Friday, March 5, 2010

My Crazy Tica Spring Break

Right after Nicaragua ended, we had a four day spring break. I travelled about an hour and a half south of San Jose with a few friends to an area called Los Santos. Our professor connected us to a very small company that is committed to providing tours in a environmentally and culturally sensitive way. This guy, Jonathan, created this company to show tourists and students the beautiful area of Los Santos while also involving local farmers, restaurants, and people in the process. It is less focused on making a profit and more focused on involving the community and educating people about the culture and environment of Costa Rica.

The trip was CRAZY! The first day we did a bunch of canopy type stuff... I jumped out of a 90 foot tree on a Tarzan type swing and even got to climb up another 90 foot tree on the inside. It was crazy. Here are some pics are that day.

Probably the most fun part of that entire day was the ride home from dinner. Basically, in order to get out of the mountains and rainforest, we had to drive on these crazy bumpy roads. We had about an hour drive at the end of the day to get to our hostel. We are all in this 15 passenger van driving in the dark on these narrow mountain roads. All of the sudden the car was unable to go any further- the tires were spinning and we had no traction. The roads were pretty wet from rain earlier in the day, and the car simply would not go any further. Apparently we had about a km until we got out of the national park.

Our tour guides told us to hop out and start pushing the car. We were all laughing so hard at the situation but nevertheless tried to push this van up the mountain. It would not budge, so the driver backed the car down the mountain about 100 feet (meanwhile there is a sheer dropoff just behind us...) and told us to all get in the back of the car and just jump. This caused us to laugh even harder, but we did as our tour guides told us. Another failed attempt to move the car anywhere.

We decided to take another route, which was just as bumpy and crazy. At one point we heard this horrible noise coming from the bottom of the car- we looked out the back and saw that we lost a spare tire! The drivers stopped and went chasing after this tire as once again, the silly gringos tried to hold in their laughter at the hilarity of the situation. Luckily our guides had the best sense of humor and found the whole thing completely comedic as well.

After a one hour ride turned into three hours, we arrived at our hostel, only the find out that the lady who owns the hostel was not there! Ah! So we went down the road to a pretty nice hotel and I had my first hot shower and good night's sleep in a while. Sigh. Bliss.

The next day we followed a man with a machete through the rainforest the get to this hidden waterfall. It was so gorgeous. Not many people know about this waterfall... we went with a local who knew about it, but he refuses to tell huge tours companies about it so that the beauty of this place will not be ruined by tourists and cars and paths. So beautiful though.

I tell people I spent my spring jumping out of trees, pushing a fifteen passenger van up a mountain, and following a man with a machete through the rainforest.

And that's not far from the truth. In fact, it is the truth.

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