Pura Vida

Well I’ve finished! After two and a bit weeks my carretas is done! And it looks awesome! (even if I do say so myself).

I finished just in the nick of time after spending much of the afternoon with the photographer and journalist from the Tico Times.

The finished product

The photographer Alberto arrived five hours late (working on “Tico Time” perhaps? Lol) and so those last minute touch ups went a little haywire as Luis and I chatted to him and his girlfriend for more than an hour. Twenty minutes after they left Ashley, the journalist, arrived, and so it was after 6pm before I finally left Luis’.

Ashley asked if she could also pitch my story as a profile yarn for a travel magazine called Afar. Hopefully that works out. I’m nearing 100,000 hits on my site now so it would be nice to have some extra publicity.

But my day today was not about self promotion. It was about the essence of why I decided to do this trip in the first place. As the Costa Ricans say, Pura Vida. Literally translating to¬†“Pure life”, Pura Vida basically means “this is the life”. And what an extraordinary life mine has been during the past 30-odd days.

It may not have been one of the most action packed or high-paced months on my itinerary but that hasn’t made it any less significant. The Costa Ricans have given me an insight into a world where material possessions simply don’t matter, where people with very little are thankful for what they have and not resentful about what they don’t, and where human kindness really is overflowing. There is a reason why Costa Rica often gets voted the happiest place on earth.

So to honour their lifestyle choice, the final addition to my ox cart this evening were the words Pura Vida, Sarchi 2012. It is tradition that each ox cart maker leaves their signature on one side of the cart but Luis insisted he put something on the other side too. In Spanish it reads that I was his best ever student.

I got a bit teary when it came to say my goodbyes. Luis and his family have come to mean the world to me and I will never forget them.

Yislein, Alonso and I

Luis and I

Luis and Yislein

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