Travelling Titles

Too many people have said to me, You know you’re going to Costa Rica during rainy season, right?  I’ve taken it that they are concerned, not cruel, so I asked J-M what he’s read about the rainy season in all the 11 travel books from which he’s received a complete education.

It would seem that most days it will rain, but not till the afternoon or evening. The amount of rainfall varies depending on the region you’re in.  Since we’ll be all over the map, we can assume that we will, indeed, experience rainfall.  The country isn’t Costa Sol, it’s Costa Rica.  This might be the first tropical trip I’ve taken where I’ll return less tanned than when I left.  Anyway, this trip is meant to be a retreat and an adventure, rain or shine.

I’ve decided to bring lots to read for those rainy days.  I went out and bought 11 books of my own!  Not travel books on Costa Rica, mind you, but still 11!  J-M calculated out loud that that would be more than one book a day during our trip. I can take a hint so I whittled it down to these five titles (that’s 2.2 per day and don’t forget there are a couple of long plane rides in there) which I think will be the perfect travelling companions:

Costa Rican Spanish, by Lonely Planet – (This is actually the sixth book and it doesn’t totally count because it will mostly be used when we venture out when it’s not raining.) I have been going all Dora the Explorer on my family, practicing my limited Spanish phrases (learned on a short-term mission trip to Bolivia in 1991 = inaccurate). I’m happy to confirm that counting to ten, asking, “Where is the bathroom?” and saying “Thank you!” remain the same.  However, a Costa Rican distinctive includes the phrase Pura Vida! (pure life) which is used to ask “Everything fine?” and “How’s it going?” and also say, “Great!”  “Cool!” “Right on!” etc.  Dora has never been so hip!

Rumors of God, by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson – The tag line is “Experience the kind of faith you’ve only heard about.”  Bought this on sale at Treasure House earlier this year. I’m hoping to be renewed on this holiday by a book like this because I completely believe in those rumours.

She Writes – This is a collection of short stories written by “youngish women.”  That and it’s $2 price sticker drew me in.

The Conde Nast Traveler, Book of Unforgettable Journeys, Great Writers on Great Places – Self-explanatory.

At Home, A Short History of Private Life, by Bill Bryson – Again with the sales! This one, 50% off.   He’s written some travel books.  He’s supposed to be funny.  This I heard in the bookstore when someone else was contemplating buying a Bryson book and his friend had read a bunch and had never been disappointed.  In this book, Bryson takes us on travels of a different kind, around his own house.  This will be my inspiration when I write in detail about the inside of our hotel rooms.

Bad Trips – another collection of stories, another travelling book, but this is of “worst trips possible.”  It will make me feel better if we really are trapped in torrential downpours for the whole 10 days. Perhaps even give me something to write about myself since “The only aspect of our travels that is guaranteed to hold an audience is disaster…” (Martha Gellhorn).

Bring it, rain.  Pura vida!

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