Villas la Paz, ConchalCostaRica.com
In a sense, I have been searching for La Paz (español for “peace”) all my life. Haven’t we all? Oh, and perhaps I have been searching for the Villas de la Paz for many years.
Innocence? Oh, yes. In a sense, I had wanted to stay at the Villas for over 4 years before I knew of the place, and it was another year before we actually made it our temporary home. Heck, “home” is sometimes a difficult, nay, diffyoccult, term — in that ideally one has to “feel” something called “at-home” ed-ness. And … in a sense, I did. This ties into innocence. Looking at the world with wide-eyed wonder. Free from that “guilt thing.” Open-minded, each turn of the road bringing new horizons, new experiences … one shouldn’t, and just can’t have ingrained pre-conceptions …
Five years prior I arranged for my whole family to stay just “a bit” further north — in Troncones, state of Guerrero, Mexico. (Read all about it in my wordpress post. Apologies in advance: I tried to regale would-be readers in my perpetually marginal spanish. If you decide to scroll thru’ — at least my pixures aren’t bad.)
Never-the-less, we had fun. It was tranquil. Everyone related. Whatever we did, we did it together. A rollicking, frolicking group. A family. And … two weeks vacation for me is not quite, but approaching almost enough time.
And so, five years later, I decided it was time to do it again. Someplace different this time. Don’t ask how I decided on the Villas La Paz — I honestly don’t and can’t remember — internet searches can take so many twistenturnz azzittizz any-weigh.
The closest ‘town’ is either Brasilito (as the crow flies — we could run on the beach and be there in less than 3 miles) but by highway (definition of “highway” is questionable here), Matapalo is the closest. On the internet — conchalcostarica.com — it definitely looks inviting.
One has an idealized version in mind of a place before the actuality. Sometimes one segues into the other, without major seams. Casa de Oro in Troncones was close to seamless. Pretty much exactly as imagined. But they, whoever “they” are, say that you cannot go home again. (Below: Casa de Oro)
And so … ‘home’ can change it’s face, it’s character. Home can embrace, it can bite. A continually changing relationship. I think most of us (perhaps all) would agree that there is something, things, beyond words’ ability to pin down about the concept of “home.” Maybe only math can describe. But being the eternal optimist, I wanted to and tried to “go home again.”
I queried the three groups of my family. I had a span of several weeks in mind — when would everyone be able to coincide? I also announced that I’d pay for MOST the trip. I would manage the rental of a place and of a vehicle. Both my kids agreed to pay half the airfare. And I would have several months of installments to try to pay it off.
I didn’t know then that my daughter and husband would take on an elevated level of debt and expenditures (new house, car, child) and so I waived them of fiscally assisting my plan. And I didn’t know that my son would simply inexplicably butt-headedly flake out on financial aid. For a while I expected him and lady-friend to not show up. Betty and I have no idea WHY sonny-boy has become so … rude. Definitely not “open” to us. Distant.
‘Nuff said on that. Let’s try to have fun, anyway.
Cards. (and banana-grams. I kiggtass @ bananagramz!)
Group meal prepare-a-thons.
Okay, this (Ben) isn’t exactly a “group” — but Ben sometimes allowed others to co-prepare …
Eddie eatin’ the sandia (wadamellin)
Playing with baby. Babies.
Beer, and rum. The sun shines on Shannon? She needs it.
The wildlife. The “taunting-jays” (borrowed from the Mocking-Jay of Hunger Games infamy). They are actually called “Magpie-Jays.” You have to watch out if you leave a plate of food un-attended — as they’ll quickly swoop on over to get what they can. Pretty birds, though — aren’t they?
The magpie jays were continual ‘guests’ (or were we?)
Parking the van.
Oh yeah, the pool.
Following, the view from above. The Villas are a few hundred feet downhill, and about a half-mile from the beach.
Rachel and Henry at Rincon Lodge. Okay, it ain’t “here” at V. la Paz, but aren’t they cute?
I include this Volcan Rincon (de las Viejas) Lodge ‘nod’ as a reminder that if you’re staying at V. La Paz, the Rincon Volcano National Park is about 100 km (60 mi) away. You can drive there in under two hours. Good to know if you want a day or two away from the beach and be up in the mountains.
Hangin’ at the communal table.
Vecinos (neighbors). There are other accomodations under the umbrella (as it were) of Villas La Paz. Fortunately the two ‘big’ houses are, to a degree, estates unto themselves. We had the big porch, thatched roof overhead, plenty of room to lounge and whatever. Everyone shared the pool.
Betty was mildly impressed that during her conversations with some of the other tenants, they asked how in the heck did we (as extranjeros) ever find this place? Most of the vecinos were from elsewhere in Costa Rica, and this vacation hideaway was, so the impression Betty got, like a Costa-Rican-only secret. Below, Betty @ what Tiggerz do best, five years earlier, further north …
I asked the manager, and at other times “the help” for something, and even though I usually said “it can wait” or “tomorrow” — most the time after a request, they got on it, whatever it was, pretty quick. Andres provided Betty with a guitar! and he pulled out a beach umbrella, and boogie boards. I asked Eduardo if it was possible for us to have another hammock, as just one for our group was not enough. “No hurry,” I said, “perhaps tomorrow?” And he assembled one that afternoon.
Betty and I realized that Rachel and Ben (and Henry and Eddie) should have the biggest, nicest room — also closest to the communical porch and kitchen. The very next day they commented on noises from their roof. Scratching, scurrying sounds. We’re pretty sure it was iguanas. They named them “Iggy and Guanita.”
Later, there was Stardust. Iggy and/or Guanita or perhaps Stardust were able to crack a small window and crawl into the kitchen one of our first nights there. The following morning I puzzled over the tomato out on a nearby roof, with another stuck in the cracked pane. “The help” (Julio) fixed that the next afternoon. Later Julio and compadres installed a layer of screen mesh over all the window-spaces, as it was obvious Guanita and gang and other thieving hungry scoundrels were testing the windows practically every night.
Guanita? ever on the prowl
Oh yes, we had “otros ladrones” (thieves) — and learned the words for sorro (skunk), mapache (raccoon), etc. Skinny neighborhood cats learned which of us they could approach for leftover treats.
And the “ruido de los monos” (howler monkey noises). It wasn’t until we began to encounter the howlers (the locals called them “congos”) that we knew what the unique sound was. Like something from the TV series “Lost” — or, I thought, screeching of truck tires around sharp corners somehow teleported to my ears from distant mountains.
And so, for the time being, this concludes Rosco’s “Coasta to Welcome Rica” series. Who knows, there’s plenty more, but of course it will wait. Que le vaya bien, everybody.