Day #3: Tirimbina Rainforest Hike, La Fortuna, Zip Lining, and the Hot Springs Hotel!

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A couple of the adults went with Daniel this morning and got to see Howler Monkeys. It rained through much of the night and evidently there was an earthquake near San Jose last night. After only a 10 minute drive this morning, we were at the Tirimbina Rain Forest.

During our couple hours in Tirimbina, we saw some beetles, a number of frogs, a couple Toucans, some other exotic birds, a scorpion’s discarded exoskeleton, a colony of Bullet Ants, and a Pit Viper!! We also heard some Howler Monkeys, but we didn’t see them.

For lunch in La Fortuna, we were given three options: 1) Typical plate (plantains, rice and beans) with Chicken or Fish; 2) Rice mixed with shrimp; 3) Fish Filet. We also got to walk around briefly and check out the town before heading to our afternoon zip-line. The zip-lining was, of course, a highlight for the CRA students! Our friends from Corvallis saw three Howler Monkeys on the tour, but we did not see them.

Tonight we will eat dinner at 6:45 and have the evening to enjoy the 10 natural hot pools… the hottest is at the top of the hill, with cooler temps coming in each successive pool as one works there way down.  Mr. Elder will ask a question about today at dinner and post the responses (hopefully) later this evening or tomorrow morning before we head for the Waterfall Hike and Swim!

La pregunta del Día: Provide five words… adjectives or feelings… to describe yesterday’s activities:

Beatrice: fear excitement nervousness adrenaline contentment

Nick: exciting exhilarating stunning adventurous fabulous

Riley: scared chill adventurous beautiful exciting

Wyatt: fabulous adventurous exhilarating zip-lining extrodinaire

Lucas: delicious amazing exciting stunning awesome

Bradley: amazing beautiful fearful wet astonishing

Trinity: amazed nervous spooked ecstatic crazy

Kate: loud crazy supercalifragilisticexpialodocious insane upside-down

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Day 2: Rafting y La Pregunta del Día… (The Question of the Day…)

What was your favorite event from our day of rafting yesterday?

Kate: Swimming on my back through the canyon and watching the leaves fall down into the river as the wind blew.

Riley: How in-sync my team was while paddling on the river!

Nick: Getting thrown off of the raft in the Class IV rapids.

Wyatt: The Two Mountain Canyon with the bridge when we got to go swimming.

Trinity: The second time we were swimming and the current took us down the canyon.

Bea: The “Splash Wars” and our guide – they were both awesome!

Bradley: When the raft went underneath the waterfall and we all got a shower.

Lucas: All of it – swimming, going through the rapids.

Not only that, Corvallis students had some thoughts of their own. Nathan said he liked hanging out on the rocky beach during lunch and trying to catch the fish after lunch. Lad liked how we had to work as a team on our raft to make things happen. A number of the girls felt the guides were ‘hot’ (guess you can tell they’re in high school, eh)!?!

There were a number of other events that failed to make the students’ list, but that the adults found quite entertaining and fun… for example, only in middle school could a student lose one of his shoes, bemoan its loss and exclaim that it should float. To prove his point, Wyatt grabbed his other shoe and dropped it in the river – we all laughed as he lunged for the 2nd one as it sunk out of sight! We adults also loved the fresh fruit, sandwiches, and fruit juice for lunch!

Day 1 – A Costa Rica Farm Visit

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Our first kicked off with breakfast and beautiful views of the Central Valley! Daniel met with the entire group. Each person from CRA met briefly with someone and then introduced their new friend to the rest of the group. Today’s agenda included a stop at a super-market, glimpse of people and homes decorated for Palm Sunday, a detour due to a bus turning a corner over the top of an adjacent car’s hood, a few hour visit to a family farm that included lunch, an awesome meal at the hotel for dinner with a man singing traditional Costa Rican songs and playing his guitar, and is ending, as I write this, with a 4-on-4 water basketball game (boys v. girls) in the large pool at the hotel!

The students’ questions for today were: 1) who is your new Corvallis friend; and, 2) what is your impression of Costa Rica thus far?

Beatrice – Lad & Chelsea. Food is awesome! Pura vida.

Bradley – Chelsea. It’s unreal that I’m actually here – pura vida. There is a different way of life here.

Kate – Sarah. The hotels are nicer than I expected.

Lucas – Jack. It’s really humid and it’s kind of weird how many of the places are surrounded by barbed wire.

Nick – Nathan. It is very different than the U.S. – there is a lot more diversity in the plants and animals.

Riley – Josie. All the fruit is so ripe and cool!

Trinity – Sadonia. Crazy and I love it. I would live here if it wasn’t so hot.

Wyatt – Avery. I like the jungle – all the plants are cool.

Adults’ perspective: J-P says it is an epicurean delight! He added he wouldn’t trade this experience for watching the Kentucky-Notre Dame game (& that’s a BIG deal). Serena says it has been great seeing her son experience this – in this short time, he’s a different person in a different light. Christine was surprised there was no rice and beans for breakfast! And loving watching the whole group come together as one unit!

A great start to a grand adventure, it was! More to follow soon – we’re off whitewater rafting bright and early tomorrow!!

CRA Arrives in Costa Rica — 3/28/2015!

The CRA Travel Group has all safely made it to Costa Rica!  We are at the Hotel Buena Vista tonight in Alajuela, Costa Rica, up above the valley floor of the Capital City San Jose. Of the 5 million people living in this country, 2.5 million live in the San Jose Valley. I’ll try to add pictures tomorrow, but just realized my one big mistake… I forgot to bring the Apple MacBook charger with me on this trip… GOOD GRIEF!!  More soon… Pura Vida!