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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Travel Journals Day 6: A Rainy Season

Along the dirt road to the path that runs to the beach I heard the morning songs of exotic birds I had never heard before.  It was as if they were greeting me to begin the new day.  I whistled back. 

Thanks to the bird app I downloaded I was able to record the sounds of a Brown-crested Flycatcher and identify him by his call.  I looked up and to my surprise spotted two Howler monkeys in the tree overhead.  They just sat watching me, the new gringo in town.

It was barely after 5:30am and the sun was already coming up over the trees behind me.  With the beach completely empty and the mountain in the distance, waves were gently rolling in.  This was the purest form of meditation. 

Silence, nature, the incoming tide, mountains in the distance.  I walked a total of four and half miles along the beach to the large, clifflike mountain which can be seen from miles away in the distance.  I passed only one or two early morning walkers along the way.  I stopped and did some exercises with a log that had washed up onto shore, a perfect curl bar provided by nature.

As I crossed over the rocky area, I found an old tree trunk to sit on and spent my morning meditation watching the ocean waves crash over the rocks.  I passed a couple walking along my route back. The man was carrying a bamboo stick he had picked up along the shore; exactly what I have had my eye out for to do the bamboo stick exercises I learned in Asia.  I told him I admired it and so he kindly gave it to me.

The slow walk back seemed endless, much longer than the walk over.  I remember this from before.  My Northern European skin is very slowly adjusting its shade from pale white to homemade vanilla.  I notice that even the dark, local Tico surfers are slathered in sunscreen.

Along the walk I caught smiles and “good mornings” from several people.  When I arrived back to marker 29 it was only 8:30.  It has already been a full morning.

Back at my tiny casa the perfect cup of 1820 Costa Rica coffee followed.  After a shower, I sat down to write at 10am. 

My friends, whose rentals I will be overseeing for the next three months, happened by and we reconnected again after 9 years.   Their kindness was the same as it was all those years ago.

Time to stop.  It is now 11am.

Follow Kirk’s Adventure from the start:

The Start – Five years ago I was quietly living in a small 1100 square-foot home just outside my native hometown of Austin, Texas.

Day 1 – My journey to Costa Rica, the Rich Coast, began at 4 AM on a crisp Sunday morning. 

Day 2 – Arrival into Costa Rica was quite smooth and seamless compared to my recent experiences in Japan where things are done to another level of precision and detail

Day 3 – This morning I woke naturally at 5am as the light was already beginning to make its way through my window. 

Day 4 – There is a stretch of beach to the estuary across from Tamarindo where I picked up two native branches that washed onto shore that will make great writing or painting brushes. 

Day 5 – Last night I drifted off to sleep while reading The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

About the Author

Kirk Lee is a Writer, Meditation teacher and nomad currently living in Costa Rica. Kirk has been an explorer on the journey for over 25 years having traveled to 14 countries culminating in a year living in Kyoto, Japan. Kirk writes about travel through the lens of simplicity and kindness to be found in people and places of every culture. Explore Kirk’s travel journals at https://zenandink.substack.com/

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