Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Costa Rica | Part 8

Alajuela Province, Sarchi, Costa Rica
We have finally come to the end of our trip! We started off the day on a crocodile jungle safari boat cruise. At first we weren't seeing any crocodiles, but then we started seeing them all over. Our boat captain pulled up next to a huge crocodile. We were partially on land and I felt that if the crocodile started running toward us we wouldn't be able to pull out fast enough. I have a video of the captain provoking one of the crocodiles and it turned toward us like it wanted to fight. That was terrifying. 
After the cruise, we went to Sarchí for lunch and visited two different souvenir shops. I bought a hammock for Javier that we finally set up this summer, and I actually relaxed in it the day I wrote this post! We went back to San Jose and stayed at the same hotel that we were in our first night. I got a smaller room this time. At night we went to a Folklore Night at Britt Coffee Co. where we ate delicious food and watched traditional dancing. It was a cool experience. 
I had such a great time in Costa Rica, and it was SO NICE to not have to plan anything! It's definitely nice to travel once in a while without worrying about anything.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Costa Rica | Part 7

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos, Costa Rica
Our seventh in Costa Rica was the least "active" of all. We went to Manual Antonio National Park to go to the beach. The group leaders for our group didn't want the kids going in the water because it has dangerous currents, so they made the decision to not let anyone in. We spent time looking for beach glass and rocks. One of the parents with our group leads yoga groups, so we did yoga at the far end away from the other groups. Luckily I had experience from the workout videos I was doing so I was able to participate without modifications or falling! I can't say that I'd be able to do that now. There were a lot of monkeys on the beach. We really had to keep an eye on our stuff or they would come and take it. That was my least favorite part. I'm not a huge fan of monkeys. 
We had lunch at a restaurant called El Avion. It was the fanciest restaurant we went to our whole trip and had an AMAZING view of the ocean. This was our least active day because we only spent time at the beach. After lunch we went back to the hotel for the rest of the evening.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Costa Rica | Part 6

Puntarenas Province, Jaco, Costa Rica
We are finally in the last days of the trip, but we still have a few days left. On our sixth day we started out traveling to Central Pacific Coast. We made one stop at a rest area and I got a coffee and a pastry. Our first stop at Central Pacific Coast was the Rainforest Adventure Park. We rode an aerial tram up the mountain. It was a pretty cool experience. Like the Monteverde Cloud Reserve, a man replanted this area after much deforestation for farm lands. I can't remember exactly how old this forest was, but it was relatively young compared to other parts of the forest. From the top, we could see the Pacific Ocean! After the tram tour we toured a nature trail and visited a butterfly sanctuary.
Next, our guide dropped us off in Jaco where we had an opportunity to walk around on our own. Jaco is a total beach town. 
Around 4 pm, we went to our hotel. It was so hot and humid. This was the first we experienced the climate like this, and it was my least favorite part of the trip. I was sweating just sitting outside. I watched some of the kids at the pool while the others went to run. Then I walked over the bridge to another part of the hotel grounds where I took most of the photos. There was a beautiful church but a creepy looking Jesus inside. 
Which city would you want to visit so far?

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Costa Rica | Part 5

La Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, Provincia de Guanacaste, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Since I am writing these posts about 3 years after the trip, I'm both shocked and surprised how much we did. I forgot a lot of it until I went back through my photos and travel journal. On our 5th day we started out the day by going zip lining. I had never gone zip lining so this was something I was really looking forward to it. I was more nervous about not positioning myself right and getting hurt or dying than I was about actually being tied to a small wire that was hundreds of feet above the ground. The zip lining place actually started off small and easy to get you eased into it. It was really fun, but we had long waits in between. The last course was worth it. We zip lined across a HUGE valley. The view was incredible! I'd 100% do it again. The only picture I got were the two macaws that spoke Spanish.
After zip lining we went to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest. It was a similar experience to the night walk, but it was during the day. We walked up to the top of a lookout, but it was too foggy to see anything. I don't remember much about this experience, honestly. 
We went back to the hotel and after lunch we went to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve to plant trees. There is a huge conservation effort happening in Costa Rica to replant trees in areas that experienced heavy deforestation. I love this, and I hope they do the same in Brazil with the deforestation of the Amazon. While we were walking on the hill to find places to plant trees, I saw a HUGE spider. That really freaked me out. I would never ever be able to survive in a warm tropical place. Give me Russian winters any day.
We went back to the hotel and some of us walked to get groceries and coffee at Santa Elena Center. Our guide was able to secure us dance lessons at a local club and had a brother and sister teach us. We all headed over to the club which was a short walk from the hotel. I partnered with Tre, a chaperone from another school. We became friends on the bus ride and we were both the odd numbered person in our groups. We learned salsa, bachata, and one other dance. It was laughing so hard because I have no rhythm, I tried to have fun though, so the kids would see us having a good time. The one dance instructor was like "Come on guys! If I can dance with my sister you can dance to!" After the dance lessons, we headed back for dinner.
Would you go zip lining and learn to dance?
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