Colin: I burnt my feet. Why can’t I remember to put sunblock on the tops of my feet? WHY???
Barbara: Both El Silencio and The Harmony evoke this new ideal I’ve discovered of the “hotel experience”. It’s not just about sleeping comfortably and eating well (both of which we’ve done to an utmost degree here), but about embracing a true eco-living experience. At El Silencio, it was the 3-hour hike through the rainforest. Here it was the 3-hour horseback ride on the beach and through a nature reserve, spying birds, monkeys, more quati, and an armadillo. Not to mention the 3-hour walk along the beach first thing this morning, traveling across 8 kilometers of pristine sand and water at low-tide.
Deb: The Harmony offers a free “sustainability tour” and “garden tour” where the guests learn up-close how much they respect their environment and use/re-use every single amenity they possess. It not only encourages you to do the same, it makes you wish that every hotel offered a similar experience. Because the truth is, despite environmental consciousness, we are lacking for nothing here.
Barbara: We have outdoor showers off the back of our rooms—I know I said it before, but can I just emphasize again how utterly delicious it is to wash yourself clean in the warm fresh air, looking at lush greenery during the day (above the privacy fence), or at the stars at night.
Colin: I think I showered with one of you today.
Phil: It was me, Colin. They say everyone sounds great when they sing in the shower. Not true.
Barbara: Oh, and PS, the private gardens also have a hammock! Yup, there we were last night, Phil and I in our hammock calling across to Deb and Colin in their hammock, “Can you see Cassiopeia?! There’s the Big Dipper!”
Deb: And … the sexy factor? Through the roof!
Phil: After 3-hours of horseback riding, I have calluses where no man should have calluses.
Barbara: But we saw a sunset that rivals my best memories of sunsets. The pics are great—but they don’t quite capture the fire-orange and deep red that saturated the sky.
Deb: I had not been on a horse since I was ten (during my one year of lessons) and Colin has never been on a horse. Barb and Phil have done it many times! And yet, God bless my husband, there he was, out in front all on his own. His horse had plans for him and those plans included seducing him into the world of horseback riding. Even though at one point his horse lost his footing and Colin almost lost his lunch.
Colin: Only through my expert horsemanship and the fact that my soiled pants glued me to the saddle did I not fall to my certain death.
Barbara: All this to say, we had another awe-inspiring day filled with gentle adventure and utter beauty. I can’t sigh off without mentioning the food again—the food here is sublime. Fresh and complex, familiar and yet unusual, local, with a twist. The Harmony knows its way around a meal!
Deb and Barbara: Don't forget you can still enter to win your own Gift of Happiness here--the site is now over 100,000 strong! Tomorrow we have something very special coming up for you—stay tuned!!
|So many of our meals have been authentic Costa Rican, but each place gives it its own twist.|
|To the left: the pool. To the right: our rooms.|
|Our genial guide, Juan.|