March 3 continued;
First stop was to drop off laundry then to a tour office to arrange what we'll be doing for the next three days. After being overwhelmed by all the choices we checked into our hotel and spent the next couple hours just relaxing by the pool. The 1.5 km walk into town was just enough to develop an appetite for dinner and the walk back helped wear it off.
Sunday, March 4
I was up stupidly early so decided to wash yesterday's clothes in the bathroom sink and hang them out. We were at breakfast by 6:45 and no one else showed up till close to 8. We ended up chatting and eating until after 9. Some of us walked to the grocery store where all I got was some Lizano salsa cos it is amazingly delicious.
Some just wanted to spend the day relaxing but of course, not us. 5 of the others joined us and we hired a cab to take us to the waterfalls near town. There are about 480 steps down to the waterfall and they're quite primitive. The views are spectacular. Upon reaching the bottom some found places to sit and some of us braved the frigid water. BRRRRR. There was a path on the other side that Scott and Cat had checked out so we joined them to hike it up and down more stairs, like we're gluttons for punishment or something. After another swim we started the trek uphill. I am definitely out of shape.
Back at the hotel we met the others for our trip to the Baldi hot springs. We'd been there before on our last trip but it sure has grown. Some of us were starving so we headed straight for the restaurant for the included buffet which was awesome. There was a chocolate fountain and strawberries. Oooh so yummy. After checking out pretty much every one of the pools including a good soak in the one that's 152 degrees, Gesine, Reg and us headed back to get changed so we could go back to the buffet for desert. It started pouring and none of us remembered to bring rain gear, didn't want to go back in wet clothes so we opted to skip it. Just as well. None of us really needed desert. A couple hours later and I'm still pruny and so relaxed I feel like a wet noodle.
Monday March 5 WHAT A DAY!
Today's wake up call came in the form of a huge deluge of rain at 5 am. Oh well. It was time to wash the bathing suit anyway. It didn't smell pleasant.
Somehow I got talked into white water rafting class 3 and 4+ on the Balsa River. After all, you only live once. Danny told us it was a short 10 minute hike to the river. We should know better than to trust a Tico when he says such things. A half hour hike down a rocky, muddy path led us to the river deep in a canyon where we were given the "safety spiel" that had some of us wondering if we could still back out. I had my doubts when I looked around and everyone appeared to be the same age as my children.
After briefly practicing strokes and commands, our helmsman Oscar yelled at Mike, Tonya, Emma and I through the first set of rapids. Tonya fell out at one point and Oscar hollered at us to paddle while he pulled her back in. Poor girl looked ready to cry but quickly got over it as we battled more and more rapids. Several times I thought I might pop out but I was determined to stay in the boat, not because I feared the water but because I had many doubts that I'd be able to get back IN. The views (when we had time to look) through the canyon were beautiful with lots of waterfalls, lush jungle, farms and bird life. In a quiet pool we stopped and got out for a fruit break. My legs felt like jelly. After that it seemed much easier, maybe because we were getting better at it?
At the finish point we pulled the rafts out, left the gear in the truck and finally got to see some toucans in the trees. Next we were taken to an organic farm where we enjoyed a delicious lunch including yucca, papaya and a strange root. It had been raining on and off all day and now it REALLY poured. Nice of it to wait till we were off the river.
We were treated to a tour of the farm and shown the many things they do with sugar cane.
Back at the hotel Mike and Reg sat outside and enjoyed a good stiff rum while I washed my bathing suit again :)