Memorial Day Weekend 2014
We flew into San Jose, and only had five days to discover our first country in Central America. Definitely too short, cause we didn’t get a chance to see the wondrous Arenal – but it means part II is yet to come! It was the start of the rainy season and mostly overcast, however we were lucky to get some solid days of sun.
Knowing very little Spanish and not wanting to drive, we decided to do something outside of our norm – join a tour. Though it did not allow us to venture on our own, it was quite entertaining at times. With every tour group, you never know what you’re going to get and on this day, we definitely had a mixed bag. There was a woman from the midwest traveling with her teenage daughter who wants to be an environmental biologist, a newlywed couple who was so in love they didn’t notice anyone around them, and a dirty old French man who was only interested in the sex industry of Costa Rica. The highlight of the tour was definitely when one of the tires of the bus blew out. We were stuck by the side of a winding road in the middle of the rainforest with this group of interesting people. My husband being tall and strong immediately offered assistance to the driver and guide, while the other men sat in the bus impatiently waiting for a solution. Then it started to rain, and scenes from every travel horror movie ran through my mind. I kept thinking about who would be the first victim, and how my husband and I would survive. I said a silent prayer and tried to calm my heart from beating out of my chest. After about two hours, it stopped raining and another shuttle bus came to the rescue. We were safely on our way again.
On this day, we visited Irazu Volcano, opted out of the canopy excursion and went horseback riding, and finally ended the day with a cruise on the Sarapiqui River. Due to our flat tire delay, night was fast approaching so our boat was speeding down the river, and though we were promised to see plenty of fauna and flora such as toucans, monkeys, and crocodiles – we only saw one lonely and sleepy alligator. Despite the mishap of the day, at the end of the tour, my husband generously tipped our guide and driver – mostly out of sympathy for putting up with the pervert (who by the way, despite his age and lack of physicality decided to participate in the canopy/zip-line tour and needed to be rescued from the first platform).
Other places we visited included Poas Volcano, La Paz waterfall gardens, Doka estate and coffee farm, National Theatre, Jade Museum, and the Avenida Central. What we liked best about Costa Rica was definitely what it’s known for – the natural beauty of the country. What surprised us most was how fast night came. Being so close to the equator, the sun rises around 6am and sets around 6pm everyday year-round. Or maybe it was just time flying by while we were having fun. What we liked least – definitely rude and obnoxious tourists. Pura Vida!