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A wrong turn.

Kurt Vonnegut once said that a step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction. For me, the step in the right direction after our wrong turn was to step back and take a few minutes to appreciate the remarkable day we just experienced.

Brenda and I had only been in Santa Teresa for a few days but were fortunate enough to quickly make new friends. We met a fantastic couple from Detroit who’ve been spending a few weeks at the Funky Monkey Lodge the past few years. They in turn had befriended a young man named Martin, from Italy. He was traveling throughout Costa Rica as one last hoorah before heading back home. After just finishing Grad school at Tulane University in New Orleans, this was a vacation before having to start work.

We had all gone different directions throughout the day but happened to run into each other at a remote beach near Mal Pais.  Looking to do a bit of exploring, we threw Martin on the back of one of the quad runners we had rented and headed out. After driving up and down a few dusty roads looking for a mystery resort that Barbara and Ken knew of, we took a turn that I felt fairly confident was in the wrong direction. The only thing wrong was my assessment of where we were.

After climbing up a hill that appeared to go nowhere, we pulled into Hotel Vista de Olas. I’m not sure what they have for accommodations, but what Vista de Olas does have is an outdoor bar and infinity pool with a jaw dropping view of the sunset.  It is one of those views that will literally take your breath away. Perched high on the hillside, the bar and pool face directly west with an unobstructed view of the ocean and sun.

DSCF0273The hotel allows non-guests to use the pool for a fee. For only $8, you get a drink and access for the sunset. We never gave it a second thought. We floated throughout the pool, sipping on some unknown concoction and marveling at where we were.  As the sun began to set everyone crowded around the edge for the best view and to take a few pictures. It truly felt surreal. Just a few days ago Brenda and I were back in Wisconsin, fighting through the bitter cold, only dreaming about our time in Costa Rica. The reality of the evening was better than any dream we could have imagined.

I still think about that day and how new friendships can be cemented by unexpected events. Opportunities like this don’t happen very often and that’s unfortunate. The best we can do is to truly appreciate them when they do occur and be thankful.

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Ken, Martin, and Barbara

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