is meant to be, will be.

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