This past weekend, our group went to Pozo Azul in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. It was so much fun! Our home for the weekend was a tent in the middle of the jungle. It was a pretty big tent that was built on top of a balcony type thing with two chairs and a table outside. The walls were made of tent material - with the zip up flaps and all. There were two queen size beds inside with a fan and a nightstand. When we got there, were given our keys and a flashlight for when we walk back to the tents at night (we were in the middle of the jungle, so it was possible that all kinds of creatures could be in our path). The bathroom was built on to the tent and the water for the shower was warmed only by the sun. I can't describe how pretty and neat everything there was!
Many of us started the day out riding horses. It was pretty intense. We started out slow . . .and then we started climbing steep mountains, crossing streams, riding on all this unstable rock/mud and then riding down really steep mountains. Next was ziplining. There were about 12 different cords that we rode and they were all as high as the treetops. The view was amazing, especially the last one. We rode over the river and it was the longest cord. You could see everything! The last activity was the safari ride in the river. We got in this huge blow up raft and we were all given paddles. We rode for a little while, and then our guide told us we could swim if we wanted to. It felt so good! We found a few ropes, so I was also able to swing from a bank into the water - so much fun!
Sunday morning we were woken up by howling monkeys. They were so close to us and so loud! But fortunately never came inside. Sunday morning, we left for the chocolate tour. There, we toured the forest where they grow the cocoa fruits and we saw the seeds that come from the fruits. They dry the seeds for six days under the sun and then roast them. Before they were roasted we were told that if we liked dark chocolate, we could try the seeds as they were. I tried them - they did not taste like dark chocolate. I tried them again after they were roasted and it was still pretty bad. We were allowed to take turns grinding the seeds, too. :) After they were grinded, our guide made "the drink of the gods" by adding hot water. They put out vanilla, nutmeg, corn, chili, and pepper for us to put in with our drinks. I put corn (it thickens it), nutmeg, and vanilla in mine. It wasn't too bad! Then they melted it and we were all given a spoon. It's all natural, so there was no sugar added, but it was good! They also had molded the chocolate into little candy sized pieces and we were given a piece of dark chocolate and one with milk added.
Overall, it was a really great weekend!
Entry 1: June 7
Tuesday, I rode the bus for the first time to another town - Heredia. It was super busy and had a lot of stores. We had a scavenger hunt there too, but my group got a bit side tracked and took lots of pictures instead. We saw a really pretty church and the central park type thing had a huge fountain in it. We also found this little hole-in-the-wall store that had a bunch of school supplies and I needed two notebooks for class. So those were the first things I bought in Costa Rica. I got my first colones in coins when I bought them...they're so fun! We met for lunch at a restaurant named Trigo Miel and I took a picture of my plate. IT WAS LOADED. We also ran into some Meredith girls that have been here since January, so it was great to see them! After lunch, we had a dance class. It was so much fun! I learned how to Cha Cha Cha, Salsa, and two other dances. After we learned the steps, we broke into pairs and practiced the dances. It was a great work out! I'm pretty sure I burned a lot of calories...but I don't know whether it was from laughing so much or dancing.