Sunday, February 19, 2012

Last Days!

Again, I got back about a month ago but I JUST got a computer after my old one broke so now I can update this blog! :)

We moved again to another hotel called Mono Azul. It was cute and jungle-themed and they had squirrel monkeys! We went Latin dancing and some Costa Rican guy had me dance with him. I was a little drunk, but everyone said I was doing really good. I find it hard to believe since when we had latin dance lessons a few days before i was terrible. But my legendary dance skills were the talk of the group the next day on....

BEACH DAAAAY :D I was so excited! We got to the beach which had lots of monkeys chilling out in the trees. I never thought I'd have to be worried about monkeys stealing my food while I was in the water before. We had someone to guard our things while we swam. The water was clear and gorgeous! We went to a different beach but there was an croc in the water so I got out and came back to the beach below in pictures (which was a lot prettier).
Then we went around the town and went shopping, but i decided not to buy anything. Every shopping place in Costa Rica is the same! I swear, there were a few variations, but mostly all the same stuff. So instead, we found some of the guys at the bar and we sat on the porch and watched people on the beach and ate nachos and had margaritas.

Last Week of Trip

Once we hiked out of the field station, we drove to the Pacific side of the country. Sooooo pretty. I was waiting for this the whole time we were here. It was hot, always sunny, and we were right by the ocean! I was in heaven. We saw our first monkeys up close (the others were in trees on a boat tour we took where I didn't bring my camera). There were 2 howler monkeys that seemed to like all the pictures being taken. Oh! and some cute bats under palm trees (hard to see in the picture). 

2 Day Hiking

We changed our lodging for the weekend, which was a hike down a 2,000 ft mountain to a field station. The station had no hot water and no wireless, so most of us facebooked our friends and family and said adios! We packed what we needed for 2 nights (as well as my only pair of long pants for Zip lining for when we hiked back out of the mountain). It was cold. We hiked into the cloud forest and to the Children's Eternal Rainforest (which sounds like something out of a horror movie, so when the guys made jokes about  hearing little kids giggling in the jungle while we hiked, I couldn't help but laugh until I cried)
We saw something that looked like a raccoon. Not sure what it is! We also saw wild pigs that smelled bad. 
When we got to the field station, it was freezing. And I, being an idiot, only brought a small sweatshirt and one pair of yoga pants. Instant regret once I got to the station and freezed at night :(
BUT, the view of the volcano was my FAVORITE view out of everywhere we stayed. So pretty!

Banana Plantations and Ice Cream :D

We stopped at the Dole banana plantation where we saw how they harvest and package bananas. Pretty neat all the stuff! Learned a lot about bananas, like how they're actually herbs and they aren't fertile like trees or other plants. We got to see a typical rain forest frog AND a bunch of people bought some banana liquor which was yummy. Before we got to the plantation, we stopped at this bridge and gift shop dedicated to the iguanas that chill in the trees all day. They were huge! We also had cactus fruit flavored ice cream as well as Chocolate Orange :D mmm

How to Make Chocolate :D

Crack open the fruit and there's this sticky coating on it. Im not sure if they were showing us that the sticky stuff is edible, or they actually have to suck on the seeds from the fruit haha.

Then the are fermented for a few days in the sun

Cracked open

And then ground up!

Mix it all up and add cinnamon (and I think sugar)

add hot water for hot chocolate :D

Costa Rica Day 2-4

We switched hotels to Tirimbina. More of a rainy, humid area. It's on the Atlantic side and it has a long, scary bridge that goes across rivers. I felt like i was in Indian Jones the whole time, but more of a baby about the heights instead of a badass with a whip. 
Before we got to the hotel, we went to a fruit stand on the side of the road and tried a bunch of fruits. Some I already knew, like watermelons and mangos and bananas. Then there were really weird ones like Guanabana and something called a Water Apple. I thought I liked all fruits before trying these...
I stuck to mangos and munched on those, but (fun fact) they're part of the poison ivy family and my mouth swelled up. Great haha. 
We did a lot of hiking where we looked at trees, plants, and especially frogs. Tons of frogs. 
We had to go on at least one night hike and lucky me picked the night it down poured. We were in the jungle for about 2 hours. I wore the only pants I had. HUGE mistake.