Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica

Todd turned 50 this year.  I was once told that after 21, you should do something BIG on every birthday that ends in an "0".  So, when the opportunity arose, we settled on Costa Rica as the perfect destination to explore and celebrate the momentous event.

Costa Rica is a truly magical place.  But there was so much to much to see in one short week!  After perusing the internet, we decided our first leg of our journey was a whitewater rafting adventure down the Pacuare River.  I had searched the internet for fabulous trips in CR and this place kept popping up.  The photos were fabulous, the online reviews were great, so I went with my gut and we headed into the jungles of Pacuare.  

After spending the night in San Jose (a direct flight from Phoenix to the capitol city was an added bonus), an early morning tour bus picked up us, along with eight more adventure seekers and we headed into destinations unknown.  We stopped and had lunch at a roadside cafe that served authentic Costa Rican beans and rice along with delicious fruits and juices.  We were traveling with a Elliot and Cristina, a honeymoon couple, Sandy, Brian, Drew and Bryce a family of four with two teenage boys, and Andrea, a single woman from London.  It was all so exciting!  

Three hours into our journey we made our way down a steep rocky road and pulled up next to a beautiful muddy river.  The tour guides who had welcomed us onto the bus now turned us over to the awaiting white water river guides.  Ivan and Luis gave us a quick instruction on how to navigate the waters of the river: forward paddle,  back paddle, get down, high side overboard?!  and we were off.  

We paddled our way in and out of Class 1, 2 and 3 rapids and yes, we did flip the boat one time -- poor Andrea absolutely petrified.  (She reminded me of Kate Winslet from the movie Holiday -- fresh from a break up and death of her father, seeking a change of scenery and an quiet hammock in the jungle.)  After surfing another set of rapids, pausing for a rock climb to a beautiful swimming hole, and paddling through the most beautiful rainforest I had ever seen, we arrived at the amazing Pacuare Lodge.  

I'd describe the Pacuare Lodge as five star living in the heart of the Costa Rican rain forest.  The compound includes 14 individual huts that have no electricity, internet, tv or phones, but generous porches, showers, beds and the BEST hammock I'd ever rocked in (Andrea got her wish!).  After being greeted by the lodge staff we heartily ate our fabulous gourmet lunch, then we unpacked and immediately went out to explore the jungle...very carefully that is.  For the saying goes the jungle there are more eyes than leaves.  Yikes....

More adventure stories to come.....

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