Today probably goes down as one of the best days of my life, en serio! We went white water rafting in el Río Pacuare. It was a bumpy 3 hour drive to Cartago. The ride there took us through tunnels of trees and scattered mountain towns. Colorful houses and local restaurants adorned the the streets and the tree-lines between mountain peaks.
On the way to Río Pacuare, we passed by the volcano in Turrialba, the first time I’d ever seen one with my own eyes. We’re visiting the Arenal volcano, la fortuna waterfall, and the hot springs next week. ¡Qué divertido! I’m seeing so many things that I’ve never seen before.
We crossed over from Cartago to Limón on the raft, over 25 kilometers. We were on the river for about 3 hours and went over some pretty rough rapids. Some spots we lazily drifted by, others we were told to get down otherwise we would’ve flipped over! It felt like I could stay there forever. On our raft, no one had trouble or fell out. Our guide, Walter, was very experienced and always knew what to do. The six of us had so much fun, learning some sayings and tidbits about Costa Rican culture from Walter along the way.
On a couple other rafts, people had to be rescued. It was sort of scary at first but the guides responded to the situation very fast and no one came out with more than a scratch or a bruise. Everyone wore life vests and helmets, of course. I’m sure it’s fairly common on these excursions and I was glad to see how prepared they were.
The water was so clean; so clear and so relaxing to swim in. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. We took a break while we passed through a canyon. I floated along on my back, looking at the sky above and listening to the tranquil sounds of Río Pacuare. After an amazing day on the river, we had a typical Costa Rican lunch at another restaurant in Siquirres, Limón. We had gallo pinto (rice and beans) y carne con papas y vegetales. ¡Qué riquísimo! The sun began to set on us as we drove home.
We were stuck in traffic on the way home, but it gave us some time to take in the mountains once again. There was fog covering the peaks as we passed, and even a few small waterfalls. It rained all the way up until we reached Heredia, I was in and out of sleep for most of our time on the road. After making sure all of our classmates got home safely, Kylie and I returned home to mama tica.
Once again, she greeted us with “¡Ay qué lindas, hola!” We had leftover lasagna which was a lot different than traditional lasagna you’d eat in the states, it sort of tasted like cilantro and a lot of other spices. Absolutely delicious. She served it with chayotes (a vegetable similar to a pear?) and other veggies with yuca. Needless to say, I slept like a baby. It feels a lot like home here already.
Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and I’m not sure what we’ll do for that, but I can’t wait to ring in the new year in a new place!