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Bicycling, Rafting, Snorkeling in Costa Rica 1997

Background

Linda and I convinced Lando and Mary to join us on a multisport adventure trip to Cosa Rica organized by REI Adventures. The trip was well organized and led by friendly and professional local staff and we enjoyed it very much.

Diary

5 December 1997 Lando, Mary, Linda and I fly from Portland to San Jose, Costa Rica, arriving about midnight. We get our ride into San Jose and stay at the Eidelweiss Hotel downtown.

6 December The four of us walk around downtown San Jose, enjoying the museums and markets. We return to our hotel and meet our guide, Alex, and the other members of the group.

Linda starting down Irazu
Irazu Volcano slopes

7 December Today we are bussed to just below the summit of Irazu Volcano. We hike a short way to the summit. We return to the parking lot and sort out the mountain bikes and begin descending the volcano. After a few miles we leave the paved road for a narrow road that descends the mountain along farm land and through several villages. We ride for several hours with one lunch stop. It eventually begins to rain, and we have a nice dinner stop at a restaurant along the way. From there we are bussed to Turrialtico Lodge near Turrialba where we spend the next three nights.

Costa Rican valley
Linda at top of hill

8 December Today we ride the mountain bikes in the lower valleys. We visit an old, abandoned church and have lunch at a family's home in Tucurrique. It is a very hot and humid day. We push hard to get up one hill in particular, encouraging each other not to stop before reaching the top. I feel like the top of my head is about to expload. After a long day we eventually return to Turrialba..

9 December Today we are introduced to our rafts and raft a few miles down a moderate river. Tomorrow will have more exciting whitewater. We visit a snake research center in the afternoon and get to handle poisonous snakes.

Rafting on the Rio Picuare
Rafting on the Rio Picuare

10 December Today is our big whitewater rafting day on the Rio Picuare. We enjoy the many rapids, including one where our raft guide and Alex fall overboard. We see a tucan. We understand there are parana in the river, but they must be harmless because Alex has us all jump out of the raft to coast through a narrow canyon. We return to San Jose to prepare for our travel to the coast.

Beach at Drake Bay

11 December Our group flies from San Jose to Palmar Sur on the west coast in two small aircraft. It is a fun flight over the mountains and landing on a jungle airstrip. We board a bus for a short ride to Sierpe', where we load onto a small boat that takes us down river and along the coast to Drake Bay. The boat seems rather small in the ocean. Linda and I sea kayaked near the shoreline and take turns riding the surf onto the beach. Linda flips her kayak end over end getting to the beach but is OK. We successfully kayak off the beach and return to the bay.

Hermit Crab on Cano Island

12 December Linda and I ride a boat out to Cano Island. We snorkel just offshore. I enjoy watching the fish, including a barracuda. We have lunch on the beach and follow a guide on a hike in the jungle to a pre-Columbian stone tool site. Other group members hike in the mainland jungle to the south of Drake Bay.

13 December Our group returns to San Jose, taking the boat to Sierpe', a bus to Palmar Sur, and the small plane back to the city.

14 December The four of us fly home together by way of San Francisco.

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