La Península de Nicoya

Playa Órganos, la última playa visitaré de Costa Rica

Playa Órganos, la última playa visitaré de Costa Rica

               I almost did not go. I agreed to sleeping under a ranchero, bringing my own sheets, and figuring out plans as it would go about 18 hours before the trip. I fully enjoyed the trips to a few beaches, the extensive time with my spanish professors, the waterfalls that kept on appearing and the freedom of exploring. It is hard to write about. Thankfully I went! : )

Thank you to all for all

la vida es rara

la vida es rara

La Península de Osa

"¡Mire mamá, no manos!"- dijo el piloto.

“¡Mire mamá, no manos!”- dijo el piloto.

el piloto estuvo demasiado tranquilo

el piloto estuvo demasiado tranquilo

la cabina con Veinticinco, el perrito

la cabina me quedé con Veinticinco, el perrito

marañón salvaje

marañón salvaje. ¿sabes cuál semilla cultiva? 

Bahía Drake

Bahía Drake

una catarata

una catarata

Isla de Caño. Nadie vive allí, WOAH :)

Isla de Caño. Nadie vive allí, WOAH 🙂

¿un abrazo o una lucha?

¿un abrazo o una lucha?

Me di alegría estar en un avión pequeño de nueva :D

Me di alegría estar en un avión pequeño de nueva 😀

 Yup, I went on another trip, quite possibly my last one in Costa Rica. I had a week off of school because of Semana Santa, so I did a solo trip to la Península de Osa for a few days. I wanted to test out a solo trip in a foreign country to see how I would fair off and practice for future explorations, and I had a lot of fun doing it! 

               The freedom of being solo after traveling with a group ranging from the sizes of 4-17 people gave me a lot of freedom. Another great advantage of traveling alone is that you are not really alone, there are so many travelers, of all different fashions, to hang out with. To top it all off, I was in a place that National Geographic describes as “the most biologically intense place on earth”. 

               I tried to do as much as a could while in la Península de Osa. I saw the following on my first hike of 5 hours: jaguarundi (at first, I thought it was a baby jaguar that ran across the trail 50 feet in front of me), scarlet macaws, no people, cashew trees, white-faced capuchin that made me think I was the first white person they had ever seen, mango trees, and a river that fed into the Pacific Ocean. The next day I went to Isla de Caño where no one lives. I took an hour long boat ride in a dingy that was hardly seaworthy with its, unfortunately polluting, 4-stroke engine. I went snorkeling for several hours here. I swam over and with a turtle, an eel, a baby shark, schools of thousands of fish that formed walls in the ocean. The corral was far better in Panama because of its patterns and colors that were so hard to grasp, but Costa Rica had far bigger and better fish. I continued my hiking each day. I made hikes to a waterfall, with my new friends from the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland to watch the sunset over the confluence of the river and the sea, and along the beach with a coupe of friends from Florida. One of my friends from Florida visited Flagstaff for a couple of weeks on her road trip throughout the states a month ago. I really found it incredible that I met her in Costa Rica and had some insightful discussion about Flagstaff and her Buddhist Lama friend that kicked her to the curb in the middle of their roadtrip. This in turn lead her to her own road trip. I tried fig ice cream, surprisingly appetizing. I read Life of Pi and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The latter of the two the hostess at my cabina had a paper copy of which I was really excited about because I was priorly reading it on my phone. I also attempted to add some Australian phrases from the hostess to my repertoire. 

I am very thankful that my study abroad experience has given me the tools to travel and the practice with these tools. I look forward to future explorations. 

Panama

velero

velero

               Panama, I will not forget this trip, for the sea. Each mangrove helped to form a maze of islands throughout the water. In the boat we split through openings in the mangrove maze that where so slender, only a local would know it was passible from their extensive experience. The boat continued to skim across the sea with schools of dolphins riding the wake and leading the way from bay to bay. The water held coral reefs with every pattern possible and one unique corral in the depths that mimicked my first bonsai tree on a elephantine scale. These coral reefs were full of fish from every shape and color, squids that looked like a futuristic car hovering in every direction that was away from my alien form, star fish that had to of been inflated with a basketball pump to get that swollen in size, and the occasional flying carpet, manta rey. How fortunate I am to go snorkeling off of different little islands in Panama. At one island we stopped to see Macaws, at another it was five sloths, and my favorite, the island of coconut trees. I am looking forward to seeing more of this under water world in the future : )

Aqua Lounge

Aqua Lounge en frente de Bocas del Toro

               Here, in green with a huge deck, is Aqua Lounge. This is the bar that you use a $1 ferry to access. In the bar there is the usual assortment, but there are also several holes in the deck for swimming in the sea and swings over the ocean. Although, my favorite part of the day was easily my thirty mile bike ride.

               Across the island of Bocas del Toro is a relaxing beach with the right mix of tourism and nature. I chose to rent a $5 beach cruiser held together with rust, the strongest bonding materials that was left. Of course I arrived after the bus that the rest of the group took. Although, the did not go to a cave. A cave that gave me the  heebies and the jeebies, it had the classic Catholic virgin Marry at the entrance of the cave and inside the cave were the remains of wax from candles, all this was behind a few abandoned houses. Only I talked to howler monkeys, the only species of monkeys on the island. No one else was able to ride a bike with a local kid on his when to the baseball diamond to meet up with classmates. The others might not have stopped to see what thirty vultures were feeding on in the creek. I was the one who felt the incline of the hills and the meandering of the downhill stretches. Never knew how much I liked to ride a bike. However, perhaps my favorite part of the day was watching the local soccer game, located at the end of the airport run way : )

Guanacaste Province

el ninez mío

el ninez mío

               It brought me straight back to this trip! I was running on Playa Conchal en Guanacaste, Costa Rica, when it happened. I saw a jellyfish in front of me on the beach and I thought to myself, “I should bring it back to show my friends.” That’s when I recalled the time that my friends Josh, Jake, and I went to San Clamente, California. We had been lugging around a jellyfish for a solid thirty minutes when all of a sudden, it started to sting me. Why it took thirty minutes to decide that it didn’t like me, I still don’t know. So this was my dilemma, get stung and share the experience with my friends, or keep on trucking (I realize there was another option, although, I figured it was too far for them to want to walk).

                The next thing I knew, the beach-side masseuse was running toward me, “No, no, no, no!”  So I lied, my first real thought was, “is that a breast implant?!”  The object was clear, rounded in shape, and a desirable cup-size. So, when the masseuse can running my way I thought to myself, “what kind of business are you running here lady” and I was flush with embarrassment for picking up such a thing. “¡Te pica! (it will sting you),” the masseuse finished her rant. “Oh thank God!” I thought to myself, as I have all ready suffered a few stings, and I didn’t want to have this new scare in my life. I demonstrated to her that the jelly was upside down in my hand so it couldn’t possibly sting me, gringo logic at its finest! In the end, I turned down a waterfront massage and left the jellyfish there to head for the farthest point I could see.

              I love how running is rewarding in many facets. This goofy story is one part of it. Also, I ran through jellyfish sprawled across the beach as if I was back at my high school football practices doing high-knees through tires. The wildlife I encountered was the following: sea cucumbers, hermit crabs, crabs, Magnificent Frigatebird, Bare-throated Tiger Heron (WOAH!!), Swainson’s Hawk, “tide-pool” fish (including a bright blue one!), anemones and jellyfish. Thankfully, man was built to run!

Arenal

Volcán Arenal

Volcán Arenal

I am in the ring of fire, and it’s nice to take advantage of it. The volcanos are my favorite part because of their constant activity. Although, the hotsprings at Baldi Resort and Spa are hard to beat. However, the hotsprings are natural but in an environment for from it, and for this reason, I am sharing pictures of Arenal. 

Volcán Arenal al puesto del sol

Volcán Arenal al puesto del sol

Thankfully, we also walked done to a river in the morning to have some good old fun! I was a big fan of the rope swing, mostly because I had never had the opportunity to do such a big rope swing before this! What topped the rope swing were my futile attempts to scrabble up the algae covered rock walls with my soaking wet hands. Who knew falling could be so much fun! (Unfortunetely, I only have some videos of the river and this site doesn’t allow me to upload them, but I know you all have strong imaginations!)

sendero

sendero

I went to another botanical garden while in Arenal, it was part of the Baldi Resort and Spa. The moss covered pathway was nice to my bare feet as a prowled around the garden. Here are some photos of the plants I found.IMG_3289 IMG_3293 IMG_3315 IMG_3292 IMG_3297 IMG_3302 IMG_3314 IMG_3320 IMG_3311 IMG_3298

Nicaragua

Some times all you need is pictures and you can imagine the rest…

volcán masaya

volcán masaya

la isla Omotepe, volcán Concepción, y volcán Madera

la isla Omotepe, volcán Concepción, y volcán Madera

Granada al puesto del sol

Granada al puesto del sol

¿Cuántos puros hay?

¿Cuántos puros hay?

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me encanta la arquitectura en Granada

me encanta la arquitectura en Granada

cordobas, y un puro hecho de mis manos

cordobas, y un puro hecho de mis manos

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Gathered a bunch of avocados and mandarines while hiking to a waterfall on Madera Volcano.

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Mia con mandarinas

Mia con mandarinas

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Cascada San Ramon

Cascada San Ramon

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Living My Dream

I have an infatuation with climbing things. Not to mention, Tarzan is one of my ideals and at times my sensei. In Costa Rica I have been able to enjoy the playground that the jungle presents. Here are some shots that my friends have captured of me, thanks guys!

up there!!

up there!!

mis escaleras

mis escaleras

una vista típica

una vista típica

estoy cosechando aguacates en Nicaragua

estoy cosechando aguacates en Nicaragua

estoy escalando una enredadera

estoy escalando una enredadera

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first summit

first summit

reminiscencia del Parque Nacional de Sequoia

reminiscencia del Parque Nacional de Sequoia

 

un montón de pipa

un montón de pipa

estoy rompiendo la cascara de la pipa contra un palo con la aconsejar de mi maestra, Rosy :)

estoy rompiendo la cascara de la pipa contra un palo con la aconsejar de mi maestra, Rosy 🙂

¡exito! la carne era doble la tamaño que normal

¡exito! la carne era doble la tamaño que normal

Gametime

As some of you might know, I am not the person known for caring around a camera all the time. I get bashed for this at times but I have my reasons. That being said, other people usually carry around a camera, especially when on a study abroad program. I have started my own game with everyone else’s cameras. When they aren’t looking I have been busting out “selfies” for them to later discover when they flip through their photos. The following is some of my finer works

Ka-Shamm!!

Ka-Shamm!!

DSCF1158Bam!!

Whop!

Whop!

Puerto Viejo

Manzanillo

Manzanillo

Awakening to the song of rain on the tin roof I stretched out my satisfaction. Catching my balance, I remembered that my bed consisted of a hammock. I rolled myself up into a cocoon of worth. It was the middle of the night the time of uneasy awakenings, but this was different. This was the first steady rain I had experienced in Costa Rica. A smile took roots at my lips and spread throughout my being. The distinct smell of rain also gave me pleasant recollections of storms I have cherished. Absorbing the memories of the storms of the past I kicked my foot out to put a swing in my hammock. My memories shook me into the present.

frogger

frogger

 

I gave thanks that I was able listen to the wind sing, rain strum, and the tin roof complete the song. This took my mind into my passing days in Puerto Viejo. I recalled the bike ride to and fro Manzanillo, private beach, new fútbol game called la liga that I played with a friend and a kid who the costa rican junior national team recruited, conversations about biodynamic farming, texas, el salvador, comparing studying abroad programs, biodiesel, italia, how to scout an attacking midfielder from a scout for the san jose mls team, and the way of life in iowa.

flowers of the caribe

flowers of the caribe

I swayed back to sleep to complete my nights sleep at the hostel in Puerto Viejo. 

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Monte Verde

arco iris

arco iris

catarata

catarata

montando un caballo

montando un caballo

lapa

lapa

It felt so good to be in the mountains again!! Monte Verde is incredible and has so much to offer! This weekend I saw the moon in a new way thanks to Monte Verde. With thick clouds of rain I was tricked into thinking that I saw the moon rising over profound mountains. Once again, treadmill of clouds in the sky tricked me into thinking that the moon was shooting across the sky. For all of you who know about my love for the moon you can only imagine how sore my cheeks were from all of the smiling : ) I saw three toucans this weekend!! Keel-billed! Toco! and one that I cannot find the name of on the internet! (there are 40 species of toucans- woah!) I have no idea how those guys fly with that big ol’ beak of theres, I have enough trouble walking with mine! My friend Mia and I went for a walk in the jungle and found a swing hanging from a tree!! It was surreal and the best place to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean and the Nicoya Peninsula, with horses in a pasture near by, clouds racing across the sky and making mesmerizing shadows on the hills, and tall grass dancing in the breeze  : ) and after we walked back through the jungle and found out that there are fireflies in the jungle!! The next morning I lounged in the porch, immersed in pillows and bedding during the fringe of dawn. I read my book while the cool breeze changed the colors of the sky around the moon. I road an appaloosa horse for hours through the jungle! The horse looked just like the toy horse I had when I was a youngin : ) I ziplined, did a “Tarzan swing”, hiked, and did a “Superman zipline” in the mountains of Monte Verde, Costa Rica. Easily one of the happiest times of my life! : D I don’t even want to explain this more because I can’t put this experience into words. I was fortunate enough to do all this with my friends and our laid back professor Ro!! Glad I got to share these moments with you guys!

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matando tiempo

Al Chile?!

Al Chile?!

DSCF1452                                                                                                                        mi muñecoDSCF1478                                                     listos!
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tarzan swing

tarzan swing