Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Day 5- River Rafting down the Sarapiqui River

Today we went river rafting.   Talk about exhilarating, refreshing, exciting....  Thankfully Julia was better and no one else showed signs of sickness.  After fueling our bodies with a delicious breakfast we started our excursion.
 
Waiting for our bus we of course looked around for bugs, frogs, or any kind of wildlife.  That is one thing I love about Costa Rica.  We were totally unplugged during out trip and yet none of us were bored.  Caleb found this giant leaf grasshopper.
How awesome!
Meet Diana.  She is one amazing woman.  As I was planning our trip to Costa Rica I began emailing with her at Dinghy Expeditions.  She was quick to respond and offered us a great discount for our large group.  It didn't take long to find out she was from Bulgaria-- small world.  Anyway, we found out that she has a heart for helping others and we were able to find out through her about an organization that helps rebuild the lives of girls that were sex-trafficked.  Of all things, they asked for books in English so that they could read.  We were happy to help.
Half way to the drop point of the Sarapiqui river we stopped to buy fresh fruit.  She introduced us to passion fruit and lychee.  She showed us hearts of palm.
I'm not sure why we have looks of disgust on our faces-- we actually enjoyed the fruit very much!



Check out the pineapple.   Sweet, tart, juicy, perfect.   During our trip we must have eaten equivalent to 10 pineapples a day.
Finally we are at our destination!  Time to unload, lather up with sunscreen, and get instructions.
Warming up for the three hour rafting trip.
The kids wanted to check out the temperature of the water.
Team 1
Team 2
Team 3
Getting instructions
 
After some paddling practice, we were off!
After rafting for about an hour, we stopped to check out this waterfall.
 
The water was refreshing but not cold. 

When we were listening to instructions early on, I was sure that a few of us would get knocked out of our raft.  All of us thought it would be harder than it actually was.  Rafting turned out to be easier than we thought-- and all of us had a blast.  Well maybe not all... William was a bit unsure in the beginning, probably because he was placed in the very front.  But as time went on and he was able to sit further back in the raft, he was able to enjoy himself more and more.



Half way through the trip we stopped for a break to swim and eat some
of the fresh fruit the team had bought earlier.
William enjoyed floating.
We all enjoyed watching the team cut up the fresh fruit-- mangoes, pineapple, and watermelon.

The fruit was so juicy and sweet!  Nothing like gorging yourself on fresh fruit on the river in the jungle. 
Our spotter let the kids try out his single kayak while the rest of explored the area
 and swam in the river.



John and I managed to steal a few romantic moments and Diana happened to capture one of them.


One of our tour guides showed us something really cool to do with our leftover pineapple cores.  He threw a chunk into the water and immediately a dozen little fish began nibbling it right before our eyes.  It looked like miniature piranhas attacking a chunk of flesh-- it was pretty amazing to watch.  So of course we all through in a piece of core at the same time and watched schools of these little fish dance right beneath the surface of the water as they feasted on their meal.

Rafting through the rapids was so fun-- we wished we could do it the whole time.






After rafting the rapids, we changed into some dry clothes and drove to a local restaurant.  The restaurant was in the front of the owner's home.  This kind of set-up where a business is in front of the owner's house seems to be very common here in Costa Rica.
 
We all ordered a typical casado plate with our choice of either steak smothered  in onions, fried fish, or chicken.  The meal was delicious!


We stayed a bit longer and enjoyed a cup of coffee before climbing back onto the bus for the hour or so drive back.

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