I am so sunburned, it hurts to wear long pants. And pretty much any clothing, for that matter. It’s my fault, I was stupid not to put on sunscreen while I’m on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, even if it’s cloudy, since I’m part Irish with the fairest skin ever and I burned in Ann Arbor in April before I left, for God’s sake. But oh well, it was a good weekend.
We left for the coast at 5:30 Friday. I was still sick…for the second Friday in a row…so I barely had an appetite all weekend, which was rough since the food was amazing and all I wanted to do was feel decent. The bus ride was miserable, but it was shorter than last weekend, and we got to the hotel and pretty much went to sleep right away after exploring the hotel.
Our room was awesome. We were in Costa Verde II, which was the "honeymoon suite", the couples area.
We thought this was hilarious. The complex had its own swimming pool (we're convinced a couple was having sex in the pool, but people were making out all around us every time we were there) and we were just way too loud for a honeymoon suite. We're not quite sure why a honeymoon suite room would have 2 double beds, like our room, but it was just such a great room. It definitely would have been 400 or 500 dollars per night, maybe more, in the United States.
The room was pretty much as big as last week, except we were quite literally in the middle of the jungle. We had a balcony where we could walk out and see the monkeys in the morning. (We heard them, but I didn’t see any...they were supposed to come out at sunrise and sunset, but sunrise was at 5 a.m. and it was cloudy for the sunset.) We had geckos in our room, and the girls in the other room had the biggest toad I’ve ever seen outside their door.
We walked past iguanas on our way to breakfast and saw this ridiculous rodent-like animal that I’ve never seen before on our way down to the beach. Combined with the fact we were in the middle of the rainforest, it was the most wildlife I’ve ever seen. I’m definitely more of a beach or city vacation person than a rainforest vacation person, but it was still amazing.
Elise, Janelle and I had all went to bed already – we were tired and we had to get up early to go ziplining tomorrow – when we heard a knock on the door. Janelle answered the door, and Alex turned on the lights, whipped off our covers and dragged Elise out of the bed and outside because they wanted us to go out. We ended up not going, but seeing Alex and Aaron carry Elise out of our room was pretty funny.
We were picked up early Saturday to go ziplining. It was a 45-minute drive through the rainforest to get to the site, and our tour guides were awesome – they kept getting out of the car to show us leaves (like the one that’s used to make henna tattoos) and berries (citronella berries – the ones that are used to make bug spray. It smells like Lysol). We stopped to see a caiman (a small crocodile) that was in a river, and our guide got out of the car so he could scare a little lizard and make it run across the water. (I forget the real name of the lizard – I think it’s a basilisk – but they called it the “Jesus Christ lizard” because it walks on water.) We were on these little dirt roads, rumbling through the rainforest and across little bridges while listening to reggaeton just quiet enough to not scare the animals.
The ziplining was a little scary but a lot of fun.
We knew that we were safe, but still, being strapped into a harness and flying on a cable strapped across a 120-foot drop in the rainforest is a little intimidating. It was a little hard to look down when I had to focus on looking across at the next platform while I was ziplining, but I did, and we could see down the entire length of the trees and sometimes even to the ground.
The rainforest was pretty hilly with a few rivers and a waterfall. We didn’t really see any animals while ziplining – we were way too loud for that, the cables made this loud whirring noise and people (like me) screamed a little bit on the zipline (okay, it was pretty much just me, and I was made fun of a lot) so we probably scared all the animals away, like usual. We’re a huge group of American college kids, so we’re obnoxious everywhere we go.
The scariest part of the zipline was the Tarzan swing, which was just a rope where we had to hold on and swing across a huge cliff. You were only strapped in on one clip, and it just felt like there was nothing holding you except for your hands on one little rope. There was one zipline run where we had to step off the platform before going, and that was creepy because I was just dangling in the air without moving.
The rappelling was also a little scary the first time – it was a rope straight down and required a little more physical activity than the ziplining, since we had to use our hands to control the speed and we couldn’t get anything caught in the pulleys. Jumping off the platform and rappelling down was definitely an unreal experience.
By the time we were finished, we all looked and smelled disgusting – the equipment was smelly to begin with, and being in the humid rainforest didn’t help.
We got to eat lunch at a restaurant in the rainforest and then headed home – but not before our tour guides stopped at a bar on the way home to grab a beer with us. They were both young guys, they (and others) kept poking fun at me and telling me I had pretty eyes, and so the boys made fun of me for the rest of the day because our tour guide was hitting on me. We made our pit stop, got home and then the night began.
I’ll write about Saturday night and Sunday (Manuel Antonio on the beach – gorgeous!) later. We have class until noon today and then we’re going on our last company visit this afternoon (a 2 hour bus ride, apparently – I’m so sick of bus rides) but I’ll probably write about it tonight.
We have whitewater rafting tomorrow – we have to wake up probably before 5 a.m., since the bus is leaving at 5:50 – but it’s ladies night at the Fiesta Casino and I really want to get a group together since it’s supposed to be awesome, but I doubt we’ll get a big enough group since we have to wake up so early.