23 August 2016

#GoneGreen2016 | Day 156 | Eco Travel | COSTA RICA | Part 1: IN LUXURY'S LAP AT EL MANGROOVE

Day 156 / 365

At the beginning of July, my husfriend and I embarked on a trip to Costa Rica, an adventure spurred by my brother-in-law’s wedding. I've broken my reflections on our conscious Costa Rican holiday up into six parts to make for easier reading as we descended from luxury resort to airport floor in sanguine succession, below you'll find PART 1 of 6 ...
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Staying at a luxury resort normally wouldn’t be in our budget - nor completely our jam - but as my brother-in-law would be wed to his beautiful bride at one, we piled our pennies to partake.

This was my second step into the world of resorts, and I was slightly apprehensive of the eco and ethical qualities I might be met with, but those that were to be wed are conscious creatures and chose their location wiser than most. 

El Mangroove, though imperfect in its sustainability, was a place where going green went beyond encouraging limited towel washing. Their ethos of recycling was literally holding their foundations, as any trees cleared from the land beneath it in its construction were then built into the structure of the space. Each morsel which met our mouths came from local farms to our table, with sustainable options for all dietary needs. 

The resort had received a certificate for sustainable tourism, a mark which was created as a model of development, seeking to meet the current demands of society without compromising the rights of future generations. 

All that said, we did get in one tiff with them after the wedding as they refused to donate the food we hadn't eaten to those in need, citing lack of staff, transportation and packaging as reason for their inability to send the food to a useful place.

Their lack of circular thought was contrasted by one of the loveliest laws I've come across, which makes all beaches in Costa Rica public, rather than property of the various hotels and estates. This means no rows of matching hotel lounge chairs filled with burnt Caucasians, nor exiled locals unable to enjoy the beauty of their own land. The beach exists as it would if no hotel were there at all, with families of Costa Rican’s enjoying the stunning sunlit days alongside the western visitors who they so graciously shared their country's bounties with.

It was here that we were first met with the 'Pura Vida' vibe, palpably perceived, regardless of where you stay. It’s normal, of course, to have those who work at hotels be kind and helpful, but this was different. It felt less like servitude and more like a hosting, the way a gracious friend treats you when you come to stay. In fact, the whole vibe kind of reminded me of my step mother, who on every visit has somehow already thought of all you will need and (I think) happily does thoughtful things, not because she's tied to duty or expectation, but because she is a generous, kind, and loving being. That’s what the staff felt like there, people who are caring of others always - and it wasn't their job that made them that way.

The sunsets in this cosy bay were so spectacularly stunning each one bubbled up such blissful emotions some amongst us were brought to tears. Perhaps it was that my husfriend’s maternal grandfather, a relatively well known and talented artist painted sunsets similar, or perhaps it was that these harmonious hues awaken something in the soul. Either way, this was what I appreciated most of this place, the beauty of the natural surroundings which everyone, native, visitor or expat, enjoyed with equal access.

Days passed blissfully into nights, surrounded by family and new friends. Such magnificent memories to collect, those found celebrating the kind of lasting love one finds in fairy tales. Memories made even more bewitching when that love it is the type that is built of such layers of reality its roots are intertwined at its foundation in such a way not even the most violent of earthquakes could possibly shake. 

It was an enchanting thing to be embraced in, the cocoon of this cosy loving place, while surrounded by the spectacular family I wed into, to bring my new sister into the family name ... Con't tmrw in PART 2 

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