Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Costa Rica Trip Report (sort of)

I've been back from Costa Rica for a week and haven't been able to muster the energy to log in and post anything yet.  Saturday night while watching Roger Water's The Wall , unexpectedly amazing by the way, I started to get a bad sore throat.  I chalked it up to the amount of pot smoke wafting through the Tacoma Dome but by Sunday I had become full-on sick.  In between this and trying to get the house decorated for Christmas and go to work (I finally took today off) I haven't had the energy for much.  We set up the tree Sunday night and it still isn't complete.  Our tree takes hours and hours of work because I am an ornament whore and I am starting to feel like it will never get done.  But I digress...

Costa Rica was fun.  See the above mentioned illness?  That is about the energy I have to describe it.  There are pictures that I took and 90% of them suck (Look, it's a ........blob in a tree!  Maybe bird, monkey, sloth?  No clue!)  Others from the tour part of the trip have uploaded photos to Picassa but I am too lazy right now to log-in and look at their photos and find nice ones for you.  Yeah, even creating a Picassa log-in seems daunting right now, it's that bad.  Maybe when Kevin goes back home for the holidays I might find some time to post a few. 

Here's the trip in a nutshell:  There was a jungle yurt with howler monkeys above.  Many birds and interesting insects including:  mot mots, toucans, parrots, macaws, hummingbirds, leaf cutter ants, tarantula, bullet ants, and stick insects.  We saw sloths, howler monkeys, porcupines, coati mundis, caiman, and crocodiles.  A few of us spent a few hours at an animal sanctuary where I got to hold a kinkajou and have a racoon try to climb up my arm and I got to tickle his feet while questioning my decision not to get the rabies vaccine. 

Tours included a pineapple plantation, coffee plantation and cocoa plantation all of which were fascinating.  Also, it seems even countries we consider "poor" have immigrant agricultural workers.  Most of the food you get from Costa Rica?  Probably picked by Nicaraguans.  Best pineapple I ever ate was picked right from the field where the workers were harvesting it.  It makes you think again about the importance of organics when you see those workers surrounded up to their armpits in pineapple plants about the toxins they must encounter regularly.  This particular plantation was part organic and part conventional and they were picking organic at the time.  Pineapples are done by hand by the way.  We also took a night hike to spot noctural critters and a hike through a deluge that ended in the dark where a view of the elusive Arenal Volcano should be.  Most of us went ziplining through and above the cloud forest one day.  If you ever get the chance to do this you must, must, must.  Exhilirating to say the least.  Just don't think about how if the cable snapped while you are 300 feet above the ground and 1km between trees you would be a little stain on the forest floor. 

There were exploding glass tables at our authentic home cooked Costa Rican lunch, torrential rains that caused washouts and flooding and a general dampness that pervaded everything, a windstorm that caused a power outage and gave us a memorable meal in the dark and a walk through the pitch dark town up the huge hill back to our hotel.  No cabs to be had because it was the night of the, ironically named, Festival of Lights in town.  The bus that skid backwards trying to get up the same gigantic hill and ended up with  its back tires stuck behind a concrete barrier and hanging over a drop-off.  Luckily no one but the driver was on the bus at the time and he was fine.  The boat across the estuary to get to the town that had the ATM that involved boarding in the mud not 100 yards from where I saw the biggest crocodile earlier that morning.  Those were some of the little adventure parts of the trip.

I also spent a few lazy days at the beach by myself just sleeping, reading and walking around.  I did run three times while I was there and I am pretty sure I will never see anything cooler on any of my runs than the howler monkeys I saw on my run through the beach "town" I was staying in. 

So there it is in a nutshell.  Costa Rica was good but I was sure glad to be back home.  I am glad I went ahead and did the trip by myself because I always would have had that goal in the back of my mind if I didn't but I can tell you that being alone doesn't hold the charms it used to.  I missed Kevin horribly and kept thinking how much he would have enjoyed all of the trip especially the night hike, chocolate plantation (he's the biggest chocolate lover I know) and ziplining.  I don't ever want to take a trip like that without him again.  He has kind of ruined being alone in a good way. 


aeep said...

OK, I'm pretty sure that last line counts as schmoopy!

That was so sweet, I reread it.

Glad you had fun. What's the word on Dorothy, Blanche and Rose?

Kath said...

I'm sorry you're sick! At least you weren't sick on your fabulous vacation though... Sounds amazing!!