“And then there is the most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”
– Randy Komisar
As I am writing this I am still recovering from our 7-day-adventure in the greenest country I have ever seen: Costa Rica! Last Thursday the dream of flying to this beautiful piece on earth finally became a reality and I am very excited to take you with me on this amazing trip. Here are some of the biggest adventures worth sharing.
Let’s talk about this flight
A few days before we left for CR, Megan decided to find out what kind of aircraft we would have. Now, for a scared chicken like me, that turned out not to be the best idea. We would be flying with a propeller-driven airplane, barely the size of a bus… So for a couple of days I was kind of nervous to get onto this plane and fly across the world for two hours. When we arrived at the airport we laughed at the plane we saw: the thing was not even big enough to connect to a jet bridge! Right before check-in we realised we had to walk to the plane. Once we were in the plane the steward happily told us we were not allowed to walk during the flight, because then the plane could lose its balance. The take off took forever because the propellers – of course – did not have the same power as the big engines a normal plane has. During the two-hour flight I was so scared I was afraid to move and when we looked out of the window we discovered we were flying miles out of the shore. Why were we flying above see? Was something wrong? The whole flight was one big terror to me and I was so happy it was over, I almost ran to the bus. A bus, you say? Yeah, apparently the gate was so far away we had to take a bus. After ten minutes of waiting, the bus drove about ten meters further away from the airplane, only to drop us off at the gate. Are you serious? The wait was even longer than the ride and we could have easily walked over to the entrance of the airport. I was very relieved when I finally got the Costa Rican stamp in my passport, because it was the first flight with my pretty pink emergency friend. So far, so good. What a great beginning of our trip…
Catarata del Toro
The first place we stayed at was Catarata del Toro, an incredible restaurant/hotel in the middle of a national park. It is one of the undiscovered places of Costa Rica and it is absolutely gorgeous! Through my internship at AMG I sometimes connect to some very interesting people who send us messages through Facebook. A few months before our trip I got a message from the Dutch owner of Catarata del Toro who was interested in supporting AMG’s work. While we were planning our trip, I realised it might not be a bad idea to ask him if he had a place for us to stay. He was very enthusiastic and welcoming! So that’s how we ended up at Catarata. We took a taxi from the airport to the bus station in Alajuela and from there we took the bus to Zarcero, a small place about one and a half our north-west of San José. In Zarcero we could easily find a taxi to Catarata, where the owner (he didn’t want me to mention his name, so for now I will call him John) welcomed us with a big smile. He had already told the kitchen ladies we would come, so we could take a seat right away and enjoy an amazing lunch/early dinner. John was very interested in our work at AMG and while we were eating he told us all about himself and the beautiful park he lived in. After dinner we hiked down the trail full of hummingbirds to see the waterfall. What a blessing it must be to have this in your back yard! We were afraid to walk in the dark, so after taking some pictures of the beautiful nature, we hiked back to the restaurant. From the restaurant we had an amazing view over the park. John showed us our room, which was incredibly cozy and spacious. While the ground shook from the thunder and the rain fell down on the room, we peacefully feel asleep.
Río Celeste/Blue River
The next morning a guide took us to the Blue River, at about an hour walking distance from the restaurant. The road was so muddy it was a constant battle not to fall face-down in the mud. The guide was very friendly but did not speak a word of English. When we arrived at the stunning blue river it was hard to convince him we would not swim in the freezing water. “We have so much time left!” Yeah, we know, but since it was about ten degrees outside, I could not see myself take a dive into the river. To see the waterfalls we had to cross the river, which left us with soaking wet sneakers and frozen toes. But it was all worth it. Don’t ask me how this water gets this blue, but what an incredible piece of nature!