“Pura Vida” in Costa Rica

“Pura Vida” in Costa Rica

One thing we have learned in our travels is that none of our house sits are ever the same. This is very true of our last couple of sits in the enclave of Sanctuary Cove in Northern Australia when compared to the one we are on now. For the last three weeks we have been looking after a beautiful home in the Northern Highlands of Costa Rica. The house is in the very small mountain town of Tronandora. It is located on a high hill with amazing views of the local lake.

Lake Arenal is now the largest lake in Costa Rica. We say now, because previously the town of Arenal was situated in a lovely valley, the town was moved to higher ground so that the local power company (I.C.E) could flood the valley and create a lake to power it’s hydro-electric plant. The lake covers just over 89 square kilometers (33 square miles) and varies from 60-80 meters deep (200 – 250 feet) deep depending on the season. It sits at bout 2,200 feet above sea level. At the east end of the lake is an active conical volcano that is 5,480 foot high.

We are living in a very modern farm house, on a large section of very hilly property. We wake to the sounds of cows mooing and wind chimes. Given the elevation, the weather is lovely and cool, it is also extremely windy here. In addition to the two domestic dogs, the owners advised us expect visits from monkeys, armadillos, iguanas and hedgehogs. We have seen a white faced monkey and George is planning on strapping on his headlamp one evening and going in search of a hedgehog. He has been trying to find one ever since we visited Portrush, Northern Ireland.

Our charges are Emma, an 8 year old golden retriever and Mae a 5 year old foxhound. Each day we load them up in the car and set off into the hills. Once we find a convenient spot to pull off the trail (calling it a road would be a misnomer) we let the dogs out and enjoy a lovely hike. Emma wastes no time finding a suitable stick and for the whole walk, we throw and she fetches. Mae waste no time with stick fetching and would rather romp in the high grass in the fields. Worth nothing that Mae’s unusual name is a Costa Rican slang word which is equivalent to the west coast word “dude”. Emma and Mae’s humans are on a safari in Africa and have been sending us texts with wonderful photos.

As we have a car on this sit, we are able to explore the surrounding area. We have found several local restaurants including a local microbrewery, appropriately named Lake Arenal Brewery L.A.B. We have heard mixed reviews about the attached hotel, but we can report that there beer in the brewery was well made, the food delicious and the staff and customers extremely friendly.  A big should out to crew members Gabby, Dennia and Jason.

This will not be a our only house sit in Costa Rica. Once we leave here we will be heading to the USA and then Mexico for about 3 weeks visiting family and friends. Afterward, we head to the beach town of Tamarindo Costa Rica where we will spend 8 weeks looking after a dog and two cats.

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