Well hello there! Pura vida, or pure life, from La Fortuna Costa Rica!
Our flight from LAX left at 12:20 am. When we finally began our descent into San Jose ten hours later, I let out a few choice expletives. From the view of our tiny plane window, two seats over, I thought for sure we had arrived in Jurassic park. There must be a dinosaur around here SOMEWHERE.
But really, Costa Rica is lush, mountainous, and tropical. Everyone so far has been amazingly friendly.
We picked up our 4×4 (sorry environment! It’s necessary for our safety!) and headed up the narrow roads that lead to Arenal, one of the volcanoes in Northern CR. Phew, harrowing. You are driving up switchback roads that are barely two lanes across, with blind spots every km, not to mention the semis barreling down the mountain or the wideloads carrying chopped up sugar cane, all while PASSING the semis struggling up the steep incline. I closed my eyes a lot. Michael did wonderful, and on only five hours of travel sleep, one of which occurred on the airport floor. Plus we’re navigating using maps and a compass only. SKILLS!
We arrived at our lodge around 6:30, dropped off everything, and headed back out to Bosque to get some eats. We ate at a sweet little open air family restaurant, fish and rice dishes, and flan for dessert. Immediately asked for the check because we were beat!
I jumped in the pool when we got back to the lodge, because you’ve just got to wash that airport stink off, dried off, and promptly fell asleep.
Today we went on our white water rafting adventure. White water rafting terrifies me. A lot. Once on a standard Fish Creek camping trip, we met a young man working at our favorite brekki place, The Lumberjack Inn in Tupper, who had quite a story to tell about wwr. Pretty much his father went on a huge trip with a bunch of friends and the boat flipped for some reason and all but his father perished. So sad. And has had me frightened of this experience for years and years. But I decided to face my fear and try to recognize that that tragedy was also a freak accident. Which leads us to me facing my fear today.
We scheduled it through Desafio, and if you plan on going on this type of day trip, I’d recommend this company. Ask for Jose to be your guide. He is awesome and competes internationally in white water rafting. Plus he’s way more fun than any of the other guides we ran into that day.
I’m getting side tracked. We were teamed up with a family of four from Oz by way of Minnesota. Lovely family and really helped make the trip a lot of fun. They bussed us to the river, with a pit stop at a grocery for bathrooms and sloth viewings (woohoo! We saw two sloths and a giant iguana!). At the river we received a quick rafting lesson. Prepped with a life jacket, a paddle, a serious helmet, and the advice to not put sunscreen on the backs of our legs, we climbed in the boat and paddled off! Only to be splashed immediately by Jose, whose main goal seemed to be providing the most fun while getting us the most wet.
The rapids were fun. We had a superb time just paddling along for the bumpy ride. Plus all of the nature you get to view from the river! Michael ‘rode the bull’ through some rapids, which is basically where you sit on the very front o the boat holding the rope and waving one hand in the air. Hilarious.
We stopped for a quick jump off of a cliff into the river. Fun fun fun. They had watermelon and pineapple sliced up for us for a snack after, which was important considering all of the water that went up my nose when I hit the water.
I fell out. I was the only person to fall out without being pushed. They tell you to just float on your back when it happens, and I did have to fight the urge to roll on my belly and doggy paddle. Another raft dragged me to our raft and Jose pulled me in the boat.
Our trip ended not long after and we were treated to a typical Costa Rican lunch of beans, rice, platanos, fish, palm hearts, and cabbage slaw. It was delicious. We were certainly hungry after all of the paddling.
Back at the hotel, we decided to head toward Arenal to see if we couldfet a better view of the mountain top. We did, and I’ll post pictures later, but even better was the rope swing we found.
We swung off of a skinny little rope and when we surfaced from underneath we were face to face with a huge water fall. I love Costa Rica! In desperate need of some relaxation after the fearful swing, we stopped in at one of the hot springs to relax and enjoy the warm water. Hot springs are awesome.
Dinner was another tipico de casado, or house dish, with rice, beans, fish, yuca, salad, and cheese for about 3 USD. Good eats for cheap!
Bed time now, as we’ve got quite a drive for the next leg of our adventure: Corcovado national park. We’ll be spending two days there, hiking and camping, among snakes, spiders, monkeys, sloths, etc. It’s going to be wild, pun intended.
Ciao ciao, buenos noches,