Pura Vida

“Pure life” as they say in Costa Rica. It is a frequently used expression indicating a greeting, a farewell, and to express satisfaction.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I left Costa Rica with a determination to return and do all those things I didn’t have time for: Canopy gliding., windsurfing, and rafting to name a few. I also want to learn how to surf. Maybe when I am retired.

After leaving San José I got  a lift from Alejandro over the mountains. His nephew Daniel then gave me a lift further on after stopping at his farm to load up some feed for his cattle.

Then I rode over the Cordillera via Lago Arenal. here is a shot of mount Arenal with the peak hidden by clouds.

While riding I came across three guys who were biking from northern North America to southern South Americas (in the cycling world we call them end-to-enders.) They left Prudhoe Bay, Alaska 20 months ago and expected to arrive in Tierra del Fuego in another year.  When I met them they had cycled over 18,000 km. They were trying to do the whole trip on back roads (dirt). So their equipment was  little strange. Here is one of them, a guy who called himself Goat, and his bike. Not sure about the bare feet.

Here´s a few last pix. The lonely road:


Finally, I came across this button for sale. At least some people have seen enough gringos!

The importance of family.

My time with the Ariases left me with an awareness of the important of family. I noticed that despite all their business ventures they always had time to watch their daughter’s football game, or their son’s bicycle race, or attend a ceremony for academic achievement for one of their kids. It occurred to me that these simple but time consuming activities are the basis of good parenting. It´s the small gestures that show support that give children confidence and helps them to succeed.

I read a story recently comparing American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Joseph Kennedy in terms of their parenting ability. FDR’s kids had to make appointments to see their father, and ultimately all led tumultuous lives overshadowed by their famous parents. They had among the five of them them nineteen marriages and fifteen divorces.

Kennedy, on the other hand, said once, “my business is my family and my family is my business.” His support, dedication and devotion to his children helped give them the confidence and ability to succeed in politics like few other families.

9 thoughts on “Pura Vida

  1. Nicole February 14, 2008 / 5:05 am

    The deeply profound, introspective thoughts expressed in this blog must be the work of an imposter. Who the hell are you, and where is Kevy? Just kidding…sorta.
    Damn Kev…you’ve come a long way since your last bike trip…getting all reflective and shit on me. This trip may be hell on your knees, but it’s working wonders on your soul (and I don’t mean the sole of your shoe). Keep on keepin’ on.
    Love, peace, and chicken grease,

  2. Debbie Black February 14, 2008 / 7:30 am

    Hey Kev –

    Speaking of family — did you visit your Dad in Costa Rica?

    And if you ever want a crash course in parenting, I’d be glad to rent you my boys for a few weeks . . . . cheap! 😉 My 5-year-old learned to ride a bike in approximately 20 seconds. You two could talk cycling!

    Where are you now?


  3. Sharon in Trinidad and Tobago February 15, 2008 / 2:17 am

    Hey Kev,
    Pura Vida to you! You still have that every growing list of things to do? You should trash it. This bike trip beats them all back into submission.

    Regarding family, parents shape the present world and the future world with what they teach their children daily. That’s the reality. Some of us don’t know…or we just pretend that we don’t know the important role we play in our children’s lives.

    My daughter is off to medical school in September and my eldest son is in the military here in Trinidad and the baby, not much of a baby any more, will begin high school in September. Not bad for a single mother of three.

    If you need any tips or advice on parenting in the new millennium don’t hesitate to ask. I’m just a click away.

    Much love and blessing to you on your journey. Thanks again for your very introspective update.

    Sharon Lee

  4. Capt. Don Kilpela Sr. February 15, 2008 / 1:21 pm

    We’re here in South Palm Beach awaiting your return to Florida. Get those knees oiled up because we are her only until May 1. I haven’t yet located your dad but will keep trying. Whatever happened to Katrina? She hasn’t blogged for what seems like ages. Those four kids must be occupying her free time.

    See you on South Beach….I hope.

  5. Kevin Koski February 16, 2008 / 12:05 am

    Thanks for the comments everyone. Nicole, if I had a blog on my last trip I guess I would have been equally introspective. There just ain’t much else to do sometimes when you are alone on the road eight hours a day. Just think about stuff.

    Deb, that has been my idea for a long time: to rent (or lease) a child beforehand to make sure you are the parenting type. If not, you can return it. Somehow the idea has not caught on. But judging by how many screwed up kids (and parents) there are in this world, we need to consider some radical alternatives. Or, as the artist Jenny Holzer wrote: “Stupid people shouldn’t breed”.

    I did not see my Dad in Costa Rica. He is still in Florida I think.

    Sharon, I think you are right, but most parents don’t want to make the sacrifices neccessary to be a good parent. They still want their careers, social life, etc. That is why becoming a parent, I think, is the single most important decision a person can make. If you are not prepared to give it 100% you shoud not do it. My sister is a good example. She has spent the better part of 13 years as a full time mother. Trying to find an outlet for her artistic expression in between kids’ naps and school has been difficult and it has been a major sacrfice. But well worth it. My neices and nephews are the greatest!

    Don, I will be back home March 16 for three weeks. So plan on coming over for another snack at the colorful Mangoes on Ocean drive. Katrina must be busy. I not heard from her but I hope she gets the nudge. We need more updates from Japan.

  6. DAD February 16, 2008 / 3:50 am

    Im still here in Fl but will be back in C.R. on the 16 of april—DAD

  7. Jim February 17, 2008 / 11:58 pm

    My friend Bonnie, and I will be visiting Don in Florida 3/17 through 3/20. It would be great if we could see you! Just had eye surgery and my doctor has ordered me to stay off my bike for 3 weeks. Bummer!

  8. Kevin Koski February 18, 2008 / 12:06 am

    Jim, that would be great. I will be home at that time. My number is 786-973-0172.

  9. jojo March 1, 2008 / 3:43 am

    Theres nothing bettter in this world than family. There isn’t anyone who accepts youu entirely for what you are. I feel we have an excceptionally closse family(you rarely see a lone kilpela)and I barely know anyone anymore who knows, let alone keeps in touch, with their first cousins!
    In response to the concept of renting a kid, so to speak, for a while to see how it works….well, all I know is that when I use to watch other people’s kids and then finally got my own…well, lets just say there ain’t no kid like your own. You can tolerate and love anything about your own kid, but another person’s kid? Forget it! with the exception of maybe your nieces and nephews. So I’m afraid that trying a kid on for siZe doesn’t work. But hey, the real deal is like something you’d never dream it could be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *