Costa Rica Day 4 – Drake Bay

On day four we went hiking out in trails. We ended up going with four other people from our hotel. They were from the Netherlands. That is something we loved about our hotel; there were so many people at our hotel from different countries. We got to hear so many different languages, which is so fun!

Here are some wonderful pictures of our hiking excursion. This is the one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the world. We hiked at Corcovado National Park. And the whole time I kept thinking about my father and his love of nature. I know he would have thoroughly enjoyed this part of our trip. I hope sometime soon he will get to go hiking in a rainforest like we did.

Here’s Tom, Sarah, me, and David. Don’t you LOVE the rubber boots?!?!

Shortly after we began our hike we came across an “air strip.” Isn’t it surreal? I love how there’s one tree all along by the water.

As we were walking up to the Ranger Station a plan flew in…

Unfortunately, a loud, out of control, American family stepped off of it…This is why Americans get a bad wrap….But I think the Netherlanders who were with us we okay with us most the time at least.

This is the most poisonous land snake in Costa Rica….Our guide decided to poke it with a stick. I was very thankful that I had tall rubber boots on at this time, because he said it can jump and rather far….

On our hike we go out of the rainforest and onto the beach.

It’s simply breathtaking. Being in Costa Rica made me just want to sit outside and read all day long. It’s just amazing!

To go along with the crazy reptile theme we also ran into an alligator sunning himself. He was across the stream, but it wasn’t a very wide stream. Especially considering the day before we had seen the most poisonous snake in Costa Rica (it was a water snake, that they don’t have an anti-venom for…).

We also saw some pigs. They came REALLY close. We had to stand completely still so we didn’t scare them. The pigs had a scout that would look out for danger and make this clicking noise for them to run away to safety.

Here’s another picture of the pigs. Aren’t they close? Our guide said he had never been this close to them before. So cool!

While we were looking at the piggies we saw some birds as well.

Monkey! We saw all four kinds of monkeys. YEA! Unfortunately I do not have clear pictures of most of them, because they were too high up in the trees… 😦 I wanted to bring one home, but again I think they frown on that.

At the end of our day our guide found a large…Tapir, I think…It’s been too long I can’t exactly remember, but it was HUGE.

As we were heading back to Drake Bay we came across another humpback whale.

So cool!

We also came across a pirate ship….ARGH!

After the hike we took a picture with our guide. He was pretty awesome.

We were really good with taking group shots this day, which is unfortunate, because we were a little dirty. I think that just shows how much fun we had.

I was pretty good this day at taking some pictures of our motel.

We stayed at the cabin in the back (it was a two sided cabin, Tom and Sarah and the front and David and I had the back). We were back by the chicken coupes. Our view was FABULOUS!

Here’s part of the view of the lovely trees. The holler monkeys were right out there multiple times and woke us up 🙂

Here’s more of the view. Isn’t it amazing! It’s like Jurassic Park!! I guess that may have to do with the fact that Jurassic Park was suppose to be down there.

I really wish I would have written down our meals. Miguel made some of the best food I’ve ever had!! So tasty! At dinner we meet people from all over the world; Netherlands, France, Spain, and US. The last night we were there we met a couple that lived in Oklahoma, but were originally from Texas, small would. I loved getting to be around all kinds of different languages. I wish we had more of that in the US in public places.

Before dinner we played BS with some girls from France. It was really funny, because we were teaching them the game and they knew of it from “How to Loose a Guy in Ten Days.” Oh pop culture.

Costa Rica Day 3 – Drake Bay

This morning we woke up around 6:00 am (yes, David got up before 8:00am on vacation). We had breakfast at the “bed and breakfast” which was FABULOUS! Miguel, the owner, made the most amazing food! He was originally from Madrid, Spain. He had the coolest motel due to the people that were there. I’ll get into that more later.

On to day three. This was our first day of true adventures. We went snorkeling!! I enjoy snorkeling, but I don’t think David had too much fun…I think it was too much work for him 🙂

We went to Cano Island to snorkel, so it was a forty-five minute boat ride out. Totally worth it.

The scenery in Costa Rica is absolutely beautiful! It’s calming to just walk outside, even to be inside. Everything there is open air with huge windows and there isn’t a bad view insight.

The water and sky are just as beautiful as the land and vegetable. They are so breathe taking they leave me awestruck.

And one of the most amazing things/once in a life time experiences we had was getting to see WHALES!!

We got to see the Humpback whales flip, flop, splash, and just chill. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had never seen a whale in real life until then.

They really do have humps and it’s so cool! That’s pretty much all we got to see of them and their tails of course as they went under.

After snapping tons of pictures of the whales (yes, there were more than ONE!!!) we jumped out to snorkel.

Here’s Tom and Sarah in the water enjoying the beauty. Don’t you just love the orange life vests??

David and I took an up-close and personal snorkeling picture. Very flattering, I must say. I love my smooshed mouth due to the mask and David’s squinty eyes.

After an hour or so of snorkeling we headed up to the beach to eat lunch and wander around.

During our break there was this wonderfully colorful canoe that I just had to take a picture of to remember.

While wandering around and signing in at the ranger station (top left in the background) we saw this rusted gas tank. I love the speedo men in the background, HAHA! So European.

There was a huge driftwood tree that I really wanted to take back with us, but I didn’t think I could fit it in my backpack…And you can’t take things off of the preserved areas like this…Oh well. Maybe I can make some driftwood at some point.

Along our treck we found some rocks jetting out…We wanted to go out to the end, but had to head back to eat lunch, YUM!

Oh, side note. The bathrooms there were sketchy!! It was a hole with a toilet seat on top of it and stalls of course. However, there was no light (just a little from the top) and you dump sawdust on top of the toilet paper into the hole instead of flushing. Seeing as you just dump sawdust on top there were MANY bugs crawling in there with you as well. Including a HUGE SPIDER!! Needless to say I was in and out of there as fast as I could be. **Shutter**

After we ate lunch we headed on another hike around the island and this time we went upward instead of down to the beach.

We followed the stairs up and found something interesting. We had originally started to follow the stairs in hunt of a waterfall, which we heard, but never saw. Instead we kept going and found a cell phone tower. Technology is even overtaking the remote islands….what kind of world are we in??? I guess there is no escaping it anywhere.

On the way up and down the stair trail I enjoyed taking some pictures of God’s gifts to us.

After our treck we headed back out for more snorkeling!

Check out how people get into the boats. Yes. That is how we got in and out of all of the boats in Drake Bay. Including arriving and leaving with our luggage…It was interesting.

As we headed out I felt that we needed a picture of the island.

Look at all those trees!! I miss them. I wish I could have taken them home with me, along with the rain.

Unfortunately, the camera died, because I forgot to charge it since we left Austin, oops…I missed getting to take pictures of the dolphins that our awesome boat driver got to follow us. It was an amazing experience! The dolphins were playing in the boat’s wake.

I was able to charge the camera when we made it back to our room and take a picture of the beautiful scape from our porch.

We were woken up to howler monkeys that were hangout in those trees this day. It was amazing! I would love a howler monkey alarm clock everyday. Being in nature is so awe inspiring. I read every afternoon on the hammock and in the rain….So peaceful. David napped instead of reading, but I think that’s what he needs when he gets up before 8:00am. 🙂

Costa Rica Day 2 – Travel to Drake Bay

On first full day in Costa Rica we started bright and late (like 7:00 am). We ate tasty homemade bread and homemade jelly at our hotel and then set out for our adventure….Which came to a screeching halt when we had to get the car out of “jail.” Well, not really jail, but the parking lot. It was fenced in, with bared wire, and a parking attendant. Long story short, David lost the car ticket, and Sarah had to come and work her Spanish speaking magic to get the car out.

Onward. We left San Jose and headed south on the Pan-American Highway. Just outside of San Jose we stopped at an orphanage that friends had interned at in college. It was truly amazing. Being there made my heart jump for joy. Everyone there truly has a heart to serve the Lord and to help the helpless.

They take in all of the brothers and sisters instead of splitting them up, which is so wonderful. If I were to work for an orphanage it would be like this one. There are Christian families that live in the houses with the children.

There is a daycare, computer room (where they teach classes for the community), cafeteria/sanctuary, medical facilities (which are opening soon), and so much more! Truly inspiring. Now there was no airconditioning, which would not fly in Texas with our record breaking heat and drought…

Everything was built by volunteers. EVERYTHING! It’s beautiful. And such an amazing why to be able to minister to the community. I love children, which is why places like this have such a special place in my heart. God gave me a desire to work with children and I get so excited to see what amazing outpours of His love and mercy can do in places like this for children. Children are such a wonderful gift from God; innocent, curious, hopeful. The world through a child’s eye is always full of such magic. This is truly a magical place. I kind of didn’t want to leave…

Finally, a picture of our travel buddies and my awkward smile in this photo…After our hour plus excursion here we continued on our way to Sierpe.

Here’s a map that shows Sierpe to Drake (the big red dots). Despite the large dots they are very remote, small places….As in when we went to rent our car and told the people we were going to Drake they kind of stared at us for a few seconds until we explained further…

Photo Source

I napped in the car most of the time; I had a headache and was feeling kind of sick (possibly altitude sickness). After hours of driving, reading, and napping we finally made it to Sierpe (and the sketchy Restaurante Las Vegas).

This is where we parked the car while we were in Drake….David did not take a picture of it, but it was basically a fence with barbed wire around it….it seems to be a trend down here.

Here’s the dock that we caught the “ferry” at to head to Drake Bay. The ferry was pretty much like the boat pictured, except there were real walls and more seats….so….not like it at all, except in size and with a covering….You get the idea.

Here is Sarah and I on the boat on the way to Drake. See, covering and wall and seats facing forward…please ignore the spacey looks….David too the picture without our knowledge.

Here’s Tom showing off the scenery with his best Vana impression. This is pretty much what we saw the entire way to Drake.

Here’s a house on the side of the river, only accessible by boat.

While heading from Sierpe to Drake we went through this narrow pathway (which was cleared naturally, so cool). We did see some crocs in here….Don’t hang your arms over the side…you may turn into the one armed man.

As we were heading into the ocean and nearing Drake Bay we got to watch a storm roll in. It was pretty amazing! Storms are definitely one of my favorite things about this world. They are a true reminder to me of how wonderful and powerful God truly is.

Just as we got off the boat and into the taxi, rain, rain, RAIN! It was such sweet relief from the Texas heat and lack-o-rain we have been having and will continue to have for only God knows why.

Here’s a little picture of the rain from the taxi for those who have forgotten what rain looks like. Enjoy!