Thursday, November 22, 2012

Costa Rica (Part 2)

After a crazy drive through the dark rainforest, a soak in the natural hot springs, we all slept really well our first night.  We decided to go horse back riding to a waterfall for some swimming.  First, we drove into town to do a little exploring and to see what our eating options were.  We figured the Pizzeria the first day was random and we’d be offered more traditional fare here on out. 
We ended up here:
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The guy who owns this place lured us in from a few blocks away claiming good food but “more importantly a clean place”.  The sign is right.  It was just good food….not great.  We also went here because many years ago the same group took a camping trip in Wisconsin and ate at a place called “Ain’t Bad Food”.  Which was also accurate.
After our lunch we headed out to find Chavez’s Horse Ranch.  We drove around this small 10 block town for 30 minutes looking for this place when we finally stopped for directions.  Hurray for my small amount of Spanish once again.  What I learned from this is that when I pose my question to the locals, what they don’t know is that it took me about 3 minutes to figure out what I was going to say and how I was going to say it.  And then they would rattle off the answer in Mach speed Spanish and I would catch every 3 words.  We finally found it (it was a super shady looking tin roof place housing some mangy looking horses)…yee haw!
We had an hour ride to the falls, and hour at the waterfall, and an hour ride back.  My horse’s name was Camellia.  Her goal in life was to be the lead horse at all times.
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This is about the closest anyone ever got to me throughout the whole hour ride.  And that is because Carrie is an experienced horse rider and got her horse to catch up to me.  As soon as she did Camellia took off once again.  I spent my hour long ride yelling back to the guide asking for directions.  We rode through a few open pastures like this, but spent a great deal of time in the rainforest on a muddy path about 12 inches wide.  Every once in awhile, without any notice, the guide would make some kissing noises which sent the horses off at a trot.  I finally got the hang of it, but the first few times I nearly fell off.
But, we made it!  My horse slipped and laid down once, but was pretty quick to get back up.
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That’s the volcano in the background. 
And here’s the waterfall we were trying to get to:
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Just a little hike. 
Through this path:
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It looked like it would take forever, but it was probably just a 10 minute steep walk down there.
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It was much colder than I thought it would be, but felt great after the hot horseback riding.
We also got to watch some monkeys playing in the trees:
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The hike back up was a workout!  I had mixed emotions about getting back on Camellia.  I was tired from the hike and swimming, but my butt was not ready for another hour.  Camellia wasn’t quite as competitive on the way back, only leading by a block instead of 2-3.  She did decide to explore a remote section of the forest at one point, stopping short a few feet before a 10-15 foot drop, the guide brought me back to the group, but not before we jumped down off a 4 foot drop.  Safe to say, I was ready to be done with this excursion.
We ended the night at another restaurant and the only full view of the volcano the entire trip:
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We also had a snake slither across the restaurant floor.  Carrie spent the rest of the dinner sitting cross legged on her chair.

1 comment:

Sue H said...

What a fun adventure! Love the picture of the volcano.