Costa Rica wasn’t just a study trip, it was also a vacation with the family.
We went to Playa Grande for a week and stayed with a woman at a B & B with a beautiful infinity pool, looking to the ocean to one side and the rain forest on the other.
We also went around the rest of Costa Rica as well, where we had one of the most amazing and delicious Caesar salads in the world, and it’s never been re-created since. It was in the rain forest of Monteverde where we tried to go zip-lining, but didn’t because of the conditions with heavy rain. Instead we explored around and had this amazing salad.
We made our way up to Arenal National Park, where the largest volcano is located in Costa Rica and spent time hiking in around the volcano and ended up zip-lining at the park. It was the most terrifying first moment when we get clipped into the harness onto the line and are shown which is the brake hand (your dominant hand) and which hand remains on the harness so you can stay straight. There is a beat of fear, exhilaration, excitement, and a whole lot of screaming (for joy and terror become one). The moment you open your eyes, after the initial push from the guide, is BREATH-TAKING. Nothing is as beautiful as what you’re seeing, a lush green rainforest that goes for miles and miles, until it touches the sky. There are parts taller than you and there are parts that are so far below- you can’t stop your stomach from lurching.
On one particularly long line, I was instructed to put both hands on the harness because I was so light, I wouldn’t make it all the way down without getting stuck. Of course, I got stuck, but the guide hooked up and came out to help me while I pulled myself in with his assistance.
We ended up going on two long trail rides, one along the beach which was amazing, I was on a bay (brown fur and black mane) gelding and my mom and dad were on chestnut (copper brown fur and brown mane) geldings, while my brother was on a grey gelding and my aunt was on a white horse. The guide, maybe he was 16, would race with me and my brother, Michael, while my parents and aunt plodded after us. It was amazing to have more freedom than what you get in the states, and also it was fun to have a guide who just let us roam around.
The other trail ride was when we were visiting the National Park, and it was raining. It was a little more harrowing and dangerous (because of the conditions with cliffs) but still one hell of a time. We had to wear ponchos, but the horses weren’t fazed by the rustling plastic and such. Our guide let us gallop in an open field, before we proceeded to go down a valley with slippery rocks, but we all came out alive and in one piece.
By the end of our trip, we had stayed in two very luxurious resorts, one was in the beginning of our trip with a beautiful view of the Olympic sized pool complete with a wet bar, a sweeping view of the coastal line and a beach to match. We also stayed in a little B&B which was close to another resort where we went to the hot springs pool, enjoyed the wet bar, ate fine food and had gay company. Our last lodging accommodations was at a Marriott, which was located on an old plantation farm out in the country. It was a beautiful property, with lots of space, open corridors, arches a plenty and very comfortable accommodations. A wonderful ending to a beautiful vacation, it was bittersweet to leave to come back to the US.
Costa Rica holds a place near and dear in my heart. I’ll be going back just as soon as I can!!