I just finished doing some yoga with an adorable hostel kitty here at the lush Cascada Verde hostel in Uvita… ahhhh! We just returned from 4 days at Envision Festival, which was amazing and I’m still processing it all. We’ve all had very little sleep this weekend, but have definitely had our fill of sunshine, days by the waterfall and beach, humid jungle heat, and soooooo much mind-blowing live music and art and food. The people here are beautiful and friendly and we’ve been meeting lots of fellow travelers and Envisionaries along the way.
We took a long but very scenic bus from San Jose through the hills and down to the Pacific coast on Tuesday. The bus was full of other festival goers and we made friends along the way. We arrived in Uvita and grabbed a ride in the back of a taxi’s (or maybe it was just some local’s?) flatbed truck with our luggage up the hill to a lush shady oasis called Cascada Verde. This adorable hostel makes me feel like we’re staying in a Swiss Family Robinson treehouse – with big open terraces full of hammocks and a chorus of cicadas, birds, and jungle life to sing us to sleep.
Before Envision we got to cool off at a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole just down the road from the hostel, where we also ended up going to escape the daytime heat during the festival. We got to slide down a waterfall, sip frosty beverages (my favorite is a gingery lime blend called agua de sapo, which translates as toad water but tastes way better than it sounds), jump into cool pools and spin in the shade.
Envision had the vibe of a lot of our favorite west coast transformational festivals and was full of positive, inspiring, talented people—locals and travelers from all over the world. It was held at a big private ranch in Uvita with direct access to Playa Hermosa. We walked in to see huge stacks of Funktion One speakers and gave them a big hug as we realized we were home… they kept us rocking all weekend to many a crunchy beat. Ruben, one of five in our travel group, had an early arrival pass so he went in with all our tents and nabbed us a shady camping spot. We spent most of our time dancing at one of the stages, gawking at amazing visual and performance art, body surfing in the ocean, hanging in hammocks, cooling off by the waterfall, and walking around a lot. We saw so much excellent music! I finally had my first live Tipper experience. Tipper played two sets, one Saturday night and one to welcome the sunrise this morning. The Polish Ambassador, Mr. Rogers, Whitebear, Plantrae, kLL sMTH, Wildlight, Pumpkin, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Papadosio, Rising Appalachia and many other great acts shared the stage with fire spinners, dancers, aerialists and performers. Our feet ache from all the dancing and exploring for sure. James and I got to spin fire at sunset at the beach, which was beautiful except that we used citronella tiki torch fuel after our fruitless searches for white gas (it works, kinda, but it was gross, don’t do it!)
The heat and humidity here are oppressive and even at night it barely cooled down enough for us to dance or spin for too long at a time. We are happy to be back at Cascada Verde hostel today to rest and relax before we plan the rest of our journey. We met up with a friend from Mendo whose Dad lives near here on a small organic farm, and he offered cheap lodging and a chance to learn about cacao harvesting for a couple days in exchange for helping with the harvest and around the farm, so we are headed to Earth Rose Farm in nearby San Isidro. We hope to hit up Monteverde and Arenal after that as we head north to Nicaragua.
It feels like we’ve been here forever already, but it’s only the end of week one of our adventure! Now for some rest before the next chapter unfolds. 🙂