Our first few days in Costa Rica have been awesome! When I was originally planning our first destination I had an inkling we'd be a bit off the beaten path, and indeed we are! Although the 36 hours of traveling was a bit painful (including three hours on a bus along a winding and hilly dirt road - not for the faint of stomach), it was definitely worth it, as we've found ourselves in a small farming town (about 150 people) in the middle of an incredible lush and hilly forest.
Villas Mastatal is an organic farm of about 40 acres, owned by a local family & passed down for the last fifty or so years. About half the land is maintained with a mix of fruit trees, veggies, herbs & leafy greens, a grazing area for the cows, a couple chicken coops, a pig pen, a small tilapia pond, and accommodations for the family and up to about 40 volunteers; the other half is left in its natural mostly forested state. It seems to me that Javier, Raquel and their two year old son Andres have it pretty good with their own slice of paradise, and they've been extremely happy to share it with us.
The weather has been warm but not hot, but incredibly humid (it is rainy season, after all). Most mornings seem to be overcast but rain-free, and at some point in the afternoon it will either rain a little or rain a lot. Our biggest challenge has been finding a way to properly dry our clothes to avoid a musty odor - a losing battle thus far.
We've now got the weekend off, so we'll likely spend some time checking out the bar in Mastatal or wandering into the national park to hunt for monkeys (we can hear them screaming at night, but have yet to spot any). On Monday we'll move 1.5 km down the road to Siempre Verde and begin our much anticipated Spanish lessons.