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Travel Journal: Costa Rica Day 3

We got up early this morning and had breakfast at Los Tucanes - a breakfast buffet is included with our room here. They had lots of fresh fruit, black beans and rice, potatoes (actually, I think they were casava/yucca, but they taste like potatoes!), and an omelette bar. SIDE NOTE: I'm writing this entry at the lobby bar and just heard a howler monkey!

So, anyway, we had a nice hearty breakfast and then went to the lobby to meet our rafting guide, Gerald. We got on a bus with another couple from Tabacon, and then stopped at a few other hotels around La Fortuna - wich is the town at the foot of the Arenal Volcano. We drove about and hour and a half to the Sarapequi River, where we met our other guides and learned all the rowing commands and safety procedures. We were in a boat with Juan, Jorge (a guy from Miama via Cuba whose wife had chickened out at the last minute) and two college-age kids from Holland who had won a trip to Costa Rica by sending a text message for some kind of contest.

The rafting was very fun - the guide and the river seemed to do all the really hard work. The river has class II and III rapids, whic were pretty exciting. At the first big rapids, I fell off the edge of the boat, but thankfully I fell into the raft and not out of it. Halfway through the trip, we stopped on shore for some fresh fruit and to dive off a "cliff" into the river. The cliff was only about 9' tall, but it was still pretty scary to jump into the swirling river and let it suck you back down to the rafts. You had to swim pretty hard - the current was quite strong.

After our dive, we feasted on fresh pineapple, watermelon, oranges and bananas. The pineapple was amazingly sweet. We did one more hour of rafting, then at the landing spot we had a lunch of mashed casava, rice, black beans, chicken, salad and a fried plantain. All very delicious. We got back into the van for another long drive. I fell asleep, of course.

We got back around 3:30 - I went and read my book by the Los Tucanes pool which Jeremy messed around with his new camera. It's majorly acting up, and he's getting pretty pissed. RIght now, he's on the hotel laptop trying to send a sample photo to Panasonic tech support.

At 6:30, we took a cab to Kioro - a restaurant and lookout point on the more active side of the volcano. You pay $3 per person to enter - at the top of the hill there is a restaurant that's like scaffolding with tarps for roof and walls. It was nice, don't get me wrong - but it was kind of like having dinner on an outdoor concert stage. Our table faced the volcano, but it was obscured by a cloud most of the time. But...after dinner we were standing outside and we could hear the pop-pop of the volcano and the sounds of rocks hitting each other - and then we could see the glowing lava rolling down the hill. It was pretty incredible.

Now we are back at Tabacon, listening to the sounds of the jungle and drinking our pina coladas. MMM.

Since I kept a list of what I ate when we went to Italy, I'll do the same here:

- Breakfast @ Santo Tomas: Coffee and milk, 1/2 pastry, canteloupe, pineapple
- Lunch @ Tabacon: Cucumber, avacado, tomato, tofu and hearts of palm salad, Pejibaye soup
- Snacks: Macadamia nuts, 2 pina coladas
- Dinner: Mixed green salad, chicken breast, bread, steamed carrots, yucca

- Breakfast @ Tabacon: Tomato and cheese omelette, rice, black beans, steak, casava, toast and jam, mango, pineapple, coffee and milk
- Snack while rafting: pineapple, watermelon, orange
- Lunch after rafting: chicken breast, rice, beans, small salad, mashed casava, raspberry juice
- Dinner @ Kioro: Steak, Au gratin potatoes, pickled vegetables, mixed green salad and bread
- Evening "snack": 4 pina coladas

Posted November 10, 2004 9:15 PM | On This Day: 2003 2002