Exploring Costa Rica Week 1

 

We were excited to have two weeks to explore Costa Rica with the girls! We decided to use Marina Papagayo as our home base. The first day we went for a walk around the marina grounds. It was a beautiful walk through the jungle. Suddenly something moved in a tree and in an instant we were surrounded by more than 10 monkeys! They were fun to watch as they jumped from tree to tree over our heads.

The next morning we left early in our rented car and headed for a park to do some extreme sports. First up was zip lining. We were fitted with our harnesses and helmets, listened to the safety talk and we were off! We flew over the beautiful jungle from station to station. Then we approached a drop off and we looked down to see a cliff with a river below. The attendant told us that this repel and rock climb was optional. Well….we were here for extreme sports! Down we went! It was certainly hard to step off that rock! Finally down, whew….what? We have to climb the 60 feet back up?! This was no easy adventure!

After the zip lining we climbed on horseback to head down the hill through the jungle. Dale almost was knocked off when her horse decided to stray to the edge of the trail and went under a thick branch! Whew….we all made it to the corral!

Next up….white water tubing. Looking forward to a relaxing ride down a clear river in an inner tube, we began to get worried when we saw the river. Lots of rocks and fast moving water. We went from rapid to rapid backwards, frontwards and sideways. We got stuck on rocks, got out and were carried on. The last rapids were the largest. One of us (quite possibly a grandmother) got shot out of her tube and went head first down the rapids. Good thing for helmets! That might be enough extreme sports for one day!

 
Tyler and Gracie in Costa Rica
 
 
Our first monkey sighting
 
 
Iguanas everywhere!
 
 
Ready to zipline
 
 
Just a little farther!
 
 
How do you make this thing go?
 
 
Gracie
 
 
Tyler
 
 
Pop
 
 
Nan getting dumped
 
We ate a late lunch overlooking the jungle, saw monkeys playing in the trees and headed back to the marina. This day was totally a success.

We spent the next day lounging beside the pool. Some of us recovering from aching muscles.

As we were relaxing on the boat that afternoon, we heard a loud thud and one of our shrouds was vibrating….what was that?! We all piled out onto the dock to see a large (very large) black frigate bird in the water. It's wings were spread and it looked injured. A couple of fishermen in the boat across from us had a net and fished the bird out and onto the dock. It laid there for a minute, got up, flapped it's wings and expanded it's throat. Suddenly it coughed and a puffer fish came out of it's mouth and onto the dock. These can puff up and their spines can stick into whoever or whatever has them. Apparently it had puffed up and stunned the bird who had crashed into our boat and fallen in the water. Once he rid himself of the puffer, he shook himself and flew off, leaving a dock full of stunned bystanders!

Drop in bird
 
 
 
 

Tyler’s Puffer Fish

Day 4 we headed out of the marina on Slow Dancer for an overnight of fishing, swimming and exploring. We anchored in a bay that was two hours away. Tyler fished along the way, but no luck. After getting settled, Gracie and Nan dinghied to shore to explore. The surf was a bit high, but not too bad. As they approached shore Dale prepared to disembark and guide the dinghy to shore. Suddenly a large wave picked the dinghy up and tipped it end over end! Both Dale and Gracie ended up in the water and the dinghy righted itself. Oh no….we had our cell phones in a ziplock to take pictures on shore! Gracie searched Tiny Dancer and found the ziplock safely in the bottom. How did that happen?? Ok….on to exploring.

Meanwhile, Tyler and Pop stayed aboard and fished. Tyler was excited about her first fish of the day until it turned out to be a Puffer Fish. Not something that you want to handle! With Pop's help they got it back into the water. Within an hour, Pop had caught his first Puffer too!

We had a nice swim, dinner and evening aboard. The next morning we headed out to do more fishing and go back to the marina. No fish, but a beautiful dolphin accompanied us part way back.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Week one was truly memorable!

 

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