Our Paws Take A Pause: Costa Rica Pt. III

Me enjoying the view at our new home!

Me enjoying the view at our new home!

Victoria and Jason had promised me that some beach time was ahead, but first we had to finish crossing Cerro de la Muerte. They said the Pacific Ocean and the sandy goodness that I love so much was somewhere close by, but it sure didn’t seem that way. We spent our next morning on my Big Adventure driving down one of the curviest, scariest roads yet. Jason was happy that at least it was paved, but he still smelled a bit anxious. When we woke that morning and said goodbye to Doris and Torsten, it was bright and sunny. Yet as soon as we got back on the road and started our descent, rain and clouds settled in around us, as thick and white as the chunks of cheese Victoria sometimes puts in my food bowl.

It took a couple of hours to get out of that mess, most of which I spent perched on Victoria’s lap, scenting the heavy air. Maya tried to sleep through it, but she’s getting too big for her perch on the arm rest between Victoria and Jason. She kept twisting and turning, trying to find the perfect position. Soon she’s just going to have to go on the floor. She keeps eyeing Victoria’s lap, but that is NOT going to happen.

Our cozy camping spot near the beach, even though we didn't even SEE the beach...

Our cozy camping spot near the beach, even though we didn’t even SEE the beach…

We finally left the mountain behind and found ourselves back on the main highway, just north of a town called Uvita. We had crossed the whole country in two nights! I saw the wide ocean off to our right, and though the rain kept pummeling the Big Truck, we made it into Uvita without any problems. We did some shopping and headed towards the beach, finally pulling up at a campsite called Camping El Chaman. The man who ran the place was super nice, and showed Jason how to use a huge bamboo pole to pull fresh mangoes right out of the trees. We even had a covered spot to park our Big Truck, so when even more rain came we were nice and dry. The sand was super soft, and the camp dogs were all pretty nice. Maya was kind of scared of them, and stayed glued to Jason’s side pretty much the whole time. We only spent one night there, with the rain pelting the roof and the ocean waves breaking just down the dirt road, but I really loved it. I have to say, I’m just a beach dog at heart!

I thought this campsite was pretty perfect, so I didn’t understand why we got up so early and packed up to leave. After that crazy mountain, didn’t I deserve a day off? It wasn’t meant to be. We were gone with the sun, bouncing back up the dirt road and further south. We pulled up outside of a big restaurant with funny, frozen cows out front, but we didn’t go in. What’s the deal? Were they going to force me to sit outside smelling the delicious smells with no payoff? A few minutes later a man pulled up on a motorcycle with four huge wheels, and after he spoke with My Family for a few minutes we got back into the Big Truck and followed him across the highway and up a huge hill. What gives?

The road got worse as we drove, leaving town behind and heading deeper into the jungle. At one point we stopped beside a hut with no walls, and this new friend pointed out a house far up the mountain. He said that’s where we were going, and Jason and Victoria got really excited. It sure didn’t look like any campsite I’d seen on the Big Adventure. Another ten minutes of bumping and bouncing up crazy mountain roads and we pulled up outside an amazing house, with the biggest, best lawn I’d seen in as far back as I could remember. I thought we would get to run around the house and all over the lawn but for the next couple of nights we just camped in the driveway.

I have to say, I was a bit confused. Sure, Maya and I had playtime, and we got to sniff around on the side yard, but we mostly just sat around the camper. This didn’t seem particularly adventurous. It sure felt like a strange stop to me. Things got even stranger when the nice man came out of the house one day and handed us over the keys. Wait… What?!?

Yeah, apparently we were going to live here for a while. In. The. House! I couldn’t believe my luck. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of our travels. But the chance to lay on a couch all day? The house has tons of comfy, sunny spots, cool floors, and best of all, no more bumpy roads to drive! Well, that’s not exactly true. The house is way up in the mountains, and I don’t think Victoria and Jason trust me and Maya alone in the house. That means we’re constantly being packed up in the Big Truck and bounced up and down that terrible mountain. First Cerro de la Muerte and now this? It feels like we are back in Guatemala! Strangest yet, there’s a lot more room in the Big Truck now. My Family actually took the Camper off! That means when we drive places I get Victoria’s lap to myself, and Maya gets to stretch out on the back seat. She’s getting so big now that she needs the space.

Sometimes the clouds roll right up to the house and it looks like the world ends at the end of our pool.  YIKES!

Sometimes the clouds roll right up to the house and it looks like the world ends at the end of our pool. YIKES!

I spent a couple of days exploring the house, avoiding My Family’s efforts to make me swim in the pool and spending hour after hour playing with Maya. Okay, I’ll admit it, I love this puppy. We wrestle, we play tug of war, and she really seems to love me a lot. I don’t even mind sharing food with her. It’s pretty cool having a friend, especially one who loves to hang around me and looks to me for advice. She’s still goofy, and gets into all kinds of trouble, but Victoria said that will change as she gets older. Plus, I now have a partner, with eyes just as sad as mine. Very useful when you’re trying to get treats.

Maya keeps stealing my bed, even though she doesn't really fit in it.

Maya keeps stealing my bed, even though she doesn’t really fit in it.

Just as we were getting into a nice routine, something pretty special happened. We drove back to Uvita and waited around for a little bit. Then I smelled someone familiar. Our friend Heather from Venice was here! How cool! She was coming to stay with us and hang out at the house. It was so great to snuggle up with someone I already knew, and Heather liked Maya just as much as everyone else.

Me and Heather at the pool.  I really love her a lot!

Me and Heather at the pool. I really love her a lot!

The day after Heather arrived we finally got to go to the beach! The Pacific here is pretty special. The water is warm, and the jungle comes right up to the sand. Maya and I got to be off leash, and since there weren’t any other dogs around I was able to run to my heart’s content.

The beach! Finally!

The beach! Finally!

We did have a bit of an adventure that day. My Family was trying to find something called The Whale’s Tail. Apparently there’s a bit of sandy land that is shaped like a whale’s tail, and you can walk right out onto it. I’d much rather stay on shore, but I never get a vote. Unfortunately, it was high tide, and to get to the Whale’s Tail we had to cross a little river. Jason waded through first, and it seemed pretty deep. He wanted us to wait, but once Victoria and Heather waded in I couldn’t help but follow. Suddenly I was swimming, something I definitely DO NOT like to do. Even worse, big waves were coming. Before I knew what was happening I was washed away! I paddled my legs just as fast as I could, but the water was just too strong. Jason started screaming, and suddenly I bounced off of a tree! Heather ran to me and grabbed me out of the water, while Jason stood there holding our bags and a soaking wet Maya dog. I found out later that I was a few seconds away from being washed off into the jungle. You see? Why do humans ever go swimming! It’s just nuts.

Crisis averted, we finally made it to The Whale’s Tail. Of course, we didn’t actually know it at the time. Because the tide was in, the Tail was just totally covered up. Waves were breaking against themselves as Heather and My Family went swimming. Whatever. At that point I was more than content to bounce around on the shore, jumping at the small waves while Maya sat with our bags. That was definitely enough adventure to last me for a while.

I mean, how can you not love this silly face?

I mean, how can you not love this silly face?

A couple days later, our new home in the mountains got even busier. Kenny and Jenn, two friends we had met in Guatemala, came to stay with us too! They were traveling with their friend from home, a nice human named Mike, and all of a sudden our big house was filled with awesome people. Better yet, the house was also filled with amazing smells. Those three love to cook, so each day the humans got together and made incredible meals. Maya and I snagged all sorts of delicious tastes, and got to stay up late while all the friends told stories, swam in the pool, and did an awful lot of laughing.

We went hiking with all our friends to find a waterfall.  It was almost all uphill.  Not cool.

We went hiking with all our friends to find a waterfall. It was almost all uphill. Not cool.

We spent a couple of days together as a new, bigger family, before Kenny, Jenn and Mike had to leave. We said goodbye in the driveway, and Heather went with them, so she could have her own Adventure for a little while. I was sad to see our good friends leave, but it was time to catch up on my naps. We spent another couple of days relaxing in the house, and then jumped into the car to go pick up Heather. Problem was, we weren’t picking up Heather, but dropping off Victoria! I got no notice, and only a moment to say goodbye. What was happening? I stared out the window a bit worried as Jason drove away. I couldn’t remember the last time Victoria had gone away, and I was just hoping that it wouldn’t be for long.

Maya was just as confused as I was when Victoria and Heather left.

Maya was just as confused as I was when Victoria and Heather left.

Thankfully it was only one night. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jason a lot, but things just aren’t the same without Victoria. Jason packed Maya and I back into the Big Truck, and we rejoined Victoria and Heather in a town called Dominical. I guess the girls had been on a horse riding adventure. That’s fine, but why couldn’t I come along? Humans have strange rules sometimes.

I really miss snuggling with Heather :(

I really miss snuggling with Heather 🙁

We had a nice meal by the beach, and then everyone started saying goodbye to Heather. I was confused because it felt like she had just arrived, but I guess she had to go back home to Venice. I hope she’ll tell all of our friends how much I miss them. It was so great having her come to visit us, and I love sharing our Adventure with such great people, even though Maya gets half of the attention. After Heather went home we went back to the house, where I think we’re going to stay here for a while. I’m not exactly sure what’s happening, if the Big Adventure is over, or if we’ve just taken a pause. It sure is nice to relax and throw my paws up for a little while, though. I do love all of our travels, but for this homebody, laying in a comfy lap and looking out over the ocean, safe from the rain, is a pretty good alternative.

PS: My Family posted some photos about all our friends visiting and moving into the house here.

PPS:  Victoria said to mention that the house we are living in is for sale.  I guess that means we can’t stay forever? Anyway, if you would like more information email me or My Family.

May 2014

Costa Rica


4 thoughts on “Our Paws Take A Pause: Costa Rica Pt. III

  1. Rhonda

    haha.. Neli sure had me laughing with that post but so glad the pups are admitting their love for eachother! On our road trip to Expo Porter learned how to “almost” cuddle with Aspen in the back seat… progress!

    1. Neli Post author

      Pretty sure I love Maya a little bit more every day, I’m sure Porter and Aspen will be cuddling with each other in no time! Did they like Expo? I thought it was really hot and windy and then freezing at nighttime!


    Loving Neli’s opinions and views of Maya and their interaction and her opinions of the travels. Love the pix of them both looking at the views. Glad she’s safe and didn’t get swept away! Phew! 🙂 She needs armbands next time me thinx . 🙂

    1. Neli Post author

      Thanks Suze! I’m not sure what armbands are but if it means I have to go in that river again I am NOT interested 🙂


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