Our last Costa Rican adventure.... - Tuesday, May 06, 2003

...It was all Jerry's idea, but of course an idea we heartily agreed with. (BTW - Jerry is affectionately known to all the locals as "Yeti".)

Yeti wanted to go rafting seeing info on the internet about the awesome rivers in Cost Rica. So we found a company that ran a 2-day trip down the Pacuare River. This river is considered by many experienced rafters to be the most scenic class III-IV white-water rapids in the world and is considered to be among the top 5 rivers to run in the world.

Day 1 - Hiking and Dominos
After a 2 hour trip southeast of San Jose, we loaded into our raft with another couple from France and our guide Arturo. Fernando followed on an additional raft with all our gear and food for the next 24 hours. We rafted about a 1/2 hour then stopped for a swim/hike in a riverside stream. We arrived at the Pacuare Lodge an hour later and enjoyed the afternoon at this stunning ecolodge. The property is in the middle of primary rainforest with no road access or power and is owned by the rafting company and managed by a local indian family. The grounds are stunning and the accomodations and food were 1st class. After the late afternoon downpour and a nap, we enjoyed happy hour with the French couple, Arturo, and Fernando (GREAT GUYS!!) where we learned a new game of dominos. Of course we quickly became addicted....maybe that's because we ALL (even Yeti) had a bit too much Guaro and coke. Guaro is the local sugar cane alcoholic drink..mmmmm....

Day 2 - Real Rafting Begins
After a leisurely morning, we all piled into the raft and headed down the Pacuare for our 4 hour rafting journey. As we were vacationing at the end of dry season, the river wasn't that high and was a bit more technical to run (more paddling and rocks). About an hour into our fun, it started to rain and the 1st big rain of the rainy season descended upon the river. The rain was going sideways within seconds and the wind started howling. Because it was the end of the dry season, all the rain ran straight into the river from the surrounding hills and was not easily absorbed. This brought lots of waterfalls, mudslides, higher water level (made for better rafting). Unexpectedly, trees lining the banks started tilting with the wind. One of them even fell into the river ahead of our boat just missing us by ~50 ft. The guides smartly pulled the rafts into the middle of the river to wait out the big wind gusts (and trees). It was a bit unnerving but very exilerating. The rest of our trip was in the rain. Luckily it was ~ 85 degrees out--refreshing! The increased water level made the trip more fun.

All in all, we had an amazing time!!!

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