Our blog ideas competition winner, Beth Pollock, came up with some great suggestions - bagging herself a discounted i-escape trip and the chance to write all about it for our blog. Well, now she’s back from an action-packed family holiday in Costa Rica, here’s the first of her two-part account:
“How beautiful must a country be to convince you to leave your home in Venice to live there?”
That’s what happened to our guide at the gorgeous Finca Rosa Blanca in Costa Rica. Born to Venetian parents, Leo travelled extensively with his family, staying in 37 countries by the time he was 17. But after a short time in Costa Rica, he and his siblings told their parents, “This is where we’re going to stay.”
Leo was our guide for a day. He took us to the Poas Volcano which, although cloud-covered while we were there, allowed us to just see the rim of this still-active volcano. At an altitude of nearly 9000 feet, we enjoyed the short walk to the edge, seeing the hardy plants that lived there (including Poor Man’s Umbrella and Monkey’s Tail fern). After a wonderful lunch in a local restaurant, we shopped in the town of Sarchi, known for its crafts, particularly the hand-painted oxcarts typical of the region. While we were in one shop, we watched an artisan painting one side of a cart with finesse.
Notwithstanding our amazing tour (say hi to Leo if you visit!), the real star was the hotel itself. Finca Rosa Blanca is one of those perfect properties that you almost hesitate to talk about, for fear it will become too popular. We booked side-by-side rooms with our teenage daughters that boasted breathtaking views of the valley from our terraces.
Each evening we enjoyed viewing the twinkling lights of San Jose, before walking down the leafy path to our hotel restaurant. The food was consistently excellent, from the sea bass special to the Costa Rican breakfast with rice and beans that I ordered twice. And their commitment to sustainable tourism is borne out in many ways, including buying most of their supplies from local merchants and supporting several schools and environmental causes.
Stay a few nights at the enchanting Finca Rosa Blanca, and you too may find yourself tempted to leave your own home to live in this beautiful country!
Check out Beth’s own blog at http://ofmusesandmeringues.blogspot.com/