Monday, January 31, 2011

Surfing

Brianna getting some last minute instructionsEveryone practicing on the beach


One of the things Bern, Laela and Ted have always wanted to try is surfing. We wanted to introduce our kids to surfing as well. We have heard from many people that kids do it almost naturally. So we signed up for surfing. I am happy to boogie board, so I was self designated as the photographer for the event. We had two excellent instuctors from (Ian and ?Doug) who own/work for Frijoles Locos (Crazy Bean). I love the name of the shop and they rented us our boogie boards for the week as well. Great business to work with.


After a quick safety lesson and some trials of standing on the boards on the sand it was off to water.




I will try to load a video showing Bern get up. What was really exciting is that each member of our group stood on their board at least twice in the water! I was so proud of my friends and family as they showed their athletic ability. Surfing is a total body work out (according to those who did it). It needs lots of upper body strength, core strength and of course balance.

video

White Water Rafting







Well white water rafting was a true adventure. I always look forward to this event and felt the same way this time. Laela wasn't completely sold on this. I told Laela that this would be no problem, no fear, I have never fallen out or even felt like I would fall out. This was to be class II and III waves, safe for kids under 12 and 13 to take part in. Within 5 minutes of our beginning of the boat ride, we hit a wave that caused Alyssa to fly over the boat and land on me sending both of us into the churning water. My original panic started with, What will happen to my daughter, my next thought was, wow this water is deeper than I thought and really this didn't hurt, my next thought after that was OK I'm running out of air, I'm under the raft, I need to relax and point my feet down stream. Then within seconds this little guide is physically hauling me out of the water and the same time that Bern is hauling Alyssa out of the water. My heart was pounding, my swimming shorts were around my ankles (poor guide had to see all this), but my daughter was alive, I was alive and all was well. The rest of the hour and a half was filled with exciting rapids and we all stayed in the boat. We saw some absolutely amazing birds! I don't think Laela will ever white water raft again, but it was still a good adventure.

Zip lining

Alyssa
Brianna
Laela



Well I may have spelled the last entry wrong, we zip lined at Pozo Azul. Ted, Laela, Alyssa, Brianna and Bernie decided to go up into the canopy and fly down on small wires through the leaves. I'm not sure how much wild life was actually seen, but the adrenalin rush brought feelings of huge excitement to each person in the group. Brianna told us about some giant ants, that if you got bitten by one, would cause you 8 hours of pain. She was told that we couldn't hug any trees without chancing being bitten by one. She was distressed because Bernie kept touching the trees and leaning on the trunks. Thank goodness no one was bitten by the giant ants.

Poza Azule

Ted & Laela posing for the camera
What a beautiful butterfly... Hard to catch on film

Our family against the river

We travelled north to La Virgen to enjoy some zip lining and white water rafting. It was a beautiful area. Mountainous, lush and beautiful. We were white water rafting on the Sarapiqui river. I didn't zip line due to my outrageous fear of heights. Those that went said it was great fun and felt very safe. Laela stated that the "grated" platforms were a little unnerving when you looked down. The rides were great and apparantly you didn't need to "brake" as much as on other zip line adventures.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Poas Volcano

Ted and Laela walking down the path to the lake created by a volcano crater and filled with rain water. Don't they look romantic?
Here is the rain water lake. Apparantly the water is cold 13-14 degrees celcius




We spent a few hours driving to Poas Volcano. It was very close to us as the crow flies from our mountain home but it was literally 2 hours to drive there because of the road access. It was a beautiful day in the mountains, but when we first saw the crater it was filled with steam and clouds, so it was a "nothing but white" view. Luckily as we hiked around the mountain we ended up being there long enough that we got to view the steam coming off the crater lake that is kept at 40 degrees celcius from the volcanic activity in the mountain.



video

Water falls in Northern Costa Rica







Here are the Catarata Del Toro - 100 meter high falls. We climbed down to the base of the falls. Absolutely breath taking and a wonderful work out on for the thighs and the cardiovascular system.

Well here we are in Costa Rica. The trip up was uneventful. Spent our first days in the mountains north of the Capital City San Jose. We spent 6 nights in Bajos del Toro. Travelling over a crazy mountain pass to get to our breath taking home. We took several day trips from this location including seeing beautiful waterfalls, white water rafting and zip lining