Tag Archives: Rainforest

High and Wet Adventures in Costa Rica

Day 1 in Costa Rica.

The drive was worth it!  We woke up to a breathtaking view.  Waking up first, I decided to explore the surroundings and make sure all was safe.  After all, who knew if a howler monkey or its troop would wake the family, or if a sloth would leap from a tree and chase me!

I ventured down a path carved into the side of the mountain.  I could hear rushing water, and I eventually came to the creek.  The owners of the house had built a small bench under a roof to allow visitors to sit and become one with nature.  After a few minutes, I was tired of being “one” with the mosquitos and the rushing water made me want to pee.  Instead of relieving myself in the forest, I walked back up to the house.

Soon, the rest of the family rose from slumber and wandered off to explore.  There were no sloth attacks, but two panthers kept following the kids around.  Ok, they weren’t panthers; they were domestic cats and only dangerous to a mouse they caught.  The kids found the path to the creek and the “Aztec ruins” as my eight year old called them.  They were actually the frame-work for a bed and breakfast being built.  His imagination spread to the other kids and an hour of fun ensued.

Later this first day, we travelled to Sky-Adventures.  Three of the family wanted to zip line through the rain forest.  They said they had fun.

Ready to Zip line

Ready to Zip line

Personally, I think they were lying.  The eight year old and I wanted nothing to do with that and the thirteen year old, who has zip-lined, decided to hike with his little brother (and try to lose Dad.)  We went on a hike that had seven hanging bridges, and Matthew and I overcame our fear of heights!  (Still not ready for the speeding on a cable through trees.)  During our hike we marveled at several waterfalls.  Then, the boys decided to try to lose Dad and turned the hike into a cross-country race.  I think we finished the three-hour hike in less than two hours.

IMG_0203In the evening we went to the Tabacon Resort for the hot springs.  They were very relaxing and a buffet dinner that allowed us to taste local food.  Let me put this in perspective.  The last time I ran or jogged was 1984.  It was preseason training for the swim team, and I cheated.  I got a ride from a girl.  This training practice did not help me as I chased after my sons.   Consequently, after running a few kilos because I feared my kids would leave me to the wild beasts of the rain forest, I was ready for a relaxing evening in my element: water. The hot springs were perfect!

Tomorrow: Fishing with Captain Ron!

Cover of "Captain Ron"

Cover of Captain Ron

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Filed under Learning, Vacations

What You Can See in Costa Rica That You Don’t See in Ohio

Our family just returned from Costa Rica, and we learned mucho.  My high school Spanish was a little rusty, but I managed to get by.  My favorite saying, “Como se dice ____?”  or “How do you say ______?”  proved very useful!

In keeping with the theme of my blog, There were many “freshman – like” experiences for our family.  The slower life style and sunrise at 5:30 and sunset at 5:30 gave us a new perspective. I plan to share some of the lessons in the next few weeks.

Expected

  • IMG_0851Mountains
  • Surfing
  • The Pacific Ocean
  • Sodas – small restaurants that also serve as the owner’s home.
  • Rain Forests / jungles
  • Howler and Spider Monkeys in the trees
  • “Cow Farms” as my wife called them.  (The rest of us call them cattle ranches.)
  • Signs in Spanish
  • Huge, fresh, and delicious pineapples
  • Kilometers.
  • Road construction.
  • Hanging bridges through the rain forests.
  • Zip lines through rain forests.

Not expected

  • People walking along the road carrying machetes.
  • People walking along the road wearing a shoulder strap with a machete and carrying an umbrella.
  • Sloth, monkey, and iguana crossing signs.
  • Horses, goats, chickens wandering along the road.IMG_0795
  • Dogs lying down in potholes in the middle of the road.
  • More potholes than at home.
  • Traffic jams caused by cows walking down the road.
  • Road construction without orange barrels.  Instead, they used what looked like coffee cans with a metal rod or stick with a ribbon cemented in the center.IMG_0631
  • Cow paths to a house on the side of a mountain that overlooks a lake and a semi-active volcano.
  • “Mini Mega Super” store, which was as big as a convenience store.
  • “Aztec Ruins” which were really the cement framing of a new home.
  • Shacks with dirt floors yet bars on the windows.
  • Security guards who use a plastic link chain to stop cars from entering parking lots.
  • No street names, signs or addresses…having the police lead us to the condo.
  • Riding 4-wheelers on the beach.
  • Catching Mahi-Mahi and Tuna, filleting it on the boat, and having a restaurant cook it that night.IMG_0710
  • Meeting some very friendly and happy people.
  • Pura Vida!

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Filed under 21st century skills, Education, Learning