South to Somewheresville Hot

 

Screen shot 2013-01-18 at 13.56.11Interestingly, walking from Atlanta to Costa Rica would take 1005 hours according to Google, although presumably you’d want to stop from time to time, if only to take in the view. Driving, says Google, would take 55 hours, which is interesting because I’ve done that drive and it took 5 months, although, to be fair, we did take a few detours and lie around in hammocks here and there, and it was 1992 so perhaps they’ve improved the roads. Anyway, I flew via Fort Lauderdale and Miami, left at breakfast time and arrived for lunch. It’s pretty easy to escape.

It’s a loathing of snow as much as a curiosity about the world that keeps me heading south in search of somewheresville hot. I’ve been mugged in Belize and had some scrapes in Colombia, but Costa Rica is a country I like. It’s a place I use as punctuation in the sentence of life, a place I head to for a think whenever I’m not sure what to do next. One time when I did that, I lived there for many years, travelling north to south and coast to coast, and from Mexico to the aforementioned Colombia for work – as a reporter not a drug mule, although immigration took a bit of convincing about that. My boy, George, was born there, near the cathedral and, incidentally, some lady boy bars, in downtown San Jose. We were all very happy for a while. Among locals and settlers I met people, mainly eccentric people, I admired very much, and made several good friends. One, who fits all categories, has offered me the use of his somewhat isolated, boat access only, beach house to finish a book (that’s writing, not reading . . . although if there’s ever a good place to read airport thrillers, this is it). By way of a small return, I’m to dust off my tourism development and marketing consultancy credentials, help with overhauling the information packs and doing a bit of this and that up the hill at his luxury tourism lodge and rainforest reserve.

I know this house well and I love it. I also love papaya, ceviche, warm sea, empty beaches, big colourful squawking birds and temperatures of 28 degrees, so I’m going to go, and hopefully be at least slightly useful until Britain warms up again.

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