Notes From the Jungle – The Home Stretch in Tamarindo

In my earlier column I explored the highly effective affect one’s bodily atmosphere has on temper, perspective and angle. With my latest journey writing jaunt nonetheless contemporary in my thoughts I’ve loved delving into the highly effective dynamics of the person-environment interaction by evaluating and contrasting numerous inns and resorts in small villages sprinkled throughout the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica. My ongoing journey characteristic Notes from the Jungle encompassed three of my best passions in life- journey, artistic writing and psychological exploration. The 5 week journey led me throughout two coasts, via 5 villages and eight totally different inns, every with defining traits so distinctive I would as nicely have been crossing nationwide borders.

My journey led to Tamarindo on the Northern Pacific coast of the nation, the place I spent 4 nights at Lodge Captain Suizo, a jungle paradise on the seashore, adopted by 5 nights at Los Altos de Eros, a tiny boutique resort nestled excessive within the mountains overlooking with Pacific. Los Altos de Eros is rated the primary small resort within the phrase by Journey Advisor. Reflecting again on our time spent there, I can simply perceive why. At Los Altos de Eros my consideration flowed inwards as I embraced the great thing about stillness, quiet and solitude. At Lodge Captain Suizo I felt myself increasing outwards in concord with the rhythm of the jungle and the huge expanse of sea that surrounded me. I fell asleep to the sound of the waves assembly the shore and marveled on the uncooked wildness of the jungle. I rose early with the solar and mingled with the numerous creatures who shared my environment.

Lodge Captain Suizo referred to as to thoughts lyrics from the Circle of Life and Hakuna Matata, favored songs from the Broadway hit Lion King. Right here I mirrored on our fragile and exquisite planet the place all residing creatures are united via an intricate alternate of pure sources. Upon coming into the foyer at Captain Suizo I instantly acquired a heat welcome from Francisco, with infants Alice and Sophie in tow. Along with his many different essential capabilities, certainly one of Francisco’s main duties on the resort is to feed, nurture and shield the 2 resident child monkeys. Sophie rested on high of his head, her tiny humanlike fingers greedy his thick mound of curly black hair, whereas Alice, the extra timid of the 2, slept peacefully in his arms, safely ensconced in a blanket.

Alice was discovered with out a tail; that is the unlucky aftermath of her mom’s premature electrocution- a phenomenon all too widespread in Tamarindo when howler monkeys climb throughout electrical wires. A child monkey with out a tail faces a merciless impediment, because the tail is an integral instrument utilized in climbing and mobility. Captain Suizo rescued Alice throughout her infancy. She practices her climbing with Sophie, and the 2 are rising stronger and extra assured with every passing day. Sophie was discovered struggling alone in downtown Tamarindo. Skinny and malnourished, Sophie supplied a great instance of the plight of howler monkeys when separated from their group. Sophie and Alice have developed an enduring bond, and rely closely on one another for play and companionship.

Such was my welcome at Captain Suizo, the place raccoons calm down on couches within the foyer, squirrels dine on bananas and iguanas lounge poolside. Captain Suizo welcomes all creatures of the wild, giant and small, wholesome and ailing, into its protecting folds. This was certainly the intention of the Swiss homeowners whose imaginative and prescient entailed an environmentally acutely aware seashore resort the place people and animals can stay collectively in concord. I’ve by no means seen a raccoon sit on the lap of a human, a monkey with a full time babysitter or a cat taking part in with a raccoon. That’s, not till I entered the enchanted world of Captain Suizo.

The homeowners of Captain Suizo stay by the next philosophy: “we didn’t inherit the planet from our dad and mom however we’re borrowing it from our youngsters.” When a tree fell without warning in entrance of the resort in April 2006, the monkeys misplaced their pure bridge which allowed them to enter the resort space, forcing them to cross the damaging highway. It took 4 makes an attempt, however the homeowners lastly succeeded in setting up a alternative bridge that the monkeys use as we speak. The primary man-made monkey bridge was born. That is the spirit of Captain Suizo.

There may be all the time one thing taking place within the open air foyer of Captain Suizo. Maybe it’s feeding time for Alice and Sophie, pleasant raccoons having fun with a late evening snack, or Missy, the apricot coloured cat also called the “queen” lounging on high of the reception desk whereas Sibu, good-looking stud cat, chases geckos and grasshoppers. The grounds of Captain Suizo overflow with wildlife and the sounds of the jungle are vibrant and fascinating. It’s clear the homeowners have handpicked their workers to mirror their love of the wild; every workers member has a passion for animals and a narrative to inform in regards to the myriad of creatures which have handed via the doorways of the resort. There may be the story of Brocholina, the chef’s tri-color cat who’s affectionately known as Garfield as a result of she likes to eat and sleep, and Coco, the beloved raccoon who was friendlier than any cat and mysteriously disappeared sooner or later. Legend has it Coco was coveted by many attributable to his gregarious nature, and subsequently was stolen from the resort grounds.

Following my keep at Lodge Captain Suizo, I transferred to Los Altos de Eros for the house stretch of my journey. The proprietor of Los Altos de Eros clearly possesses a particular form of expertise; the person has created pure magic via a service philosophy that leaves friends questioning if the workers is clairvoyant. At Los Altos de Eros the workers members anticipate and fulfill the wants and needs of friends earlier than the friends even notice these wants exist. Maybe it is because the proprietor regards and treats his 28 member full time workers like household, and the workers, in flip, treats the friends the identical manner.

The horseshoe formed 5 room villa surrounds a phenomenal infinity edge pool overlooking the Pacific and the encircling jungle, the place rolling inexperienced mountains fade right into a smoky sky. There are howler monkeys within the timber, frogs and lizards roaming the premises, buzzing birds and clusters of lush tropical flowers. A soothing sense of stillness permeates the premises, enjoyable the thoughts, physique and soul. Think about a 5 room resort with 28 full time workers members! The workers to visitor ratio permits for extremely personalised and attentive service leaving friends feeling extremely pampered and glad.

There’s a gorgeous open air yoga studio and world class spa. Osa, the resident canine, enjoys barking on the monkeys and escorting friends on the well-known hour lengthy strolling loop across the scenic and hilly resort grounds. It’s best to take this stroll early within the morning, earlier than the solar will get too robust and Osa retires for his mid morning nap. Throughout our 5 evening keep at Los Altos de Eros, we by no means as soon as felt like we had been staying at a resort, slightly a rich good friend’s non-public property. Meals are shared at a big group desk within the open air eating space overlooking the pool, permitting friends to work together and develop lasting bonds.

It’s really putting how a journey expertise can change so dramatically based mostly on a selected resort’s ambiance, the character of its workers members and friends, and the rhythm and pulse of the encircling village. My experiences in Costa Rica had been deeply enriching and soul enhancing. Like ships passing within the evening, I crossed paths with so many great souls throughout my journey- people I’ll all the time bear in mind however most probably by no means see once more.

There was Francisco the monkey sitter at Lodge Captain Suizo whose smile melted my coronary heart and Jesse the waitress at Almonds and Corals Resort with the darkish soulful eyes and appreciation for all times’s easiest pleasures. There was Jose, the driving force from Rosa Blanca who spoke of household values, and Elizabeth, the tiny Australian lady who suffered a severed relationship together with her solely daughter and traveled the world alone, reminding me of myself in her treasured solitude. Kitty, the stray cat who sat beside me one wet day in Playa Guiones, supplied companionship as I lastly wrote the very first chapter of my first novel. There was Valerie, the dance choreographer from New York Metropolis, searching for solutions about life and love, and Chantal, the divorced lady from France who taught me that sharing the identical language just isn’t a prerequisite for friendship. David was a humble Psychologist from London who put others first and his personal self second, providing compliments and reward whereas minimizing his personal gorgeous accomplishments. These distinctive and colourful souls shaped the tapestry of my journey and my reminiscences of the time we shared will stay perpetually inside my coronary heart.

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