I’m still a bit behind and I apologize for the delay, but I’m trying to catch up. This post will focus on my trip to Monteverde and my trip the next weekend to Puerto Viejo, in the Limon region of Costa Rica. In terms of a general update, school is going pretty well. There’s still a lot of reading, and I had my first exam last week but it’s not been overwhelming. Here are some Monteverde pics:
Here’s Sarah and I cooking up some pasta for everyone. We chopped garlic and onion, and bought some ground beef for the sauce. And Sarah and Krista made delicious garlic bread to go with it. It was a really good dinner. If you’re a fan of foreshadowing I would encourage you to keep this cooking success in mind. Sometimes a recipe can go awry and one can get into a situation where one is eating something that one has ruefully named “Rorridge”. But that’s a story for for a bit later. Also that’s not really foreshadowing. It’s more of a teaser.
Here’s a bunch of us posing during our main activity at Monteverde, waterfall rappelling. For those of you who don’t know, its an activity that involves walking/jumping down waterfalls. You’ll understand it better in a minute, as you watch me make a mess of it.
Here I am tackling one of the easy waterfalls. Basically you’re supposed to lean back so you’re perpendicular to the rocks (which I’m not doing) and climb down while letting out the rope with the hand behind your back.
If you don’t look where you’re putting your feet sometimes this happens. I look surprisingly at peace with the situation. In case it is not clear, your butt should never be touching the rocks.
This is one of the medium level waterfalls. Things got a bit tougher in that it was taller and there was a lot of water. I seem to be managing it pretty well here, despite the fact that I’m still not leaning back.
- Here we are celebrating prematurely. It’s not our fault. We had no way of knowing what the next waterfall looked like. On an unrelated note, our guide, located on the far left, seems incapable of giving us a full thumbs up. He’s given us a sideways thumb in both pictures. I know we weren’t very good at it but we were paying them. He could have humored us.
So this is the big waterfall. Instead of climbing down it like the others we were simply instructed to jump. I went first and this is me mid-descent. It was intimidating, but a ton of fun. I’m still not leaning back.
So that was the main highlight of that trip. We were supposed to go zip-lining but we got rained out. We should be able to go when we take a trip to Arenal in November. Let’s move on to the next trip. We decided to take a bus down to Puerto Viejo. We went in a couple of groups, with my group being the one that left earliest. We spent three nights. Puerto Viejo is on the Carribbean coast of Costa Rica and the environment is very different. It’s very relaxed, and the beaches are beautiful. The trip was a lot of fun. It’s sort of like one long party there. Here’s what I’ve got.
This is Julian and Mara in the bus station. I don’t remember why Julian was looking at me like that. At least he’s looking at me. Mara’s just flat out ignoring me.
- Here’s where we spent our first of the three nights. It’s a place called Rocking J’s. They have private rooms, dorm style living, tents, and hammocks. We chose the tents.
Here’s a picture of the Rocking J’s property. It’s really pretty incredible. It’s like a huge, kind of hippy-ish compound with lots of people wandering around, relaxing and drinking. Can I say drinking? If not, I guess this will be censored. But it’s a party.
- More of Rocking J’s. Just beyond that hut is the grill where we made some of the worst hot dogs I’ve ever had. Just awful. The grill just runs on wood and we couldn’t get the wood lit so we used a newspaper. Basically we grilled using a fire made of kindling. On the bright side, I could read the day’s top stories since they were grilled onto my hot dogs.
- Here’s Shannon taking a break from all the activity.
I don’t know why they’re posing like that. This was about the point where we realized that as fun a Rocking J’s was we were never going to sleep if we didn’t find another hostel. Also the rest of our group was about to get into town. So I guess this is our triumphant departure. Now that I’m looking at it I’m starting to like the goofy poses. It sums things up pretty well.
This is my triumphant departure pose. Kind of lame. I was tired. You try going to bed at 4 am in a place that literally never fully turns off the music.
To get to the beach we had to rent bikes. This presented a problem. Julian does not know how to ride a bike. As you can see, Julian and I are trying to convince this fine gentleman to let me rent the bike and let Julian ride in the baby seat. I believe his response was “That seat is designed for a one year old child”
We were not deterred. We went with the old fashioned rent two bikes and just put two people on each. Mara rode with me. It was tricky but we pulled it off. Also, its hard to tell but the girl on the bike in the background was so confused by our setup that she has still not returned her gaze to the road. Hopefully that turned out alright for her. We got a lot of strange looks.
Ah rorridge. How do I explain? We decided to cook dinner our second night and we were hoping to rebound from the hot dog debacle. We did not. We made a rice dish that, prepared correctly, is delicious. Unfortunately, we bought a type of rice that we were unaccustomed to and therefore had to guess the water-rice ratio. Shannon went ahead and gave it a shot. She did not guess correctly. What we ended up with was an interestingly textured blob that, while vaguely reminiscent of traditional rice, was really more of a rice-porridge hybrid. We affectionately dubbed it rorridge. But not that affectionately. It was a bit difficult to eat. And it sat like a rock. I think my expression here says it all. I have committed myself and there is no going back.
We did in fact make it to the beach while in Puerto Viejo. I have only this picture. I don’t know why. We spent a lot of time at the beach. I guess I was swimming most of the time. There were some pretty cool waves and the beach was beautiful.
Thanks for staying with me there. That was a lot of pictures. The last night in Puerto Viejo was Miki’s birthday and we had a birthday dinner for her in a restaurant with live music. And lots of good food. After the newspaper hot dogs and the rorridge I needed a good meal. I can’t even describe how happy I was sitting in that restaurant, listing to a band playing something they called blueskafunkrock, and eating a giant burrito. Pure bliss. Overall these trips were both a lot of fun and I really feel like I’m making the most of the opportunity to explore the country. If you visit you should definitely stop by Limon. It’s a very different atmosphere and there are lots of new foods to try. There’s also a mix of Spanish and English. It was a really cool experience. I’m hoping to post again soon with pictures from my latest trip.