• Lara Flanagan

Staying on in Atenas

Updated: Feb 28


I decided in a very short amount of time that the kids and I would stay in Atenas for the remainder of our time in Costa Rica.  That is, apart from a few days at the end of our time in Costa Rica to explore the capital San Jose.   I absolutely love it here and the kids seem very happy so it it seemed to make sense to make the decision to stay put for a while.   We are enrolled in Spanish classes, we are assisting with the English classes, our Casita was available – all the moons had aligned.


I never would have picked it as I thought it would be the beach with the amazing sunrises that would be my favourite part of Costa Rica, but the mountains have captured my heart.  That is, despite the fact that I seem to miss out on sunrises most mornings due to the mist, and there have been several days now when ‘volcanic ash’ was included as part of the daily forecast.   Not that you would have a clue that there is volcanic ash in the air, I just like saying it as it makes me feel like Lara Croft.  “Hang on a minute, I am dealing with volcanic ash. Fuck it, I don’t have time for this, not when I am surrounded by volcanic ash.”  


Get my drift.  I amuse myself.   I have since discovered that Atenas was nominated by National Geographic as having the best climate in the world.  After a few days I could understand why.  The evenings are cool and the kids are back in their winter pj’s though we all sleep with just a sheet.  The rains are still present and there is usually a rainfall of various intensity in the afternoons and the mornings tend to be cool and misty.  The days are hot but not as humid when compared to the coast.  It is heavenly.


We have had one volunteer session thus far teaching the little kids English and we had our first Spanish lesson yesterday.  I absolutely love it here and so it made sense to me to stay a little longer and enjoy the extra time in getting to know Atenas.   Life is good in the mountains apart from one thing – I suspect I am becoming a pervert.


I have become obsessed with woman’s bottoms and builders.  It is not a sentence I had ever thought I would hear myself uttering but it is true.  I can’t stop staring at woman’s bottoms.  Costa Rican woman just seem to love their bottoms and whatever size or shape they are in they are flaunted and embraced and celebrated.  Their bums also seem rounder and more solid and altogether more if that makes any sense at all.  As I said, I am turning into a fucking pervert.  The kids and I went on an adventure to find a water slide on Saturday.  


I had read a travel blog where this random water slide in the jungle was mentioned so I found the location, worked out where it was on the map and estimated a 30 minute trek.  It took more like an hour and was up some pretty gritty hills that made me mutter a lot of things under my breath  like, “what the fuck am I fucking doing climbing this fucking stupid hill” but I was very quiet and grinning like a rabid howler monkey as the kids had started looking at me like I was leading them up the garden path or rather a very steep mountainous path right into the hands of some local drug barons.


Anyway all of a sudden however, a water slide appeared and I was saved from their scorn and derision.  To top it off it was a very retro water slide with concrete walls and super slippery tiles that the kids could whoosh down at great speeds. So their esteem for me kept on soaring, even when I threw my towel on the concrete and lay down panting like an old mangy dog with heat stroke.  It was whilst I was lying semi-comatose on the ground that I again realised how much I loved Costa Rican bottoms.  There were two groups near us with woman ranging from tiny perfection to exceedingly rubenesque magnificence and they were wearing these itty bitty swimmers.  Swimmers that were not quite g-strings but were certainly not the full bottomed numbers that most people I know prefer.  Bottoms, bottoms everywhere and they were amazing bottoms.  There seems to more of a care-less factor than what I am used to and as a result everyone appears supremely confident and incredibly fabulous.  It might have been that I was also suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion induced by a ridiculous mountain climb but I do genuinely applaud the way that Costa Ricans seem to adore themselves.


Then there are the builders.  We have a house been built near our Casita and I love watching the builders.  Not because they are stud-muffins and walking around bare-chested or anything like that.  It’s because of their siesta and their meal breaks.   I constantly find myself glancing across to see what is happening on the sight and I am hope to god they can’t see  the crazy gringo woman constantly staring at them.  They work long hours and work 6 days a week so I am getting quite used to them now.  One of them offered us a lift from the road and we are all on ‘Hola’ basis.  At about 8.30am they all sit down and have what I can make out to be a substantial breakfast.  I make sure I eat with them – staring at them from my kitchen window.  Then at 1pm they have lunch and then they all lie down and go to sleep.   Every single day when it happens I want to go and join them.  Just lie down on the concrete with them and have what seems like an absolutely blissful 45 minutes or so.   I can imagine the looks on their faces if I walked through the jungle like a woman on a mission and just curled up on the concrete next to them and started snoring.


The first day it happened I thought the world might have been struck by one of those apocalyptic events where a strange virus had attacked the world and everyone had simply stopped breathing and fallen to the ground.  The kids and I were the only survivors and I was going to have to go out there in the fucking volcanic ash and attempt to find other survivors who weren’t feral and deadly and try to save man kind.   Obviously my brain wandered for some time whilst I was day-dreaming and staring at my builders strewn across the ground like corpses, but then they all got up again and started working.  They were snoozing, sleeping, napping, resting.  It was just so damned civilised.  Every day at the same time.   Every day now I am tempted by a daytime snooze because if the builders are doing it so should I.


Builders and bottoms, my two favourite things in Costa Rica at the moment.


#Journey #CostaRica #Motherhood #Travel #Travelingwithkids

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