A Very Different Border Run This Time…



We just got back home from San Vito, Costa Rica and I have to say, all in all, it was a wonderful little mini vacation, in spite of a little unexpected glitch, (otherwise known as me falling down!). Our last border run we went through a different border, there are two borders to choose from, Paso Canoas and Rio Sereno. Last time we went through at the Paso Canoas border and it was a totally different experience (Yuck!). Paso Canoas is a bit closer and easier to get to, but it’s not a pleasant place, in my opinon. Rio Sereno, on the other hand is a fairly pleasant little crossing, much quieter and not crowded at all! The only sort of bad thing is , if you’re prone to motion sickness , the twisting, curving road through the mountains may not be your cup of tea. I don’t happen to suffer from motion sickness so I found the drive delightful. It’s quite lovely, meandering through a lush green, picturesque area.

When we arrived in the little town of Rio Serano we then had to figure out exactly where the border was. It wasn’t especially evident at first, so we just sort of drove around until we saw an official-ish looking building then Valerie hopped out to investigate. Sure enough, that was the spot. Our friends learned many things about us on this trip but I think the first thing they learned was that we don’t do a lot of planning before we go on a trip. We like to think we’re being spontaneous and adventurous but really , there are times when we’re not always especially smart! This was one such instance when we may have been wise to figure out one tiny detail…. We hadn’t looked into where we should leave our car for the weekend. Ooops! Well, Scott simply found a “good enough” looking spot on the side of the road and pulled over. We had no idea how safe or un-safe it was to just leave a nice car parked on the side of the road for the weekend, but (shrug) what else could we do? We walked away from the car just hoping it would still be there, in one piece, when we returned on Sunday. And given the fact that this post isn’t titled “Car-less in Rio Serano” or “Keith, what do we dooooo!”, you doubtless know the car survived the weekend. Whew!

We had no problem getting stamped ‘out’ of Panama (with the exception of my little snaphoo!) My falling down escapade happened just before we stamped out of Panama, Here’s what happened…I was walking down a gravelly road in flip flops (eye roll!) and my foot just went right out from under me and somehow managed to do a crazy, very unnatural ‘twist”! Humph! and OUCH! Then, after Scott, Mark & Valerie succeeded in helping me walk (they really kinda carried me) to the other office.. we stamped ‘into’ Costa Rica Whew!. The official in the Costa Rica side even offered up a wheel chair for me to borrow, cuz, we had to get across the street to the closest bar,and I was in no condition to walk! A girl’s gotta find a bar right away when she suddenly finds herself injured and unable to walk on her own…Damn Flip Flops!! Scott rolled me across the dirt road right into the bar and we all took a big sigh of relief. I have to say, I can’t think of anyone else who I would rather have had with us for my “spectacular injury escapade”. Mark & Valerie are a pretty athletic couple and knew just what to do! (What I mean by this is that they have seen their fair share of ankle injuries from being runners and Valerie has grown kids who had lot’s of fun sports related injuries in her past life.) Valerie immediately dosed me up with Advil (before I even attempted to get up!) and suggested I quickly put on my hiking boots and lace them up as tight as I could to prevent the ankle from swelling too much and to support it better than those darn flip flops. Scott then had to carry both our backpacks and supported me as best he could , but honestly, without Valerie & Mark there, I don’t know how we would have made it. Between the three of them, we managed to hobble through the border and make it to our destination.

So that’s the story of my “spectacular injury escapade”, on to the fun part. Because, of course, I didn’t let a silly ‘escapade’ ruin my weekend away! Although I didn’t get to explore as I had planned, I did get to relax and recuperate in such a beautiful setting. We found this little B & B in Trip Adviser. Casa Botania ( http://www.casabotania.com ). The owners Pepe (Costa Rican) and Kathleen ( Belgian) were excellent hosts. They designed and built the large house where they live with their adorable son Elias. The house has a room to rent and then they have two small cabanas set a little ways from the main house, which is where we stayed. The cabanas are very nice. They each have a balcony overlooking the valley below, what a view to wake up to. The rooms are very comfortable and you can tell they put a lot of thought into making their guests feel comfortable and at home. Breakfast is included in the stay and they will provide dinner if you choose, which we did. Pepe & Kathleen do all the cooking together and they prepared delicious food for us. We all four really enjoyed sitting on the veranda, overlooking the spectacular views while chatting and sipping our wine/beer. It was nice to just relax and not to worry about finding a place to go for dinner,(especially with an invalid! eye roll)

Scott and I will most definitely visit Pepe & Kathleen again sometime. We had read about some beautiful botanical gardens nearby which we were unable to check out this time. And Pepe told us that he does guided nature hikes and he’s quite a bird enthusiast, so we have some exploring to do with him in our future! I also expect that someday we may find ourselves having some sort of adventure with Mark & Valerie! They enjoy traveling and exploring the world and the four of us seemed to be great travel companions. And now I know, that Valerie & Mark are very handy in a crisis that involves an “injury escapade”. All in all, I had a really great weekend. Even though I wish I hadn’t gotten hurt, I can’t help but find the good that comes out of a seemingly bad thing. For me, I was faced with a scary, painful situation and going through it with my new friends made me see what good friends they are. That may sound mushy but truly, I literally ‘leaned” on them and they kept me safe and cared about me, I am touched and so happy to have them in my life. This adventure is bringing me so many great things, and who knew a hurt ankle could provide such a great gift! But I’m ready for it to not hurt anymore!!!!

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