Thursday, November 25, 2010

Manuel Antonio...

After our adventure filled first week on the Caribbean side, I suppose most places would feel tame. Manuel Antonio, feels just that...while it is beautiful with out question, it feels a bit like a tourist trap, lots of everyone. Don´t get me wrong there are worse places to be ¨trapped¨;-p

Driving here from Suquirres was a test of our driving skills as the main highway was closed due to falling boulders (damn emerging countries). We had to detour on a two lane (one each direction) winding (very winding) road through the mountains. Quite beautiful and it was a kick to see how these tico´s were going all out with the Christmas decorations already, I have never seen so many nativity scenes in my life! Made the now 5 hour drive go by a little faster...props to Nick for taking the initiative and going around 3 cars and two semi´s on this narrow road so we could actually make it to San Jose in 5 hours as opposed to 8 ;-)

We are staying at the Issimo Suites in MA, have to say, we are pretty pimped out and stoked. Our hotel is in the middle of all the really super pricey hotels, so we have the same view, same road etc. Our room is a full suite, with a private balcony looking at the jungle and sea, ceiling to floor windows, pool looking out at the sea, full breakfast in the morning etc. Only $149 a night, amazing!

The monkey´s run this place for sure...they come ever morning and jump around outside our window until I wake up and bring them a treat...There are two different types of Monkey´s, our favorite (and endangered) are the TiTi´s, or called the little squirrel monkeys and the other is the white face bigger monkeys (out break monkey). We have named one, as while we were watching them a bird hit our window and he reached out grabbed the bird and bit his head off and ate him, his name is Ozzy. (oh my)

We have gone down to the National Park area here, unfortunately we have never been in, as it was raining and they closed it. To be honest we didn´t have much want to go in as we did a lot of exploring in the Cahuita Park in the South side of our journey and it is a much bigger park, so we had our fill of park wild life. P.s- is it bad that I wanted to put the baby sloth we saw in my back pack and take it home, sooo darn cute!

Th public beach (free beach) outside of the park while scenic, is what has turned me a bit off of Manuel A., it is overrun with pushy vendors and just so many people, and we are here in the slow season! Regardless we have, found some secluded spots to chill...and some really cool fellow tourists to take our pictures ;-p Is it weird that this nice gay couple wanted to take pictures of the art on our backs?

We also went to Playa Herradura Esterillos Este and to take a look at Jaco. All three were cool, a younger surfer vibe for sure. I really dug Herradura, it was a huge beach and almost empty, it's a place a lot of tico's go to party. I would have liked to stay a few night in this area...

All right, this is it, heading home!

My wrap up notes to follow!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Class 4 rapids aint no joke...

River Pacuare- 23 miles, a drop of 1200 feet, 5 Class 4 rapids (one of which Nick fell out in the middle of)

Adventure day began like many others...we woke up at 6am, packed the car up, i searched for my sunglasses that no matter where we are no matter how small the room I seem to loose and blame Nick for (and of course find in a really sneaky hiding spot I forgot about) and got in the car for our 2 hour drive.

We drove to a town called Squirres, where we were to meet the rest of the group being bussed in for rafting. As we are driving there it begins to pour, not rain, pour. Not too troublesome as we were planning on getting wet anyway right? This is when it starts to get good...after eating a very hearty Costa Rican breakfast of Speckled Rooster and Toast (rice and beans), we headed off on the buses to the start of the river.

We drove 40 minutes- down a non paved hill with drop off´s of 40-50 feet, a road that even not in a 30 passenger van/bus with a completly fogged out front windown would have been scary. We were assigned a raft with only 5 people, which most had 6 and 3 of our fellow rafters were useless, so basically Nick, myself and the amazing guide Alejandro, standard.

Right away we could tell that the scenery alone was going to be breathtaking, I have never seen anything like it, as you are rafting down narrow river passages with primary forest all around, water falls everywhere,actually were able to raft through them. We also quickly realize this is a very challenging river as it is in the top 5 rivers in the world to raft, and our guide quickly warns us that while fun it will be challenging. Yay, us in a boat with a bunch of pinche slackers, hahah.

The next 3 hours where some of the most fun and exciting of my LIFE! Pura Vida as they say!


On seemlingly easy class 3 rapid (right before our first class 4), our guide calls for everyone to get down, so as everyone jumps to the floor it bouces me up and off the side and into the river, in the middle of the rapid. AWESOME! Everyone was a little shocked and scared for me but they are pussys, soooo :-)

OUr first Class 4- had a 5 foot drop in which you drop into a water hole and pray to god you dont taco it up. OMIGOD´it was sooo crazy town. Really set the tone for how the rest of the river was going to be...

Second to last Class 4- aka the washing maching or now the Crazy´MF nick fell in on...

This was seriously the most crazy town event I have personally been involved in (awesome, double awesome).

We enter the rapid no problem, another drop rapid but with two different sections boulders in the middle to sepereate upper from lower. We get to the second section, almost taco the boat, but in balancing it out we get stuck in the actually hole of the rapid and boat wont move so we are submerged! Nick and i are on the losw side hanging on for dear life! UNTIL...

Nick let´s go! He is in the fucking class 4 as a swimmer, (which might have been a good thing in the end as it free´d the boat :-p) here is his recount of his story.

He fell in. Got stuck under the boat, had to walk out from under it. Popped up finally on the other side of the river. When we tried to give him an oar to reach out for he grabbed it and the handle popped off (true story). He than made it to the other side, raced down the shore on foot and hopped back in the boat. That´s my man ;-) Cool as a cumcumber.

No joke though, even our guide was like, worst place possible to fall out...

Wait till you see the pics!

Top 5 life experience.