We began our two days on the river with a 6 am wake up so we could catch the bus to white water rafting. On our way, we passed over the continental divide, meaning we were on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica for the first time. After a delicious breakfast, we started rafting on the Rio Pacuare. On the river, we learned the basic commands of white water rafting and how to work together as a team so no one would fall out. Nonetheless, Anna and Cole found themselves swimming during a class zero rapid! At least we were able to practice our rescues! Our guides, Roy and Michael, are are professional guides and culinary phenoms who have over 20 years experience on the river. Our first day of white water rafting consisted of class 1 and 2 rapids to prepare us for our second, more challenging day. It was a very fun day that passed in the blink of an eye. Afterwards, we were able to settle into our rustic ecolodge at the River Pacuare Lodge. We were welcomed with a delicious lunch of fresh burritos prepared by Roy and Michael. Everyone wanted to rest after lunch but there was an important task mission first- we had to make our beds, the first time for this trip.
After some comfy naps, Michael led the group on a hike through the jungle up through a narrow canyon. We crossed the river several times to arrive at a secluded waterfall. Everyone enjoyed jumping into the refreshing water and swimming in the cool oasis, a break from that middle of the day humidity.
This wasn’t enough fun for everyone though- the group also played many competitive rounds of Fishbowl. Many rivalries were formed, like kids versus adults, and girls versus boys. Brianna was in charge of keeping score even if she wasn’t the most impartial judge ever… The game was played for almost 2 and a half hours and by the end, Anna had worked up a sweat, probably the result of winning every round.
Dinner interrupted the competition, another great meal by Roy and Michael. We were served a feast of fish, chicken rice and veggies which we enjoyed by candle light as we reminisced on the day’s activities.
The evening ended the same way we end all of our days, a nighttime meeting. Everyone shared their hero’s and highlights and we also tried a new activity where everyone wrote down a question and then people took turns answering it. Some questions were deep like “Why are you here?”, while some asked players “Would you rather eat a frog or lizard?” (Lizard is the correct answer FYI). Everyone went to bed excited for the adventure that would await them tomorrow.
We were able to sleep in before day 2 of white water rafting and woke up to a delicious breakfast. Roy and Michael cooked us eggs, pancakes, rice and beans, and much more. The group was excited to see the Pura Vida pancake they made especially for us! At breakfast, Cooper taught the group a game called Fantasy.
Anna really enjoyed this game and plans on tricking people at home with it. We began white water rafting at around 10. Some of the amazing sights we saw included canyons, Aboriginal Tribes, toucans, and a snake! During our amazing trip, we get to know our guides better. Almost all of us got soaked after our four hours on the river, all of us except for Brianna who ended the trip relatively dry after a well calculated seating position on the raft. We got to enjoy a great lunch where the game of fantasy was continued as Cole crafted stories of snake mafias and centipedes in tsunamis.
We finished off our final evening with a trip to Oxino, a huge shopping mall with every store and American fast food franchise you could imagine. We got cheeseburgers at a gourmet Costa Rican spot called Sublime. Cole approved. We went back to the hotel to have our final evening meeting and rest before airport day tomorrow. This is a good reminder for parents to double check those flight details! It has truly been a blast for everyone on this trip and it is going to be a difficult goodbye. We will be in touch tomorrow. ¡Buenos noches!