BC: The End!
FC: PURA PURA VIDA!! Costa Rica July 9-20,2006
1: Welcome to The Adventures of 7 - Chris, Esther, Hwang, Kevin, Kyung, Linda, & Ong. It all began when Swen suggested going to CR. My journey began in CR on July 8th when I arrived in San Jose, CR. I spent the day w/my relatives & watched the World Cup! Kyung flew in on the 9th & stayed w/my relatives too. (Originally she was going to take the same flight as Ong, but she accidentally booked her flight for the day b4.) The rest of the crew arrived the next day, & we head out for our destinations - thx to Esther, the detailed planner & me, her assistant! Of course, everyone gave their opinions along the way, but we had a pretty detailed itinerary b4 we left - something very new for me! ;)
2: July 10th, Day 1: Frances picked up the crew at the airport. We went to their factory, then they took us to the bank, visited their gas station, & headed towards the bus station, where we would depart for Monte Verde. Above: us at my relative's factory Left (top to bottom): Food at the bus station; everyone on the bus - I'm missing cuz I was siting w/some random person.
3: Pit stop on our way to Monte Verde Don't remember how long the trip was, but it was def a couple hr ride.
4: Monte Verde! There were soo many options for housing. We chose the Golfo, which was really far! (well, it seemed far the first night walking through the dark.) I don't remember how we decided on this place, but it was a good choice. We dropped off our stuff & looked for dinner! "Cheers!" (Swen & I aren't in the pic cuz we were next door bargainin' for our activities for the next few days!)
5: In the room @ Golfo. I think the girls are doing bills . Can't really tell though. haha. | We slept pretty early since we had an early morning the next day, going to explore the rainforest & ziplining it!
6: July 11, Day 2: Visit to the rainforest. Waiting for our tour guide. The boys... always eating!
7: Our guide showing us how to write notes on leaves if we get lost. | Chris demonstrating how to use soft leaves for tp.
9: Throughout our tour, we saw spider & howler monkeys, mini-orchids, birds of paradise, centipedes, a flower that looks like labios, cow tongue leaf, the Ketzal bird, a stick insect (that camouflages itself), and many other interesting natural wonders! Johnny, our guide, explained the difference btw primary & secondary forests. He taught us about different types of leaves, how to identify vines, etc. He was also very talented - he could imitate monkey and bird calls!
10: The Group with our guide, Johnny! | Chris and I pretending we can give a tour of this place.
11: After our morning tour of the rainforest, our next destination was the Suspended Bridges Hike.
13: Some of the bridges we walked on were a bit shaky and scary. Our guide for this tour wasn't nearly as informative as the other, but there were still a few cool places to see along the hike. We tried to be tarzan, Kyung tried to teach me how to skip rocks, | and the BEST part of the trip was climbing up this hollow tree. This tree was formed by one tree wrapping around the original tree. (see, we all fit into it too! well, kinda.)
14: Us climbing up the middle of the tree. It was sooo fun!
15: and then, what we've all been waiting for... ZIPLINE TOUR! (Ong & I got blacklisted & had to go with one of the guides, which i liked more cuz i could enjoy the ride)
16: ZIPLINING THE RAINFOREST CANOPY CON AVENTURAS
17: In the middle of ziplining, we stopped off @ the Tarzan Swing. The guides gave me | a lil surprise on the way down. They pretended 2 push me off, then held me there for a few secs. I shocked the bystanders w/some rated R lang. haha.
18: After a long, fun-filled day, we ate at a yummy restaurant in Monte Verde. | The food totally hit the spot!
19: We ended our second night relaxing on the hammocks at Golfo. And of course playing NERTZ, playing hold 'em with some other guests, and doing sudoku.
20: More pics of us chillin on the hammocks and making sure that they can really hold two people!
22: Everybody Jump! Ok, let's try that again. | Better... | One more try... good starting position. Ready... 1, 2, 3, | JUMP!!!
23: July 12, Day 3: On our way to Volcano Arenal & La Fortuna on our Jeep-Boat-Jeep Ride. According to some, this was our "safest" boat ride.
24: We took a tour to see Volcano Arenal & visit the Baldi Hot Springs. Our guide was quite entertaining. We saw toucans, monkeys, and yellow tail birds. As it got darker, we could see & hear the lava flowing out of the volcano. At the end of the volcano tour, they had free drinks! So we packed our bags with them! Then we went to the hot springs. They had about 15 pools at different temps, with massagery waterfalls, and 2 bars in the middle of the pools. Pretty sweet!
26: La Fortuna Waterfalls. Ong, Cho, & I didn't go - we chilled in the town square & cathedral to seek shelter from the rain. | The boys rented mopeds. When Cho & I joined them, it started to POUR, but it was sooo fun riding in the rian!
27: way about 7 dwarves that ate Lindar fruits which gave them special powers. Creative, huh? The boys went into town to get some food, and it was sooo yummy! We later found out that the food could've been delivered to us. Oh well! The 7 of us crammed onto the full sized bed and ate, and then told stories and used Swen as a human pillow! | July 13, Day 4: Mid-day we took a bus to the TREEHOUSE! It was a bit questionable as to whether we would make it there or not, but we finally did! After we arrived, we hiked to the "waterfall", which was a disappointment. BUT the hike was fun. Chris taught us some army song that Swen butchered. We also made up stories along the
28: July 14th, Day 5: Interesting bugs and flowers we saw at the TreeHouse. We also had the most amazing orange juice for b-fast here. I wish I asked where it was from :( Swen and Chris playing with random animals. Gross! ;) We were heading out to Tortuguero, but again, we were always uncertain if our ride would come, but it did!
29: During our transit to Tortuguero, our driver stopped by a stand and treated us to some mayo/chestnuts and coconut juice. YUM! But we're bad tourists, and totally forgot to tip him. He was really really nice. Sigh...
30: We missed our connecting bus to Tortuguero, so our driver chased the bus down for us. The bus was packed, but we managed to squeez in. We reached a farm & had to get off the bus, walk through a sanitizing system thing & then continue on. When we got to the canal/boats, Swen and Hwang were screaming for dear life, but it got better after a while. The water was pretty low in the canal, so sometimes we would have to shift around to make sure the boat doesn't get stuck on the floor.
33: Tortuguero-The town was pretty small w/1 main strip/road. The 1st night we were there, Chris fainted on us due to dehyrdration, & it scared the crap out of us! From that point on I made everyone drink water! We stayed at Maryscar "Hotel" thanks to Ernesto. July 15, Day 6: We ate at Miss Miriams, which had excellent seafood, watched a game of soccer, & went dancing. I loved the place we went to. It was literally a shack (see pic w/Cho, Hwang, & me with wooden building). It was soo hot in there. Ong was so hot, she was about to kill someone. A few locals asked us to dance, which I had a great time with, but the others were a little weirded out by it.
36: Chillin in our rooms, playing cards - Chris freakin slaps really really hard! Beware if you ever play slaps with him. We started our Mopiko & Tiger Balm phase by this point. We had to kill some time as we waited for our night tour to start. We saw seaturtles laying eggs. It was the coolest sight. They lay about 100 eggs at one time, & it kinda just looks like they're pooping out eggs. Most of the little turtles don't make it back to the ocean, and if they do, many don't make it to adulthood.
38: Some interesting plants and animals during our stay in Tortuguero and other randomness.
39: July 16, Day 7: We left by boat to Moin, where we'd catch a bus to our final destination. However, the motor died 2x's. Once when we stopped for a break, & again when they tried to stop the boat so we could see a sloth in a tree. Ong, Chris, & I also got soaked by the waves
40: A boat tugged us to Moin, and we waited for a bus to take us to Limon, where we would then take another bus Puerto Viejo. Again, not sure if the bus would actually come, but it did, and we made it to Puerto Viejo! :)
41: We made it to Puerto Viejo, stayed @ Rockin J's, & had dinner at Standford restaurant. The lady screwed up our order, & it turned out to be the most $$ meal that we ate the entire trip! Some views of Rockin J's. Total hippie type place. I loved it! You either slept in tents or hammocks. I chose for the hammocks, & got to fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing. :)
42: July 17, Day 8: We rented bikes & rode to Punta Uva. We found a beach, hiked up a cliff & down a cove. It was quite slippery, & when we came back, the tide was getting higher, so we had to rush back so that we wouldn't get stuck there!
43: Chillin at Rockin J's. Hammocks, 2 for 1 drinks, and more card games! What more could you ask for?!?! This time we had punishments for losers. The food at the grill was pretty good too. My favorite was their breakfast :)
44: July 18, Day 9: We wanted to go fishing and look at dolphins, so Jay hooked us up with one of his buddies in town. The guy knew that there would be no fish cuz the water was murky, but at least we got to see dolphins! He also let me steer the boat. I wasn't very good - took us round in circles. Everyone was freaked out! haha :)
46: Different methods of staying out of the sun. Not sure if it really worked though. For a while our motor died, so Dong and Ong assumed rowing positions.
47: Actually, this may have been Punta Uva. The other was Punta something. hee hee. Isn't the view gorgeous!?!
48: More views of the beach and sand prints of the girls. I was busy playing in the water and missed out on the fun tagging.
49: Us pretending like we're drowning from the waves. | Ong & I really drowning from the waves. (A timed photo of everyone. Not bad, huh?)
50: Returning our bikes. Then we had a fun game of piggy back racing on the open grassy area at J's. It was soo fun! There was a lot of foul play too!
51: A nice meal at the local Argentinian restuarant. They were totally indulging in the steak. I ordered a matte/mate (sp?) - an herbal tea type drink. It didn't taste so great, but worth a try.
52: July 19, Day 10: Heading back to San Jose, so that we make our flights on the 20th. The two lane road became a 1 way road due to construction, so we were stuck on a really hot bus that was packed with people standing. As you can tell from our faces, we weren't so happy. We did try to entertain ourselves by playing the word/song game, but that got old fast.
53: July 19/20, Last Day: We arrived in SJ, & walked to Pangea hotel. Took us a little while to find it, but we managed. Frances, Philip, Kenneth, & Ed came to pick us up. Their parents treated us to a really nice dinner & they took us grocery/souvenier shopping afterwards. Philip & Kenneth came to pick me up early the next morning to catch my flight. The others explored a little, then headed to the airport. They made it ok, even though the taxi drivers were on strike!
57: This marks the end of The Adventures of 7 in Costa Rica. Our 10 day trip was definitely memorable and there's still so much more to remember. Friendships were built, friendships were strengthened through long bus rides, good, cheap food, card games, learning Spanish, risky excursions, and many talks. It was well worth it! :) With the combination of all of our personalities, it was a blessing and somewhat of a miracle that we lasted and enjoyed each other for the entire time! I would do it again! PURA VIDA...