Ciao Costa Rica!

As most good things in life, they often come to end. Such is the case with my time in Costa Rica. After a little over a year in the rich coast, I am now back in the good ol’ USA. Although it has been sad to leave the place I called home, it’s simultaneously good to be back amongst old friends and family.

Views and mornings like this will surely be missed

In any case, I will look upon my time fondly and remember every experience to the fullest. Costa Rica has taught me many things, most of all to appreciate everything I encounter (I could have said a ton of pseudo inspirations stuff there but I felt that the least intrusive). My last week or so in the rich coast was certainly busy, with work wrapping up and my attempts to squeeze as much fun in as possible. Below you will find a short video with some scenes of my last night out, as well as some of my favorite views from Costa Rica.

So what’s next you ask? Well stay tuned, as like all things in this world, life goes on!

Crying in the fetal position

Warning: it’s another bike riding post.

So this past weekend I headed down to the hot and humid region in the northeast of the country for a long, but flat, bike ride. The highlight for the ride had to be the crossing of a very large river, which was done in two sections. The first was over a long (approx. 1 km) abandoned train bridge, and the second was a waste deep river crossing. To be totally honest, the bridge scared me quite a bit. I have done many things involving large heights and dangerous activities, but for whatever reason walking across this old bridge made me extremely nervous. Maybe it was because all the wooden support beams were very slick, or perhaps it was because most were rotting and falling apart when I stepped on them, or perhaps because in between each support beam there was just enough room for me to fall through to my death. Regardless of what was making me nervous I made it across, and then finished it all off with a climb down the safest ladder I have ever seen in my life.

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The next portion of our crossing was a river, which came in two portions. The first portions was only knee deep at most, followed by a chest deep section. This more than anything else made me wonder how my companions managed to keep all their phones/cameras dry. It seems they can forge a river and still have a functioning phone, where as a week of humidity killed anything/everything I owned.

In any case, the ride was a fine practice in personal challenges, and also a practice in sweating for 5 hours straight.

It’s been a busy week

At my current position here in Costa Rica, I get the opportunity to put the long-lived flip video in front of many things that occur here. As it would be, there have been a couple nifty little events and therefore a couple nifty little videos. Even though the videos don’t say painfullyvanilla at the beginning and end of them, they are indeed my handywork. I promise.

The first clip we have is of a friendly staff “futbol” match that we set up after our all staff meeting. Although I promise I played, for this portion of the game I manned the camera and caught some of the excitement from the evening.

The second video is of a visit from a local kindergarten. Their visit was very nice, and provided an opportunity to interact with cute little kids who speak fantastic spanish.

Border jumping: REMIX

Nobody likes being an illegal alien, it’s an uncomfortable situation. So in order to avoid the rather inconvenient issues that go along with not having a visa and therefore being an illegal alien, it’s necessary to hop across the border for a a few days and then return with a fresh shiny stamp. This is not the first time I have done an activity like this, however it was a fun and fulfilling trip none the less.

My voyage consisted of a huge array of activities including: sitting on a bus for a day, going on a walk, swimming in the ocean, and then sitting on a bus for a day. This full and exciting weekend could be expressed in words, however words are boring and played out, so lets watch a movie instead!

Some lunch and some canopy tours

Canopy tours are all the rage these days. And since our crew is above nothing, we made the zipline a destination. But first, it was necessary to head to the best lunch spot ever. Yodito (which interestingly enough means cafe in Costa Rican slang). There we dinned on fine assortment of fish casados ( interestingly enough a casado is a Costa Rican traditional dish consisting of  a meat, rice, beans, salad, or another imaginative assortment of sides).

The famed Yodito

After dinning like kings and queens we got in a cab and headed over to the zip line joint. There we suited up in our awesome outfits, joined by my “dead-eyes” wielding coworker.

Looking good

We hopped on a truck, got out, hiked up a ridge and then got hooked in for 40 minutes of high octane adventure! Take a look below for some evidence of this.

Stop please

So that’s it. The next day, with great sadness, I said goodbye to my friends and they returned to the land of milk and honey whist I remain here in the land of jungle rot and bananas. And coffee. And general tropical niceness.

The old woman’s corner

Rincon de la Vieja. This hidden gem of the north is a park with spectacular hiking and very cool volcanic features. Although it was originally the plan to visit here earlier, this was foiled by some rather intense 4×4 action. However we were intent on returning, and return we did.

This time around we went for the far more popular and visited ‘estacion pilas’, which offered a far more reasonable road for our trusty Yaris and a multitude of hiking options. Once there we set off for an afternoon of hiking, which included numerous boiling mud pits, sulfur springs and other strange volcanic anomalies. Take a look!

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After cooling down in a lovely natural spring, we headed out to our little villa for the night (complete with full kitchen/2 bedrooms/living room and a porch-what a deal!). While there we visited  tiny river and did additional swimming, made a tasty dinner, and went right to bed. The following day we woke up had a delicious breakfast, then made our way to San Jose. All in all a very vanilla day.

Tune in next time for more super painful fun!

Life’s a beach

After the failed attempt to camp and hike like the bad asses I know my friends and myself to be, we made a b-line straight for the beach. Which was cool.

I can just feel the stress melting away

The destination for our beach portion was Playa Brasalito, which is flanked by the famed Playa Conchal and the average Playa Flamingo. After finding our hostel and settling in, we prepared for several days of beaching with lovely meals and all that stuff. A day at the beach was certainly our reward for the previous days stress-fest Yaris 4×4 excursion.  Following a tasty lunch accompanied by beers in a bucket (the hallmark of any vacation), we returned to the pool and did nothing more than exist. That evening we met up with the burrito wielding co-worker who was also traveling with a group of friends from back home. After speaking with his posse, we decided the next day will be our last at this location, and we would be transferring to a different beach farther south, where would camp on the beach and enjoy some delicious foods.

I can think of less cool things to do

So after a fantastic morning at Playa Conchal, we left for Playa Avellans. While arriving and setting up for an evening of camping, we arranged for a fish to be murdered for us. We then sat down and enjoyed the beautiful scene and pondered about our delicious fish being caught just for us. No sooner did we stop to smell the roses, then our dinner arrived. At this point we began mercilessly preparing the fish for its cooking. After a serious scaling session (say that 5 times fast), we grilled and then devoured the fish. Our happy tummies were then induced a serious food coma and we all passed out in what has to be one of the best camping spots period.

thats a very dead fish

Waking up to the sounds of the water is sweet, I’m not gonna lie to you. Thus it was a sad moment when we packed up our camping equipment, said our goodbyes to the camp site folks, and began the next portion of our trip, the return to Rincon de la Vieja. Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn.

Tune in next time for the exciting continuation!