Homeward – leaving Paradise on Earth

FELICITY COWLEY

Flickcowley Photography

Continuing from her last post,

We made our last transfer by private taxi back down the windy paths but this time in daylight. It was sad to be going home after there has been so much to see. We decided that next visit would include the volcanoes and mountains. There is so much to explore despite the land mass being so small. Such a diverse green landscape just waiting to be explored. Once at the airport we collected a few memorabilia from the souvenir shop and made our way to the departure gate. Here we found the guests we’d been staying with at Playa Cativo so we caught up on our last day of adventure. They were snorkelling enthusiasts so although the high mountains weren’t their preference they enjoyed the scenery I could show them.

“We have had such a rich experience that we have been treated with Paradise – there really is nothing quite like it. ”

 

A tropical storm decided to hit San Jose just as we boarded the plane (basically telling us we should just stay!) which would have been fine if we weren’t delayed by the Cabin Crew stuck in traffic. As we were late for our take-off slot the Captain let us know that the airfield was in fact closed due to low level cloud – we needed a window of 800 foot to take off but only had approx 400 visible. Maybe we would have to stay?! I looked on hopeful but the clouds passed and night fell and our slot opened up. We left Costa Rica in mixed cloud and felt like we were leaving behind a dream. From start to finish it was just out of this world – somewhere you need to visit for yourself to truly appreciate the serenity and inquisitiveness of it all.

We landed in the UK in usual grey cloud and it was all go. We said our goodbyes to our new acquaintances along our travels and collected our bags. Car to train, train to train, train to car. All this time I had been explaining to the Ticos (Costa Ricans) about where I live in the UK – Devon – a bit like their country – its green and rains for a substantial part of the year but its just a lot colder. I looked out of the train window and thought, no its not like that at all. Its like whilst I had been away someone had turned down the saturation filter over the UK because nothing looked green any more. At that moment my Poppy messaged to say “I’m confused; the birds just look dull now.” We have had such a rich experience that we have been treated with Paradise – there really is nothing quite like it. Once I made it home I stopped before unloading everything to check my watch. It was 8:30pm UK time. It was still light. What a novelty! Our nine day adventure had some truly high moments, scary moments, fascinating moments and more importantly some seriously amazing ones. I will never forget my experience here and again I have some fantastic people to thank for the opportunity.

I am so thankful to both The Eden Project for the creation of the competition and Tribes Travel for creating an incredible, unforgettable, breathtaking, stress free experience which truly was out of this world. From start to finish we were looked after, collected, transferred, provided with tickets of  where to be and when. They thought about everything. We had seven glorious days and two days of travel. If you can stay longer it is definitely recommended. At first not being in control of your trip can be confusing but its safe to say that we were looked after at every stage – daily updates were given of important times and schedules so we could relax knowing somebody knew where we were supposed to be. Tribes Travel really excelled my expectations with a fun filled adventure – one in a million! And to The Eden Project – I can never thank you enough for choosing my photograph to win this amazing trip of a lifetime. I feel so honoured. And remember… people do win these things! What’s more; next time it could be you!

I have loved my time in Costa Rica, a true Paradise. A land so small yet so diverse. It is truly one of those places which captures you and draws on the heart strings. The people are kind and welcoming, they are friendly and forthcoming and the guides are so knowledgable because they want to bring the magic to you, to join in their passion for the World, the environment, for nature, and for the planet. It challenges you to remember to look at the World in a new perspective. To protect the land on which we live, so that it will be here for others to enjoy – in an attempt to protect the World they have opened up the door for it to flourish – to grow beside us in harmony. The land is captivating, the flora, the fauna, the richness, the colours and the fact that it is home to five percent of the worlds biodiversity in a space of 0.3 percent of the planets entire surface. It is incredible. So stunning to gaze upon and just so much to see. Take a step too quick and you have missed 10 different sets of eyes watching you pass by be of wildlife, insects, plants, trees. It is beautiful. A place which never sleeps.

I have learnt so much about the environment, the biodiversity, the wildlife, from the people who live and work in amongst the rainforests everyday. Their expertise for birdsong and plant life is so engaging, with complete passion, heart, enthusiasm, joy and delight. They are just as excited to see a Toucan as you are! And what’s more it’s genuine. It is real. These people care. And they want to share it with you so you have an incredible experience but at the same time protecting the environment being at one with nature, letting it co-exist with human interaction rather than encroach on their land and ways of life so that more can one day enjoy it too.

I never expected I would be one of those people who enter a competition to win a holiday and actually walk away with the top prize! Not only did this happen but through a Photography Competition – my favourite free-time passion. It sounds like a cliche to say ‘Does anybody actually win these prizes?’ and my response is now yes! Please enter! It could be you.