You have to sing the subject line of this post like Spongebob Squarepants, then you get the real sense of it. On Friday morning, we were scheduled for a 7:30 a.m. pick-up to go white water rafting. By this time, I was second-guessing the way I'd planned the tours this week. We had to be out the door early every morning, and we were all a little worn out. I was a bit testy, barking out orders to the kids to get in their bathing suits (again), put on sunscreen (again), find their caps (again) - you get the picture. Then the concierge knocked on the door to tell us our guide from Quepoa Exepeditions had arrived. Early. In Costa Rica. I thought no one was early in Costa Rica! We hustled some more and scampered downstairs to board our fourth van in as many days.
A word about tours and vans. The first two days, we were picked up first so Tom and I boarded in the back, thinking it would be considerate for others boarding after us. After two days bumping around in the back of the van on the aforesaid unpaved roads, we vowed not to sit in the back again. Especially after our experience with the family from SoCal.
On the third day, we weren't the first to be picked up. And what do know? The family who was picked up first took the first seats. We were in the back again. Luckily, it wasn't a long journey - just a short drive on a well-paved road to Manuel Antonio Park. Yesterday, once again, we were second to be picked up and the other family was in the front seats. They seemed like nice enough people so we started to think we were just silly to worry about the consideration of others. To the back we went. The guides piled in -- four of them -- with the one American literally lounging across two seats in the front while Tom and his long legs were cramped into the back seat. Tom muttered about poor customer service. About ten minutes into the drive, we pulled over at a bus stop and picked up a woman and two teenage children. The wife and children of the driver. They squeezed in beside the American guide and we understood why he'd kept the seat open. The was so absurd to me and yet so obviously normal for them that I fell into a fit of giggles. There were five Americans in the van, paying a good deal of money to go rafting and there was the driver, his wife, his two kids and four guides. Am I the only one who sees the silliness? Anyway -- rafting.
My kids and family have my friend, Colette, to thank for this trip because I wasn't sure about it. Having just traveled to the same area last year, she encouraged us to go for it. As said above - it was absolutely thrilling. Every one us loved it. Our guide, Nacho, was fantastic. The kids had a blast and as you'll see, we all had huge grins on our faces for most of the trip. I'll let the pictures speak for us:
Naturally, we took our break at a waterfall where our guides prepared fresh mango and pineapple along with Costa Rican cookies and crackers. It was, by far, the most beautiful waterfall we'd seen all week. And remember, we saw two before this one!
After the waterfall stop, it was more rafting -- so thrilling! -- and then a 'typical' lunch at a roadside restaurant. Have I mentioned 'typical' food yet? No? That might be a post for another day.
We're off now for the beach -- yes, we are walking again. We know the way this time so it can't be so bad, right?