Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Early Experiences in Costa Rica

Day 1
May 25

Today began with waking up to the sounds of many birds singing. It was like they were competing to be heard among the symphony of birdsongs, yet you couldn’t really see any unless you looked closely among all of the beautiful greenery.

We went to see La Fortuna waterfall (cascata?). It was a hike down over 700 steps. As this was the rainforest, there was a light mist falling at the beginning of our hike. However, by the time we made it to the falls below, it was pouring huge raindrops. We did not let that stop us, as shortly all in our group had tried to put their backpacks or other belongings in whatever makeshift shelter that could be found before heading into the chilling water. Our guide said it was about 12 degrees Celsius. That converts to about 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, that sounds insane, and for the first 60 seconds in the water, it felt insane. However, after time, it actually felt so refreshing. We all enjoyed it. By the time we left, the rain has eased up though it would have been welcome on the 8472 steps back up the trail. Ok, not quite that many, but that's what it felt like. 

Next, we spent time walking around La Fortuna. The town center was made up of beautiful flowers and walking paths across from the Catholic Church. There were many people out strolling. A man recognized we weren’t locals and told us where some eating establishments were. His English was very clear. It turns out that though he was born in Cuba, he was raised in Rhode Island by English nannies. He has been in Costa Rica for about 27 years.

The rest of the day was spent enjoying the hot spring and pools, eating dinner, and relaxing.

My early takes are that this country is very beautiful. The people here are friendly and warm. I am impressed by how much pride they take in their environment. They are wonderful stewards of the gifts bestowed on them by way of this rich and diverse land. 

La Fortuna Waterfall

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