...I finally left Cahuita!
20.09.2009 32 °C
(me by the sea!)
(kids body boarding in the sea)
Well I finally managed to leave Cahuita on the Caribbean coast ...I think I may have left part of my heart there though and am sure I will go back someday!
(Kenroy on our way to the waterfalls)
I left on the Saturday and went with Kenroy to a place called Guapiles because he was being paid to dance in a bar there on the Sat night. It was great, him and Jay (his cousin) dance amazingly well! The crowd loved them.
(spot the tiny, but very venomous, red frog!)
(Me n Kenroy posing !)
On the Sunday Kenroy and I went to San Jose as I needed to go there to move on and he wanted to go to the shopping mall (there is not much in the way of shops in Cahuita!) we also went to the theme park but we were running out of time so only managed to go on one ride! It was so much fun but we both cried a lot when he got on the bus back to Cahuita on his own. We are just friends but got on so well (he is only just about to turn 18! so a little strange how well we bonded) and I will miss him. I used to pop by his mum's cafe in the mornings, where he worked most days and I´d have a juice, then we´d meet up when he´d finish work in the afternoons and go to the beach, he´d then go to college and we´d meet in the bar with everyone else at night.
(Me jumping under the waterfall!)
(The Boys, Jay and Kenroy waiting to dance)
(the girls strutting their stuff!)
I also spent a couple of his days of with him and we went to Puerto Viejo - another beach town further along the coast. We also went to some waterfalls near BriBri on the way to Puerto Viejo and had such a laugh mucking about in the water and clambering over rocks! I even managed to jump into the pool from one of them (not high but still scary for me!).
I have a lot of friends in Cahuita and hope one day to return and see them all again.
(Michael Jackson arm!)
(locals break dancing)
So, anyway I finally left there and on the monday I headed for Monteverde. I had heard this area was very beuatiful, very scenic with amazing cloud forests and really everyone goes there for the forest trails and the canopy tours (swinging through the treetops on a zipline!).
I arrived and booked onto a canopy tour for the next day and for a coffee tour that afternoon. I knew when I decided to go to Monteverde that it would be the most touristy part of my trip and it would be about spending money on tours so I just got on with it! The coffee tour was great - I got to see some of the greenery in the area straight away as well as see some different coffee plantations- one of which was literally just in the back garden of a family who process the coffee themselves, obviously on a much much smaller scale than the commercial ones. A lot of the coffee in Monteverde is grown organically in these smaller scale plantations and it is all organic. The coffee plants grow in between other tropical trees and plants and it is all as natural as possible, no pesticides or anything are used.
(coffee beans ready to pick!)
The next day I headed off for a canopy tour, and it turned out that the other guys (all boys, 4 of them) were also booked onto the same tour so it turned out to be a dormitory outing! This was great because we all had a luagh together and when we got back we cooked and ate together and spent the evening eating ice cream, playing cards and having the odd beer together.
(coffee machines for processing)
(coffee beans drying)
The canopy tour was fantastic! It was a bit nerve racking but lots of fun. Twice I didn´t make it to the end and one of the guys had to shimmey along the line put his legs around my ankles and drag me to the end! LOL! I don´t know what I did wrong but it was lots of fun, although sometimes a bit scary looking out at the view and down into the trees below and thinking " shite, I am bloody high up swinging along a wire above a cloud forest!"
(house of the people who owned the small plantation)
(small coffee plant)
(Big scary dangerous tarantula on the road side!)
(climbing up to the canopy tour!)
The last line was over a kilometre long and you had to go in pairs to have enough weight to stop you getting stuck half way along hanging in mid air in the middle of the forest! I chose to "taxi" it and I went with a guide, I didn't know anyone well enough to trust them and having got stuck twice before I wanted to go with an expert thank you very much!! LOL! It was great because I just had to hold on to him, which meant I could really enjoy the ride and the amazing views!
(off he goes!)
We also did a tarzan swing which involved having a rope attached to you and then jumping off a platform to swing out like tarzan into think air! I wasn´t sure I could do it as although it looked loads of fun and I knew I would love the swinging bit, it was the leaving the platform bit that scared me. it would go against all your natural instincts to just jump off a ledge into a forest with nothing to land on below! But, luckily they strapped me in quickly adn just pushed me! which was fantastic! I screamed a lot ! a couple from the states video'd it and I hope to get in touch with them to get it coz I reckon it will be very funny to see!
Afterwards we went on a bridge walk in the forest which took us over 8 swing bridges of different lengths and great views across and down into the forest. Sebastian loved rocking the swings which was fun if a little unnerving!
When me and the boys got back we decided to cook up some spag bol for us ...it turns out that Steffan was a chef so I chopped, he cooked and Gabriel, Sebastian and Thomas chilled out (they washed up after!). The food was fantastic and we all needed it after so much excitement.
We then went and sat outside a cafe and enjoyed some icecream before heading back for more of our pasta (we cooked a lot!) and a few beers over a few games of sh*thead - a card game with a terrible name!
(another tarantula...this time in the woods...wild again!)
(bit too close!)
(managing to smile though!)
(Sebastian rocking the swing bridge!)
(spot the person on the zipline!)
The next day I decided to do the more expensive trip to La Fortuna, the town on the edge of volcano Arenal ç. The local bus is cheap but takes about 8 hours so I paid a lot of dollars to do a 3 hour trip by minibus, boat across the lake and minibus direct to my hostel. It was great value actually and the views en route made it worthwhile too. I met Rachel, who had been staying in the same hostel in Monteverde but we´d not really talked until we were both waiting for the minibus to La Fortuna. She said we´d been on the same bus from San jose to monteverde too ! So we were following each other. She is from Derby in the UK and is volunteering in CR until December.
(Rachel on the boat on Lake Arenal)
We got on really well and stayed in the same hostel in La Fortuna which was more like a hotel with a fab swimming pool, views of the volcano and a nice little restaurant! We paid for another touristy tour which took us on a walk in the national park around the volcano, to a viewpoint where we had so much luck to see lava pouring out! you can't always see it if the cloud cover is too thick or if you aren't there at the right time. We had a very very clear day and night and so had fantastic views and literally five minutes after arriving at the view point it spat out lumps of lava! WOW.
(Rachel chillin at the "hostel")
We then headed off to the hot springs where we had dinner and a couple of hours to chill out in the hot springs there. It wasn't a natural hot springs area but a complex, still it was lovely and the pools were all of differing temperatures, getting hotter as you went around. It was great.
Rachel and I then headed to San Jose together, getting the 5.30am bus so we could both do stuff we needed to in San Jose. I had arranged to meet up with people that evening too. I wasn't sure if they would all make it as it was all last minute as I was never sure when I would be back in SJ and if they would all still be there.
(view from the hammock at the hostel ...that's her, the volcano)
It was fab. Rachel came too. I arranged to meet up with David and Hernan who I met on my first night before volunteering in Corcovado but they were then posted at another station so I didnt see them again, also Christian who came to the same station as me in Corcovado for my last week. They all live near San Jose - pure Ticos! Also 3 of the 4 Germans (Ramona, Joshy, Timo) that I met in Cahuita who are volunteering in SJ also made it!!
(The mexicans think this tree is powerful...reaching out to god..the costa ricans think it's bad and angered the gods so they turned it upside down and it's roots are at the top!)
(this leaf evolved to have a split down the middle so that when the branches of taller trees in the forest fall onto it it no longer breaks, the branch just falls through the middle and the two parts of the leaf are not damaged..clever huh)
(made by a little bug that sits inside the leaf before it has fully opened...!)
We went to a Lebanese restaurant recommended by David and Hernan and had some food, beers and chatted away. It was fab. I was so happy everyone turned up and it was a great last night in Costa Rica. It really does feel like home here and it is a shame I couldn't spend more time here with them all. I will return !
(WOW, lava...stand clear!)
So, now I am waiting for my flight to Mexico. It is Friday afternoon. Josie should arrive Sunday night and we will travel together for a month
(at the hot springs)
Until the next time.......
Hope all is well with you all where ever you are
Love n hugs