Monthly Archives: July 2014

Time’s Up: Costa Rica Pt. V

Me, enjoying the grass during the last few days in the Big Jungle House.

Me, enjoying the grass during the last few days in the Big Jungle House.

Hey Adventurers! Lots going on since last I wrote. We’re back on the road, and the Big Jungle House is already fading into the far recesses of this little dog’s memory banks. It’s been such a full couple of weeks that I haven’t had a chance to write any of our adventures down. I’ve seen a lot of you asking questions, and Jason and Victoria told me it was time to get back to work. I’ll do my best to tell you all about what we’ve been up to, but before I bring you up to speed on the last couple of weeks on the road I’ve got to tell you about our last days at the Big Jungle House. It was a quick and unexpected end to our time there…

The Big Jungle House was still amazing, and if you asked me, I would have been pretty content staying there forever! I loved our long days full of playtime, late nights packed with laughter, and even a couple of unexpected twists. If I had known back when we first drove up that scary big hill to this house what the past two months would be like, I would have been much more excited! It’s probably better sometimes that I don’t get a vote. I don’t like change very much, but each change that comes seems to bring a whole lot of awesome along with it. I guess I’m learning that you shouldn’t be afraid of things changing. Sure, it’s always a little scary at first, but if you trust the humans who love you the most, you’ll know you’re always in good hands.

I'm not that into swimming but this was a pretty sweet place to practice!

I’m not that into swimming but this was a pretty sweet place to practice!

After we dropped Lydia off at the airport, I expected life at the BJH would go back to normal. You know, tug of war with Maya, barking at toads, scampering away from the pool, chasing lizards and oodles of snuggle time. For the most part, that’s how things started out. Maya basically always wants to play, so I’ve got no shortage of entertainment. We play so much I think I’ve even slimmed down a bit! Then, as is often the case on my Big Adventure, things changed. We drove down the huge hill and into the town of Uvita. I could smell the vet from miles away, but when we pulled into the driveway I wasn’t scared. He’s a very nice human, and I could tell he really liked me. I soon realized that we weren’t there for me, however. Victoria and Jason talked with the humans for a while, and then someone came out and picked Maya up and brought her inside. She looked so sad I almost chased after her. Almost. I mean, go willingly into the vet’s office? I like her and all, but I’m not crazy.

Worse yet, we left her there! Jason and Victoria both smelled pretty sad on the drive home. Apparently, it was Maya’s time to be spayed. I’m not entirely sure what this is. I mean, most dogs I know go through it, and I did too. The memories are a bit hazy, though. All I can remember from being spayed is being nervous, sitting up on a shiny metal table, and then falling asleep. It was a deep sleep, full of strange dreams and visions…

A field of long grass, and every inch of it smelled delicious. Like it had been newly mowed, coated in bacon and then sprinkled with cow poo. I rolled and rolled, until my fur was covered with puffy white balls that blew apart as I sneezed. Then I heard a great wind, whooshing and flapping, and the sky was filled with cracked open cans of tuna fish. The cans had wings, and they swooped and dove all around me. I chased after them for hours and hours, as the sun went down and a fat, cheesy moon rose, and they weren’t mad at all when I leapt up and took a bite.

After that I woke up, sore and grumpy, with stitches in my tummy. It wasn’t the most fun I’ve had in my life, that’s for sure, but I knew Maya would be fine. Jason and Victoria, however, were super nervous. People can be so weird and dramatic sometimes! We picked Maya up later that afternoon, and sure enough, she was totally fine. She had those stitches, and was pretty out of it. She kept talking to me about swimming chickens, a river of potato chips and a plate of hamburgers as big as a bus. She’s pretty goofy anyway, so I took it in stride. Suffice to say, there was no playtime for a couple of days. I was just fine with that. I’m a bit older now, and it’s nice to have a break sometimes. Maya felt better super quick, and didn’t want any part of taking it easy. My Family was insistent, however, so she skulked around and threw the ball for herself over and over again for a couple of days.

Sad face :(

Sad face 🙁

One night Victoria received a message on the computer and got really excited. Apparently another group of friends were close by and were coming for visit. Problem was, they were lost! Jason drove off in the big truck, and when he came back another HUGE truck followed him up the hill. I got to meet Erica and Sam, two other adventurers who had come to stay with us on their way south! They got to talking with My Family, and I realized that we had actully met once before, way back at Overland Expo! They were the very first Adventurers I ever met! Pretty cool that we got to see them again, especially now that I was an experienced Adventurer myself. Erica was super nice, but Sam was just DREAMY. He loved to play, and obviously liked me way more than Maya. He’s pretty smart. Erica and Sam stayed with us in the BJH for a couple of days. There were delicious dinners with my family (no tastes for us), and lots of time out by the pool. Sam even shot a video at the house, my movie debut! Hopefully I’ll be able to show it to you guys soon. I sure hope we get to see these humans again, although it sounds like it could be a while. They are driving all the way to Argentina in their Big XP Camper! Argentina is a country in South America, which is a whole different continent than where we are! Continents are like a bunch of countries put together, so yeah, it’s BIG. On a side note, they should really find a dog along the way. Things are just way better with us around.

You can tell Sam would rather be playing with just me, right? Right?!

You can tell Sam would rather be playing with just me, right? Right?!

Sam and Erica's Big XP Camper.  I tried to sneak in so I could go to Argentina with Sam (and Erica) but My Family made me stay behind...

Sam and Erica’s Big XP Camper. I tried to sneak in so I could go to Argentina with Sam (and Erica) but My Family made me stay behind…

After Sam and Erica left things got quiet up at the house again. My Family spent their time working, reading, writing, laying by the pool and chatting with Alvaro. Oh, hey! Did you know that my poo is useful? Alvaro told Victoria that it’s really good for the grass, helping it grow tall and strong. Jason was very happy to hear this, because it meant less clean up. And I have to say I felt a sense of pride every time I slipped off to do my business. My poo is saving the yard!

A couple days later we were lucky enough to have yet another visitor! Jason drove off one morning and came back with Karyn, one of our favorite people from back in Venice! Victoria was super excited to see her friend, and Karyn really liked me and Maya too. Her first day here was crazy long. The humans stayed up really late – eating, drinking and catching up – and Maya and I were practically asleep on our paws when everyone finally went off to bed. Humans get to do all sorts of fun things, but I don’t think they quite appreciate the finer points of an all-day nap.

Me and Karyn hanging out at the pool.

Me and Karyn hanging out at the pool.

The next morning Maya and I were seriously dragging. Victoria and Jason weren’t early risers either, but I think I spent the whole morning in bed. I just can’t hang with the humans and their schedules sometimes! I had a super lazy day, just hanging by the pool, watching the sun wander through the sky and snuggling up with Karyn when I had the chance. Basically perfect.

Karyn spent a bunch of time with us at the BJH, and we got to do all sorts of fun stuff. One day we drove down to Uvita so Karyn could watch something called ‘The Word Cup’. I don’t know, that sounds like an awfully big cup. How the heck would you pick that thing up, even with thumbs? Maya and I got to sit in a restaurant while the humans ate, drank, and talked about something called ‘soccer’. The highlight for me? I tooted, and the whole restaurant smelled it. I know, hilarious, right? Victoria and Jason were so embarrassed! Hilarious!

A couple of days later, we drove to a town called Dominical, to watch more of this World Cup thing on TV. When we got there, we met EVEN MORE friends. What is this, heaven?! Adventurers named Chloe and Toby met us at a restaurant with their dog, Tia. They were pretty nice, but Tia was super cool. She’s even older than me, and didn’t want much to do with Maya. Yep, right on my wavelength. Take it easy, snag some treats, look cute, your basic awesome dog existence. We spent most of the day in this restaurant, and everyone was super excited for the World Cup. People from all over came to watch the soccer, all wearing red and screaming every time something happened. Apparently, this is a big sports thing, and Costa Rica had a team. Best of all, the team won their game! Everyone there was so excited. One human in the bar was so happy he hugged Karyn and gave her his shirt. It smelled very sweaty, but Karyn was pretty excited.

Toby and Chloe came back to the BJH with us, and we had a full house for a couple of days. This was maybe the most fun time we had at the house. The humans cooked all sorts of delicious meals, swam in the pool, and gave all sorts of attention to us dogs. Tia and I had a lot of fun together, too. She wasn’t much for playing, but she loved to snuggle and nap, which are basically my two favorite things. We spent a lot of time together hanging on the couch, and Maya was even able to relax with Tia around. That was a really good thing, because after she healed from being spayed she managed to chew open a spot on her shoulder and give herself an infection. The humans put her in a jacket for a few days so she wouldn’t mess with it, and yet ANOTHER trip to the vet was needed to make her feel better. Gosh, this puppy is high maintenance.

Tia. She's pretty mellow but knows tons of tricks and totally put me and Maya to shame.  High Five, Tia!

Tia. She’s pretty mellow but knows tons of tricks and totally put me and Maya to shame. High Five, Tia!

Tia's big truck. It's called Moby and she has her own special dog bed in the back seat.

Tia’s big truck. It’s called Moby and she has her own special dog bed in the back seat.

Karyn eventually had to head back to Venice, but we got to have a couple more days with Toby and Chloe. They had a lot to do with their camper, as they are also going down to that South America place. The humans still got to spend a lot of time together, though. I could tell My Family was pretty sad when they finally packed up and left to continue their Adventure. I sure hope I get to see Tia again.

Oh, so I forgot to mention. When we were all out at the restaurant in Dominical watching that world-sized cup? That’s when My Family realized there might be a bit of a problem with our plan. See, Victoria and Jason liked the BJH so much that they had talked about staying for a couple more months. That suited me and Maya just fine. Sure, the Adventure was great and all, but more time at this amazing place? Yes please! The problem is, there’s some kind of rule about how long our Big Truck could stay in Costa Rica. Apparently, if we left for Panama, we wouldn’t be able to come back for a long, long time. I don’t really understand the details, and all of that political stuff is pretty boring to me anyway. I guess you should ask My Family if you want the inside info. Basically, what this discovery meant was that instead of staying in the BJH for several months more, we’d have to leave in like a week! I was NOT impressed with this change of strategy. Instead of lounging around the pool, chasing lizards, growing the grass with my poo and barking at Maya we had to pack up?! I know, I know, I didn’t have to do any of the packing. But watching my family pack and smelling their stress was no kind of fun.

Regrettably, it was inevitable. We were leaving the Big Jungle House. Not. Cool. Victoria and Jason scrambled through the preparations, repacking the camper and putting it back on the Big Truck, saying goodbye to our new friends and figuring out where we were going to go next. By the time Maya was fully healed we were ready to hit the road. Even though I wasn’t thrilled about the timeframe, I was pretty excited to get back on the road. The Big Adventure has always been super fun, and I knew that even this newest of changes would bring amazing things. Maya, on the other hand, was none too pleased.

We left Alvaro and the Big Jungle House behind with hugs and waves, and headed down the mountain. Victoria and Jason were both a bit freaked out, more due to the vast amount of work it took to get back on the road than any sort of fear for what was to come. We went right back to Dominical and spent our first night back in the camper in front of that restaurant where we watched the Big Cup. It was super fun to get my paws back on a sandy beach, but I could tell My Family was still stressed. It was hard going from a huge house to a tiny camper, even for a small dog like me. And Maya was WAY BIGGER now than she was the last time we were in a camper. She didn’t fit in any of the spots she used to fit in! It felt nice to be back in our own home, surrounded with all of our own stuff again, but it was going to take a bit of getting used to.

Tiny stone walls in Dominical where we spent our first night back in the camper.

Tiny stone walls in Dominical where we spent our first night back in the camper.

The next week was spent adapting to our adventurous life once again. We saw some incredibly beautiful places, driving onto the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. I got to run on three different, incredible beaches, and we almost instantly started meeting new people. That’s one of the best parts of the Adventure, all the super nice humans we get to see. Jason seemed a bit grumpy, though. He was hitting his head on the camper door, stumbling around looking for things, and basically trying to get used to everything once again. Luckily we had great places to stay, nice weather, and not too much trouble as we started heading north again. It took me a little while to realize that we weren’t going to go to Panama, the country south of Costa Rica that had been our original end goal. It really didn’t matter to me, though. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during the Big Adventure, it’s that the journey is far more important than the destination.

Driving into the jungle on the Nicoya. It's full of bumpy, muddy roads and rivers.

Driving into the jungle on the Nicoya. It’s full of bumpy, muddy roads and rivers.

We camped just outside of Playa Manzanillo on a deserted (but rocky) beach.

We camped just outside of Playa Manzanillo on a deserted (but rocky) beach.

We spent about a week driving up the Nicoya Peninsula, and Maya and I were quickly back in the routine. I think she still remembered the camper, even though she had been very young when we were last inside it. After a few days My Family got over their frustrations with the small space, and we were happily adventuring once again.

Big waves and a tiny island in Playa Samara.

Big waves and a tiny island in Playa Samara.

I do love feeling the sand beneath my paws!

I do love feeling the sand beneath my paws!

Another day, another beach on the Nicoya.  This is just outside Playa Tamarindo.

Another day, another beach on the Nicoya. This is just outside Playa Tamarindo.

Sunset on Playa Tamarindo. Pretty, huh?

Sunset on Playa Tamarindo. Pretty, huh?

We even got to see yet another group of Adventurers! We stopped in a place called Playa Portrero, and met up with Sarah and Hani from Adventures in Skyhorse. They have two dogs named Shae and Olivia, who are both basically awesome. Sarah and Hani had rented a house on the beach, with a pool and a big yard perfect for running in. We stayed with them for a night, and had a ton of fun. Maya was a bit scared of their dogs at first, but I laid down the law and soon we were all the best of friends. My Family had a great time with Sarah and Hani, and they were all talking about us staying longer. But because of that stupid car rule, we had to leave Costa Rica the very next day. So even though we had a blast with these new friends, we had to pack up and head out in the morning. It seems like we might see these guys again, though, as they are also going to be headed back north pretty soon.

This is Olivia.  Maya loved running around with her!

This is Olivia. Maya loved running around with her!

Shae might look like a typical fluffy dog but she's really chill.  I loved hanging out with her on the couch in the air-conditioned house!

Shae might look like a typical fluffy dog but she’s really chill. I loved hanging out with her on the couch in the air-conditioned house!

What a whirlwind the past couple of weeks has been! My head was spinning as we drove away from Sarah and Hani’s place and headed for the border. We were on our way back to Nicaragua, a country we had seen a few months ago. We had gone from thinking we were going to spend the summer in Costa Rica and then head to Panama, to frantically packing and rushing back up towards Nicaragua. Quite the turn of events! It’s a good thing I’m such a seasoned traveler. Maya was a bit out of sorts, and Jason and Victoria both had their stressful moments. All in all, life is good. We’ve got a comfy bed, plenty of delicious food, and the open road in front of us. I wonder what the next few weeks will bring…

PS: To see some of the photos My Family took during our last few weeks in Costa Rica, head on over to Facebook and check out two different albums: here and here.

Jul 2014

Costa Rica