An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

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Ama Tierra, Costa Rica

By on Sep 18, 2016, 11:31 am in Travel | 1 comment

It’s been a long day of traveling – from New Orleans to Houston, a 3 hour layover in the Houston airport, and finally, the flight to San Jose, Costa Rica.

After a bit of wandering around, Juan and I find each other. His Sign: Gisele Perez; Ama Tierra.

It was a windy, sometimes bumpy, ride on narrow roads to Ama Tierra – and so dark, I wasn’t able to see much of the countryside. Juan, and Eugencio, who greets us when we arrive, get me settled into my comfortable casita, one of several tucked in beneath the trees. Overnight there was a pounding rain on the tin roof – and what sounded like a mighty rush of wind. I was to find out in the following days that there was no wind, really, just a heavy curtain of rain that produces the sound.

I’ve journeyed here to this wellness retreat to counteract decades of the effects of modern life – a less than optimally nutritious diet, stress, physical wear and tear – on this aging body.

There’s a plastic tub in the room with a few supplies – Epsom salts and Purify essential oil for soaking, coconut oil for mouth swishing, a loofah for dry brushing, and detox instructions and schedules. Early morning – cleansing drink and breakfast (a protein shake), late morning – juice or detox tea, lunch, more juice or tea in the afternoon, and dinner. And please, lie on the Bio-Mat for at least a half hour each day.

There is yoga at 7:30, between cleansing drink and breakfast. I didn’t make it to yoga that first morning, but when I joined the other two on the dining deck for breakfast (mine is a muddy looking shake), this is the view that greeted me:




On the drive up,  Juan had told me that tomorrow would be Independence Day. There have already been parades and parties all day today, he said, and indeed, we hear the beat of parade marching drums the next morning from the deck.

And when I finally did make it to yoga the following morning this is the view awaiting me from the studio in the thatch roofed structure that housing it along with a massage room, a small gym and Jill’s (co-owner with her husband, Bob, Chinese herbalist, and detox chef- in-charge) office:




It is truly beautiful here. The clouds nestle in varying patterns over the mountains morning and evening. In the mid to late afternoon, the clouds usually cover them completely and there is a hard rain. There is a full canopy of trees (now I see what that term means) surrounding and below us. There are buzzards and hawks flying overhead, toucans and hummingbirds (even a resting one) in the tree branches. Geckos everywhere, and iguanas sun themselves on the steps, scuttling out of the way just briefly as we walk by – and myriad varieties of colorful butterflies.




The detox regimen has been easy, enjoyable even. The soups are delicious. The morning shakes are tasty, in spite of their muddy appearance, juices throughout the day, with perhaps a handful of almonds, or sliced fruit or raw vegetables, with salads (dressed only with a squeeze of an indigenous citrus that looks like a lime on the outside, a tangerine on the inside, and tastes like a Meyer lemon), or steamed greens for dinner. Only the bitter detox tea that I sip 2-3 times a day, is unpleasant tasting.

I am so thankful to have given myself this gift. Grateful to be feeling so good, and for Jill’s care and expertise.

P.S. My IPad which was fully charged, went black as soon as I turned it on, and never returned. The gentleman sitting next to me on the plane ride to San Jose said his IPhone did the same thing – battery died, he said.  Great! – with no warning. Thanks, Apple. Fortunately, Heidi, was visiting Ama Tierra now, from London, saved the day with the few pics she’s generously shared. More of them below…















    1 Comment

  1. What a beautiful place to recharge (and I don’t mean your iPad)! GREG

    Avatar sippitysup

    September 19, 2016

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