10 Feet Flying – On a very small plane

Costa Rica is not a very large country (geographically) and while we have seen quite a bit of it, we headed back to Colorado last summer knowing that we had so much more of Costa Rica we wanted to explore.  When we officially decided this past Fall to journey back to Costa Rica for another Winter/Spring, we made a promise to ourselves that we would be pro-active in continuing our exploration of this amazing country. Today we begin to fulfill that promise.

Our house in Tamarindo has been rented for the next 4 weeks, so it is the perfect opportunity for us to venture out further and see more of Costa Rica. We also need to renew our Visas so we’re going to head to Panama as well. The plan is to hit San Jose, Bocas Del Toro (Panama), Panama City, the Osa¬†Peninsula, Golfito and Quepos/ Manuel Antonio.

This morning we picked the kids up early from school and headed to the Tamarindo Airport. I use the term airport loosely. Yes, airplanes do land and take off from there, but it is nothing more than a slab of concrete with a tin roof over it. Check in was a breeze, though I must admit that it was the first time I have ever been asked to hop on a scale with my carry on bag over my shoulder in order to determine the proper balance of the plane we were riding in. We didn’t have to remove our shoes, or even go through any security at all.

While we were waiting for the plane to arrive, the same man that sold us some bottles of water and chips took us out on the runway and gave us a tour of his open air, 2 seat helicopter/plane. Turns out he can also teach us how to fly it if we’re interested. Maybe someday..

Shortly after our tour, and a quick round of soccer for the boys, our plane arrived. 10 passengers got off and then we got on the plane with a few other travelers. It reminded me of getting on an elevator (wait for them to get off, and then you get get on). The pilots greeted us, took our tickets and we sat down.

The kids sat in the front row behind the pilots and Erin and I sat directly behind them. This was the smallest plane I’ve ever been on, and I must admit that it was probably the most comfortable plane ride of my life.

After a quick welcome, the engine (yes, engine, not engines) turned on, we pulled a quick U turn and before I knew it we were in the air flying above Guanacaste. The ride itself was pretty smooth minus a few bumps and jolts here and there. Our kids are notorious for puking on planes (and anything else that moves) so Erin and I were continuously checking in with them, and everyone was just fine. It was the first time I was able to tell them to “look out the front window” to keep from getting air sick. Too cool.

We flew at about 7000 feet the whole time, so we were treated to some great views of central Costa Rica. A short 45 minutes later, our Pilot told us it was time to land and within minutes we were back on the ground in San Jose. It’s a 6+ hour car ride to San Jose from Tamarindo, so it was great to fly down in under an hour.

When the plane stopped, I asked Abby what she thought of the plane ride and she looked out the window and said, “Dad, I think I’m going to really like this place!” – The co-pilot turned around with a big smile.

We all hopped off the plane, grabbed our bags, and headed to the terminal. The folks checking the next set of travelers also called us a cab to our hotel. Gotta love the multi-tasking jobs.

Now we are sitting in our hotel room, enjoying the cooler air in San Jose and taking advantage of some time to actually sit down a reflect and write. We have no specific plans for San Jose yet, so I’m excited to see where tomorrow takes us.

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