(Michael looks angry because he failed to set the alarm clock and we almost missed our 6:05 a.m. pick-up time. We woke up at 5:57 a.m.)
Our rafting trip ended up being a 12-hour adventure starting at 6 in the morning. $99/person buys you breakfast and lunch, transport to and from the river Pacuare, a tour guide with lots of Costa Rican facts, and of course, the most adrenaline-filled four-hour white water rafting trip I’ve been on so far.Some interesting facts about Costa Rica taken from our tour guide:
Top revenue-generating agricultural crops are pineapples and bananas, but tourism outweighs any single crop revenue. Costa Rica is the exact size of West Virginia. The coffee here is cultivated for quality and usually takes first in the international coffee competition. That’s all I heard before I fell asleep.
Two years ago, Michael and I rafted down two rivers in Costa Rica. The first was a joke – made for kids age 2+ probably – boring. The second was a trip down the river Sarapiqui which was a lot more fun, but nothing like the class III and IV rapids of Pacuare today.
Pacuare is ranked among the top 10 most scenic rivers in the world according to National Geographic (said our tour guide) and our rafting route was special in that it was much longer than usual rafting trips – 18 miles with about 40 white water rapid areas.
It was poor Cheto’s first time ever rafting and while class III and IV rapids aren’t too crazy, there was a pretty huge drop and lots of heavy water in the face about 1/3 into our trip. Cheto got swept off the raft and body surfed down some rapids. The look of intense terror on his face as he groped blindly for the safety rope was hilarious, but it definitely shook him. He spent the rest of the river huddled down in the center of the raft every time we hit any sort of white water. I think he wishes that he had chosen to do horseback riding instead.Cheto said that he thought he was going to die. And when he told me that, it set me off into another fit of laughter that was highly unappreciated.
Our rafting partners were a young couple from Denmark who were just as keen to get splashed and capsized as we were. My arms and back are going to be sore tomorrow from paddling.Speaking of tomorrow, we’re going to Panama. Yep. Panama.
Michael has this thing where he wants to spend each New Year’s in a different new place with me. Two years ago we were in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Last year, the Sahara Desert of Egypt. This year, we’re doing Panama.
This is definitely last minute so we don’t have anything planned except the fact that all three of us are leaving for Boca del Toros tomorrow morning which is an island in Panama, I think. We have our backpacks packed and our passports ready.
The catch is that we don’t have anywhere to stay. The plan is to find a hostel with a vacant room. If we can’t, then we’re either partying all night or sleeping on the beach. Or both.
Please don’t freak out, Mom. Happy early New Year’s!