We arrived in San Jose Saturday around midday with plans to take a bus out to Quepos, a town on the coast. A cab took us all the way there and we enjoyed getting to see the countryside and a stop along the way to see crocodiles below a bridge we drove across.
Sunday, we took a morning rafting trip that came with a huge education on the plants and animals of the area, including what plant to make into a tea or paste to cure whatever ailment. Lots for me to take back to work :-) Our afternoon found us just relaxing at our new hotel's pool and enjoying an early dinner.
Monday we joined a large group for zip-lining, or canopy,
as the locals call it. It was a fun experience, but unfortunately,
not as dangerous-feeling as one might hope :-)
Tuesday, we explored Manuel Antonio National Park. We hiked through the actual rainforest (with Brice hoping for some rain to guarantee that it was a real one) and relaxed on a peaceful beach. After cleaning up back at the hotel, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset, passion fruit margaritas and huge burger's a Ronny's Place, a favorite for the view.
We planned to go horseback riding Wednesday, but were unable to make it into the morning group. So we spent the morning at the public beach. Wow, people say the Pacific is rougher, but it's hard to describe how hard those waves hit us. I guess the beach at the park was better because it was in a cove, but there was a significant difference. After laying (mostly in the shade!) and walking on the beach, we got ready for our riding back at the hotel. Unfortunately, our ride never showed. The owner of the ranch was very apologetic and came by the hotel, urging us to try the next day. Our plans originally wouldn't allow it, but we reworked things and decided to go.
Thursday morning we packed up our belongings and went riding through the rainforest. Brice had his first riding experience and mostly enjoyed it, so that bodes well for me.
We were given a free bottle of a special wine from the ranch in apology for the day before. Afterward, we caught a bus back to San Jose and stayed at a place recommended by Brice's cousin. We found a great dinner not too far away and made plans for the next day.
Friday we rented a car (eek!) to drive a few hours up to Volcan Arenal. It is an active volcano, but it has no erupted in six months. We didn't know this before we went, so we were hoping to possibly see some lava once it was dark. Driving in Costa Rica was an experience for Brice--very few rules it seems. In addition, our drive up through the mountains was very interesting. For those of you who know it, picture Concord Farms road, but with no lines and instead of fields, huge cliffs. In the dark. With people passing you. Oh yeah, and sometimes a cow standing in the road. Around a curve. At night. The best part was how the GPS would alert us to the upcoming bridges with a chime and the words "Dangerous bridge ahead". Apparently, there are no safe bridges. Seeing the volcano was awesome though, and we're very glad we made the effort.After dropping off the car, we were taken to the airport for our 1 am flight out. Unfortunately, we traveled back pretty sick and spent our weekend that way (hence the delay in pictures and recaps), but at least it didn't ruin the trip.
Let us know if you're ever going to Costa Rica--we'll be glad to give you some advice!