by Rick Hudson
I lived a hundred lifetimes of vacation my first day at Blue Osa! I already had stellar expectations coming in, but I didn’t expect that even those would be surpassed in such spectacular fashion.
I woke up to a healthy breakfast – the first in a while – and after purging years of cheeseburgers and beer from my veins with a single organic meal, I embarked upon a morning tour of the Osa wildlife sanctuary with a half-dozen of my new found friends.
This incredible location is accessible only by boat, and our sharp-eyed local captain spied Humpback Whales during the crossing. This turned out to be a mother training her calf to fish in the shallow, sheltered waters of Golfo Dulce before taking the new baby out to the open sea. We played a scaled-up game of cat-and-mouse with these incredible animals for half an hour before leaving them behind to go visit the monkeys about which we had heard so much.
I thought that perhaps a visit to a monkey sanctuary might involve seeing a few species confined to cages, but to our surprise, Carol had a monkey on her shoulders when she greeted us on the beach! This amazing animal proceeded to work the crowd, climbing up onto all of our laps and giving us uncannily clear instructions on where she wanted to be petted and scratched. I spent fifteen minutes in mute conversation with an animal that shared 98% of my genome, and the wordless communication was an unforgettable experience.
We then toured the facility, learning an astounding amount about local fauna and seeing a bewildering variety of exotic animals including squirrel monkeys, three-foot iguanas, toucans, sloths and more.
On the way back to Blue Osa an hour later, our captain again spied something incredible: a pod of Pacific Bottlenose dolphins, who played in our boat’s wake for nearly forty-five minutes. These were the opposite of the shy Humpbacks, more than willing not only to play in our wake but also to put on a show for our cameras. More than fifty dolphins – some swimming just a few meters from the boat – entertained us until we were low on fuel, when we finally had to leave them and their aquatic ballet behind.
Needless to say, when I got back to the retreat, I was somewhat overwhelmed and ready for a little solitude, so I wandered up to the Yoga Studio for some quiet contemplation. As the sun set over a backdrop of crashing ocean waves, fireflies danced before me in the garden to the silvering rays of the tropical moon.
I felt as if I were watching a movie of my own life: a day fantastically well spent, and only my first taste of what was to be a magical week at Blue Osa.
I will certainly be back – and when I return, I shall cherish every moment as I did that first day. In the meantime, after only a week of wonderful food, great camaraderie and fantastic ecological outings, I truly do feel as if I’ve lived a lifetime of vacations, all crammed into a single trip.