Wednesday, June 25, 2008
And We´re BACK!!!
No, not back home - back online (and with a Costa Rican keyboard - which proves challenging) OK, so I skipped Internet at one RUSTIC lodge and the 5-STAR hotel didn´t have Internet that worked *sigh* so that explains why I haven´t posted before. So obvioiusly this will be a LONG post - so settle back for a nice read!! And I don´t know how to do a paragraph so it will all run together. I left you at the beginning of our Rain Forest walk which was wonderful and, guess what? It rained - oh wait, it RAINED and we got VERY wet even with our rain gear - but it was wonderful!! The walk was 3 hours and we had to RUSH to get our luggage ready for the next activity where we STOOD for a hour after walking for 3 - poor legs and feet! Then off to the next hotel. So far we have gone from 5-star hotel in San Jose to "quaint" thatch roof to RUSTIC - 2 kilometers on a rough gravel road. Name Chachagua!! Here we saw yet more fantastically beautiful plants and flowers! God was really showing off for us. So glad he did not make the world black and white! Oh yes, our bathroom had top-half glass walls and a sky-light. We showered with the light off! :-) just to be safe and to protect others passing by! LOL Beautiful place. This is what you want - authentic Costa Rica!! We visited a school on Sunday where the children danced for us and showed us their school. We had bought school supplies with us for them. Then we split in two groups and went to homes for lunch. Our group had 3 daughters there who spoke pretty good English but the mother very little. Delicious food and good interaction. This is Overseas Adventure´s big plus - interaction with locals. On our not so spectacular waterfall walk, we ended up where we saw Coatimundi´s!!! Also had Costa Rican coffee -hot water poured through a "sock" filled with coffee and had bananas right off the tree. Also had an Apple Banana! We found banana flowers and took hilarious pictures! Wait until you see them!! That night it rained hard. Every day it rains in Costa Rica and you just live with it. But the next day it continued to rain. Our next hotel was a 5-Star Spa hotel near the Arenal Volcano. Unfortunately the clouds and rain kept us from having great views. At times you could not even tell there was a HUGE volcano there - it just disappeared. The rain kept us from being able to do our 15 hanging bridge walk but our guide took us to a spot that night where we got glimpses inbetween clouds of the hot lava going down the mountain and you could tell the eruptions by the pink glow in the clouds. The next day we took a boat ride down the Rio Frio where we saw lots of wildlife - birds, caymans (alligator family) and lots of Howler monkeys. Our guide could imitate the alpha male howl so they ¨"conversed" and it was great. Ben got lots of pictures. Monkeys really put on a show swinging from branches. It was Great1!! Then we were fortunate enough to find a White-faced caspucian monkey. He or she was eating and gave us a great photo opportunity for several minutes. Fantastic trip!! The river flowed through Nicaragua and on the way back to the hotel there was a checkpoint for illegals. Costa Rica has the SAME problem with illegals as USA. CR doesn´t want to do the manual field labor so 80% of the workers are from Nicaragua and most of illegal. Some things are the same world over!! Today we had a 4-5 hour drive to the next hotel with a couple of stops along the way. The Chacagua was "off the beaten path" Today we are not even ON the path. 2500 feet above sea level. About an hour on a very rough, very steep drive (hope the bus has great brakes for the return trip!) we arrived at Buena Vista where I could get online and let you all know we are still alive and well and having the time of our lives. This trip is rivaling China. Ben has already taken over 1,000 pictures but as he says - surely, he has pictures of all the Costa Rican plant and flower varieties by now! Now, I have the internet for a hour so tomorrow afternoon I will make another post. We will view a hopefully spectacular sunset this evening. Tomorrow morning we do the canopy (zip line) ride at 7:00 (so if it rains in the morning, we have another shot in the afternoon) and at 9:00 we have horeseback riding, mud and thermal water spa treatments! So I should be able to report on those tomorrow afternoon. As I said, this is a wonderful country. People are great. Food has been delicious. Indeed the trip of a lifetime!!! Oh! Forgot to mention that at the last hotel we had both a front AND back porch. Front faced the volcano and the back faced the beautiful valley. Have purchased more coffee (so cheap here) and other souvenirs :-) We have been on the East side of Costa Rica - today we crossed the Continental Divide and are on the West side. It has been very warm and VERY, VERY humid. You take a shower and 5 minutes later want to take another one. OK, I think that´s it for now. Until tomorrow..... (I am not editing so hope this all made sense)