Saturday, December 6, 2014

Finding our bearings

We've been here for a week now, and I feel like we're finally all getting settled. It's hard on the little ones, with travel by air and car, different beds, new faces, a totally different climate...and it's hard on the big ones, too! 

Our house is perched on a high hillside at the edge of a wildlife preserve: our view is of a jungled river valley, and mountains behind that. We can watch big black birds of prey surfing on air currents, and smaller, brightly coloured birds flitting from tree to tree. This morning we had a group of about 10 howler monkeys pass through the trees directly over our back porch. It was our first time seeing them, though we hear them each morning just before sunrise. Theirs is a chilling sound, deep and gutteral, like something out of a zombie movie. But to see them in full daylight, they're not very big, dark in colour. They studied us curiously, passing quite close to us. One of them had a baby clinging to her front. It's hard to reconcile that frightening call with the docile faces we saw today!

Being essentially in the jungle, there are a lot of bugs, too. We've dealt with our fourth scorpion (in the house!) tonight. They're not deadly, and apparently the sting is more like that of a wasp. Only dangerous if you have an anaphylactic reaction. I really hope none of us gets stung, though. I'm constantly scanning the ground ahead of me, I check the bed before we get in at night, pull back the shower curtain every time I'm in the bathroom...

It's the end of the rainy season, but it's still so green. There are flowers blooming in the trees, on bushes and vines, it's lush and beautiful. A few nights ago we had some very strong winds, and we've been told the winds signal the beginning of the dry season. I'm curious to see how things will change over the next 7 weeks.

We're in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, staying near a village called Nosara. There are 3 small beach towns around Nosara: Pelada, Guiones and Garza. These are all connected by winding, extremely rutted dirt roads quite literally carved out of the jungle. We are closest to Playa Pelada. It's a quiet beach, often we're the only ones there. The waves are not too huge, and there are these big rocks that extend out into the ocean. There are lots of little tide pools amoung the rocks, which Aedan loves to explore. He and Colm both love to get right into them, they're perfect for kids to play in. We've seen lots of crabs, some little fish in the pools, and in one pool in particular, there are some sea urchins. The sunsets are stunning, but once the sun goes down, it's very dark. There aren't any street lights in our area. 

The fruit is so amazing, fresh and ripe and so full of flavour; we've all been gorging ourselves. Well, all except Colm, who wouldn't eat a piece of fruit to save his life...though he was curious about the watermelon today, finally! 

Unfortunately I can't share pictures with you...because although I replaced the connection cable I need to get them from my camera to my iPad before leaving Ontario, I forgot the cable at my parents' house. I hope my words will suffice, until we get back, when you'll get a huge photo update!