One of our homeowners, Judith Donovan, was recently published in the regional magazine “The Howler.” Her story of finding her new home in Costa Rica and Tierra Pacifica is one that many of our homeowners share!
Dreams Become Reality in Costa Rica
Judith Donovan, The Howler, March 2012
November 2004 was a magical year for Wes and me. We decided to take a vacation in Costa Rica. We both had been there before and loved the country. While our relationship was new this trip became some of the mortar cementing it in place.
A friend had told us of a possible piece of land we could buy for $10,000 near Flamingo Beach where many ex-pats land up. He had bought a similar plot and it had doubled in value in one year. This sounded intriguing and we could vacation besides.
So off we went to explore and rediscover this sleepy, lush, beautiful land. The red and yellow flowers against the bluest of blue skies, the clear water, and a massage on the beach, all deepened our love for each other and this country.
However, when we saw the tiny square piece of land for sale it held no life for us. We did not want to buy something that we would not ever want to live on ourselves. Thus, we were referred to a couple of developers, both from the states, to continue our game of exploration.
Ron was a multimillionaire character who seemed to have laughed his gaudy way to his first million. He gleefully put on my sun hat and drove us off to his next project. This lot was gorgeous and I gazed around at the wonderful view through the trees. “We can cut down all these trees and build a highway up the middle.” “What?” I almost burst into tears. I could not bear to see the land bludgeoned in that style so we said adios to Ron.
Our next developer Greg was a sweet, apparently hard working man possibly on his way to his first million. What a spectacular mountain top lot he showed us with a 360 degree view of forest and Flamingo Beach. It made me tremble in anticipation. But alas, all our questions were answered the same, “I do not know yet.” Greg was still in the pre-planning stage. He suggested we head south to explore other areas less popular than Flamingo Beach and Portrero.
So off we went in our tiny rented car, bumping over rocks and gullies as we dodged pot holes. Suddenly it was more than a deep hole that made our car tilt, it was a flat tire. As we turned around to head back to nearby Tamarindo Beach, to fix the tire, I breathed a sigh of relief. Surely this would discourage Wes, especially after spending a few hours hanging out in the dusty, greasy tire shop. We could relax, have dinner, and enjoy the beach. Wrong! Sometimes it takes awhile to fully know another person. Wes’ eyes were boyishly alight. “Let’s get back on the road south.” He wanted to restart the aborted adventure. We had no idea where we were going but that was not a factor to Wes. Off into the unknown, returning to the dusty road, driving hop scotch around the holes, through cowboy terrain we went. While the cowboys were friendly enough, waving their hats and smiling broadly this did little to assuage my city girl qualms. We often were stopped by cattle being herded across the road, pigs or dogs enjoying siesta in our path, and roosters running by. I felt as if Wes had encapsulated me in his own time capsule. It was like we had been swept back in time to how folks lived in the 40’s or 50’s. I feared I could never live in Wes’ fantasy world of rustic country living. I blocked any sense of Peace I could have felt.
We bounced along for what seemed days, which in reality was perhaps two hours. We breathed in pounds of dust despite the closed windows. Wes, one pointedly focused on the road to no where, lips tightly closed to discussion. I refused to even glance at the inviting mountains or experience the relaxing quaintness. “If he thinks I would live here he is loco.”
Suddenly the road ended smack dab on a huge stretch of beach. I jumped out of the car, gleeful to escape my metal prison and breathe in the smell of my beloved beach environment.
Over to our left was a small beach shack. We were jolted back to the 21st century as our eyes blinked unbelievably. There was a huge sign “come watch the Super Bowl here.” A somewhat scruffy American inquired as to how we had suddenly dropped into his oasis. Wes described our mission as I gazed out to sea. “You must meet my friend Ben. Turn around and go back the way you came for about one mile. I will call Ben and have him meet you.” I followed numbly, “what was this about?” I was sure skeptic.
Sure enough, in a few minutes a handsome professional landscape architect from California was showing us Tierra Pacifica in all its’ well planned grandeur and respect for the land. Ben’s words of “community” “preserve the monkey migration path” and keeping acres of greenery, started melting even my heart. To my amazement, I felt a sense of home coming.
We drove around the well maintained roads, hiked through waist high grass to ultimately “the last lot for sale with an ocean view.”
Over the final three days of our vacation we explored the wider community of Junquillal and experienced the friendliness that further melted our hearts. The sense of community, the blending of Tico, Americans, Europeans, and Canadians was just the mix we craved. Some would gasp as we found ourselves making the decision to follow our dream. Our initial investment went from $10,000 to just over $100,000 with two acres. Maybe we were a bit loco but it sure was exciting and we hoped rewarding.
A few years later we built our house in Tierra Pacifica. Still I tend to pinch myself in disbelief as we found Paradise. The road has even cooperated and is mostly paved! Our fruit orchard is richer each day. Some of the frosting is our adopted hotel dog Biscuit. Who would have ever thought Judith, a cat person would have fallen in love with a dog? Miracles do happen daily in Paradise.
We awake each morning with the monkeys and revel in the joy of each other that this generous country has given us.
And that is how 2004 became the year of magic for Judith and Wes in Costa Rica.