A Costa Weeka Fun
Against the advice of my madre here, we booked it to Montezuma right after her flight arrived (delayed, of course) by means of a taxi, a ferry, and a bus. So if you add the regular car and plane she rode in earlier in the day, Emily utilized 5 different modes of transport over a period of 15 hours to finally arrive at our destination. Wow! Remaining needless to say, it was worth it. Starting off the weekend with a boat ride and snorkeling trip in the crystal-clear waters of Isla Tortuga was an excellent decision in spite of the fact that it left us with some nasty sunburns on our backs that nagged us the next couple of days. But as became the unofficial theme of the trip, “it was all worth it.” The next morning found us on the backs of horses strolling along the beach in some equatorially ferocious sunshine. The heat was such that Emily’s horse actually made the decision to take a quick bath… with her still on him! Thankfully everything was okay (save maybe a few nerves for a while) and the rest of the trek was less eventful. Later in the evening we went on a zip lining tour that included a 30-minute break to enjoy the two waterfalls there. The first was a nice 10 foot drop with a rope swing farther down; very enjoyable. Then we became aware of the second that added over 30 more feet of elevation, and the adrenaline of the jump quadrupled as well. While just the view was enough for Emily to enjoy of this one, I for one was not going to leave such an offer un-jumped. The following day we were back in San Jose to prepare for our next adventure.
Being the man of many obligations that I am, I had to give a 20-minute Spanish presentation on Tuesday morning (the day Emily turned 21), but immediately following the acing of that exposition, we were on our way to Manuel Antonio! To celebrate Emily’s special day, we went to a nice restaurant called “El Avio’n” that gave us delicious food and drink, all taken in with a beautiful view of the sunset. On Wednesday we headed to the famous national park where we encountered all kinds of cool animals, including white-faced monkeys again, sloths, lots of lizards, a rodent we couldn’t quite classify, and too many insects to count. We were going to hire a guide, but we ended up just occasionally piggy backing on those that did and we figured it was just as helpful. The beaches were gorgeous, the views incredible, and the sweating profuse. The Mangrove Tour we tried on Thursday was a bit of a letdown, but it’s hard to complain about a boat ride in Costa Rica that involves even more white-faced monkeys (literally in and on our boat!), sightings of other animals like snakes, an anteater and falcon, and knowledge gained of the surprisingly interesting mangrove there. Friday held the most fun-filled (and expensive) activities for us though. We started off on the whale- and dolphin-watching tour, which unfortunately involved sightings of neither whales nor dolphins, and enjoyed a freshly caught lunch after a little snorkeling. This time we were sure to apply extra layers of sunscreen on our already-peeling backs. Later, we unknowingly picked the perfect way to end our trip with a private zip-lining tour at night in the forest that was teeming with wildlife (sloths, tree frogs, spiders, hawks, INSECTS, etc.) we got a chance to spot with the headlights on our helmets. Not only was the tour a blast, but they fed us a delectable dinner afterwards (from which we took home a convenient bag of salsa for our chips later), and all this was with a discount that made it cheaper than the tours without dinner! That always makes you feel good.
Despite the fact that my best week is probably behind me, I look forward to the future with optimism! If the rest of my weeks are even a fraction as awesome as this week was, I’m going to have a great rest of the semester. Back to work with writing essays and reading articles for now, but Semana Santa is right around the corner, and there’s a good time waiting in Panama with my name on it!