Weekly Photo Challenge – Unlikely

One of the things I most appreciated during my visit to Costa Rica is the “farm to table” experience at La Carolina Lodge while on the Six Petals Rainforest Retreat. This resonated with me since I am a farmer on the West Coast of B.C. and base my diet mainly on what I grow in my garden. I found it very intriguing to see the different plants that grow in Costa Rica.

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As much as I knew that the diet was going to revolve around rice and veggies, I had never seen rice grow or what the plant looked like up close. So it would have been very Unlikely for me to walk out in the garden and guessed it was rice growing all around! Eventually, as part of the retreat we were given a garden tour and got the low-down on all the plants they grow, how they preserve them and cook from their garden. It was a very cool experience.

 

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Close-up of a rice plant with a glimpse of the grains sheltered inside the stalk.

Six Petals Retreat – Costa Rica

My Six Petals Retreat was an amazing experience! I was so happy to land at the La Carolina Lodge – a wonderful 172-acres resort nestled in the middle of the Costa Rican rain forest. I spent a luscious seven days of self-care with a full menu of Pilates, yoga, meditation, delicious food created on site through a “farm to table” service, wood-fired hot tubs, and microdermabrasion facials and massages by the river.

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The owners of the lodge, Bill and Karen Harrell, have created a family of Ticos (an affectionate nickname for the people of Costa Rica) with so much talent that they are happy to share with the guests.

Alejandro, a local guide and cowboy with an impressive knowledge of medicinal plants and animal husbandry (he tends cows, pigs, horses, and chickens) as well as serious gardening skills, took the ladiesimg_8283

horseback riding (I opted out due to my neck issues), and he also took us to Rio Celeste where we tracked a tapir and saw a family of monkeys. We also saw sloths, parrots, toucans and so much more on the vast property that is so incredibly well taken care of…. and the colours of the tropical flowers growing lushly everywhere blew my mind! Every evening before dinner, the retreat facilitator Teana would read us a poem or passage by Thich Nhat Hanh or Susan Piver to give thanks to the kitchen crew for the incredible dinners they made us night after night.

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We all sat together and enjoyed the sumptuous meals and appreciated all the work that went into them – growing, harvesting and preparing rice, black beans, veggies, cheese, breads, fruits, chocolate, coffee, and meat! All grown on-site alongside 5000 pineapple plants! I found it all to be very inspiring considering I arrived home just  in time to get started on our garden planting season.

We did 3 hours of yoga, Pilates and meditation every day, as well as went on walks and enjoyed each other’s company.

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On International Women’s Day, Teana organized a day of silence and it was a pretty great way to share our support with the marches around the world as well as a learning experience to go within; we also went on a beautiful walk to the lake on the property where we enjoyed the amazing view and went boat paddling. We supported each other all day and gave thanks to this earth we share – it really was a beautiful experience.

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I’ll never forget this journey I got to share with one of my best friends Maura, as we celebrated our birthdays, met new people, indulged in some well-earned self-care, and brought home so many memories and a new modality practice. xoxo

I invite you to check out all my photos on my Pinterest account here.

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Links to the retreat and the lodge: Six Petals Retreats and La Carolina Lodge