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My Travel Writing Scholarship 2011 entry - Journey in an Unknown Culture

COSTA RICA | Thursday, 24 March 2011 | Views [209] | Scholarship Entry

“Your luggage has arrived!” My best friend exclaimed as I exited the cab in front of Plaza de la Cultura, San Jose.“What!” followed by Marie jumping up and down, tears of joy and hugs. I was back in Costa Rica, I couldn’t believe it and neither could Marie, the bride to be. We were here only one year earlier, our first frolic in paradise. The three amigos in our rented Toyota Alto, the only car our budgets would allow and the only tourists in the country without a 4x4. We explored in awe this beautiful and diverse foreign land, always reassured we made the right choice. Costa Rica is a country of beauty, mystery, and lusciousness. In one day you can be sucked into the jungle wondering if you will ever be released, driving along the coast with ever changing ocean views, manoeuvring up and down mountains like a roller coaster that never ends and lost amongst unique country valleys which appear like a painting come to life. Cowboys and their cattle may halt your travels for a short while, but all you can say is Pura Vida with a smile.

Marie met her Tico prince charming in Playa Del Coco, our first stop along the Pacific Coast. Alonso was tall, dark and handsome but little did she know he would prove to be so much more.

As we convoyed up the mountains, all our worries and stress seemed to peel off our bodies and the scent, charm and ease seeped into our pores. Pura Vida. We arrived just past dusk in Alonso’s hometown of Aquas Zarcus. First stop, the roller disco. A true treasure we found in a country with always something up its sleeve when you think you’ve seen it all.

“HOLA SINORITAS!”, and laughter filled the air as a pack of little children with smiles on their faces and arms in the air greeted us like rock stars when we finally arrived to Alonso’s home sweet home. Hugs and double cheek kisses where shared by all. We met the women first, an exuberant laughing bunch, all smiles and love, they made us feel welcomed, language barrier and all. The spirit of celebration and love was in the air and despite our broken Spanish, we did understand one thing. Off to the soccer field we would go. Here, even if a town has a population of 40, there WILL be a soccer field and each town has its stars.

A November wedding in the mountains usually means one thing, expect rain. Lucky for Marie, the sun came shining down to accent her perfect $6 up do and strapless white dress. We piled in to our trusty rental and made our way to the venue, videotaping Maries last minutes as a single girl, singing and laughing, some of us with a tear. Once again, our new mini best friends, excited to get a view of their new aunt, the bride, awaited our arrival. Faster then I can remember, Marie met her prince and their loving Tico wedding went off without a hitch.

Tags: #2011writing, travel writing scholarship 2011

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