Costa Rica Chapter 2: Los Tornos
I'm a people person. I always have been. I want to connect and relate and really get to know people. When I travel, of course I love taking photos and seeing all the wonderful sights, but one of favorite things about traveling the world is meeting people! That's where the soul of the country comes from anyway, right? There's no denying there is vast beauty in Costa Rica and I'm so glad I got to witness it all driving around the country in our little Suzuki Jimny rental car, but more than that, I'm happy to have met such warm and hospitable people! When we were booking this trip initially, we thought we would use a timeshare and stay in a gorgeous resort on the Pacific Ocean. I imagined a swim up bar at a pool and tanning in the sun. Sounded like a great way to relax! Then we found out, the timeshare was a no go, so it was back to the drawing board. Trying to keep costs low was a big thing for us, so instead of springing for that luxury resort on the water, we scoured Air BnB! Honestly, I'm so glad we ended up going that route. It suited our traveling style so much better! With the places we found, we got to know ours hosts and not just a front desk clerk who may or may not have been the same each day. Air BnB allowed us to meet local people, as well as fellow travelers, instead of cooping us up in our hotel room. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against hotels or resorts! But since this was my first experience with Air BnB, I got to see another side of traveling that I really loved!
In my last post, I introduced you to La Fortuna and our adventures at the volcano and waterfall. Our trip then took us around Lake Arenal and then to a little town called Los Tornos. Literally, a very small place with a tiny shop and mostly just the land and it's community. It was about 20 minutes outside the main tourist town of Santa Elena, which was no easy trek. I likened the drive into town to the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland...a bumpy ride indeed, but I digress! Los Tornos is home to our sweet, sweet host Ermida! She owns a huge farm (finca in Spanish) complete with coffee beans galore, bananas, plantains, lemons, starfruit, chayote and a ton of other produce. She's definitely a self sufficient woman! Upon arrival, she was making her own cheese and in her hospitable nature, brought us over not only the fresh cheese, but also milk from her cow, eggs from her chickens and lots of fruit and veggies from the farm. It was an incredible start to our stay! We had our own little cabin on the property, but she was only a few minutes walk away in her own house. The next day we spent the majority of it with Ermida in fact. Being that she spoke almost no English, it was a true test of our very little Spanish, yet also a testament to how cultures and languages can blend when everyone is willing to put in the effort. It really was a wonderful day. She made us a hearty lunch, took a drive with us around town, and then showed us her expansive farm, pointing out each and every different kind of plant she has. It was our very own private tour and it was lovely! I could go on and on about our stay here, and it was only two days, so you can see she left a big impact! I'm so grateful to have met her and glad we exchanged emails so we can stay in touch. Sorry for the long post guys. I can get carried away when I'm on a roll! Enjoy the photos from the farm!