costa rica, part deux

buena-vista.jpg

remember when I posted my summer 2012 game plan? I promised to 'get dirty and get my adrenaline pumping'? I took care of both those things on our day trip to buena vista, costa rica. it's a rain forest/volcano area about 2 and half hours from our resort and we booked our fun with wahoo water sports, a small company with an office in the jw marriott resort. actually, all our outside activities were taken care of by jose and douglas of wahoo. whether it was a day trip, schooner sail or where to eat in tamarindo, we went to them and they took care of the what, where and how - I can't recommend these guys enough. we met rodolpho, our driver, and jose at 7:30 AM in the lobby and headed out. the list of adventures for the day icluded water slide, zipline/canopy tour, horseback riding and a mud bath/spa so we dressed appropriately and brought our swimsuits and towels. my nice canon rebel DSLR has been on the fritz so I left it at home and packed our small nikon coolpix and gave it to jose to snap some action shots for us. it's a great little camera with a ton of features so I'm not sure what happened - I wish I had better pictures of these crazy adventures but they came out crappy. we bought the 'professional' shots as a backup plan.

the start of a long day wearing plastic helmets

in an effort to prove to my family that I am not a wuss, that I do not melt when wet, I volunteered to go first down the 425 yard long water slide in frigid water. the slide is essentially a cement half-pipe set into a naturally occurring stream and someone controls the rush of water at the top that pushes you down into a man-made 'pool' at the bottom. it should be noted that there were no waivers signed, no release of responsibility - just a plastic helmet strapped to your head (no padding) and an innertube.

abby's photo was taken by the professional

it was a BLAST! we each took two runs before drying off and heading to the zipline equipment area to get suited up for phase II.

ready for the canopy tour - locked, loaded and helmetted. again.

again, there were no waivers signed. just a friendly man who spoke little-to-no-english and accurately sized us up for our gear. these helmets fit better and had some protection but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't pass muster in the US of A. jose called this my 'kardashian pose' which made me sad. I mean I rocked the (unintentional) pose - I was sad to hear that that kind of crap has made its way down to costa rica. as one of our drivers mentioned later in the week "it takes awhile for current american music to make it down here" but the kardashians seem to be on the fast track.

all photos taken by tour photographer except the group shot below - that's jose's handiwork

anyhoo - eleven connecting zips over a beautiful rain forest, weird creatures and again, I jumped to be first in line. I think the kids were figuring out that there's more to their mother than they realized. it was super fun and I'm sorry I didn't give the 'upside down trick' a try.

the final plastic helmet experience. at least these were new and fresh out of the box

after the canopy tour we enjoyed a traditional costa rican lunch (rice and beans with chicken) before heading on our horseback ride. jose rode in front (he's wearing the dark shirt on the left in the photo above) and we had a rider behind us who offered to use my camera while we rode. his photos came out OK but he got all creative and took crazy, angled shots.

our CRAZY horseback started on the main trail and then jose took a left and we all followed while the big group kept riding. the horses didn't seem to mind but since none of us has ever been on a horse, it was a little risky. we rode narrow, rocky, steep, wet and almost non-existant 'paths' and met up with the low risk group in a clearing about 20 minutes later. from there we walked down to the 'spa' portion of our adventure. basically there were two, tall vats filled with scalding hot mud which we painted on our bodies, let it dry and showered it off with freezing cold water then swam in heated pools. pretty neat huh?

this my longest post. ever. and it all took place on one day of our vacation. we were all half asleep on the 2 and half hour ride home and couldn't handle anything more than a shower, room service and bed. I won't go into how sore I was or how the stirrups have created a semi-permanent welt on my shins - instead I will celebrate the fact that the kids now know what I'm made of. mission accomplished.

come back tomorrow for another costa rican installment!

FOOTNOTE: only 4 of these photos are mine and I found it very frustrating during this adventure to not be able to 'art direct'. all day I was very aware that I had no control over what was being photographed or how it was composed. the entire day was unforgettable but I wish the photographs resembled they way I remember things.