Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunshine, friends, critters and adventure!

Tomorrow morning, it is back to school. I have had a wonderful break, which makes me think it might be a bit tricky getting back into the swing of classes. Hopefully it doesn't take too long, as the course I am taking looks like it is going to be a mountain of work. However, before starting all that - I thought I would share some of my holiday shenanigans.

Just before Trish came, I went to San Jose with Katia, another student at UPeace for the Tope. I still haven't quite figured out the "because why" but thousands of people train horses to do this tap dance kind of step - where they walk really slowly with a high step, and then the enter their horses into the Tope, which is like a giant parade. It started at 1:00 and goes on and on and on and on. All horses and their tap dance. One person told me that this year there were over 6000 horses entered. We watched for a few hours, then went and found the Asian grocery store, then watched some more, and then left while they continued on and on and on. Santa joined the parade near the beginning and most people had some kind of uniform or costume. :)

My holiday with Trish was fantastic. We had a bit of a chance to hang out around Ciudad Colon during the first days, as everything started opening up again. Charles and Christine, who work at Upeace, invited students to come to their place on the 2nd, to spend a day enjoying hiking and hanging out, outside of town. It was really fun. The weather was great for photos - as it was a bit cloudy with spattering of rain - which just makes everything looks that much more brilliant. These are some of my favourites.

Hanging around Ciudad Colon however, is not the most exciting way to spend your holiday - so we headed off to the Nicoya Peninsula, which was fantastic, albeit bumping in the coming and going.

We started off in Montezuma, which is a beautiful point, right near the tip of the peninsula. We enjoyed the beach for a couple days and Trish kindly cared for me as I succumbed to a day of food poisoning.

From the restaurant, our first night at the beach.

In the morning, enjoying the waves, sand and sun.

Cheeky little birds - super pretty (Magpie-Jay).

Thankfully - the food poisoning was only a day and we carried on, up the peninsula to Liberia - where we stayed in a beautiful hotel and went for a hike up at one of the parks. Travelling with a birder is so much fun. Seeing the world in a new way! We saw lots of cool things.

The park we went to is in a volcanic region. Still feeling a bit peekish, we did the shorter loop which goes up to the mud pots - rather than the hike to the waterfalls or the top of the volcano. We saw monkeys, boiling mud, critters, birds...

Hot hot mud!

The steam (which smelled awful) filled the trees - and was SO beautiful.


Fantastic trees!

Trish unfortunately had to return to the world of snowflakes - but just before she left, we stopped by Britt for a tour of the coffee plant. The tour was lead by people - who seemed to be having a blast, little bit dramatic - little bit fact.

I still had a smidge of holiday left. I joined Maeve (from England), Maria (from Venezuela), Ana (from Mexico) and Helga (from Portugal) for one last beach adventure. We went to Manuel Antonio and had an incredible time. The beach was beautiful, the park was filled with all sorts of beautiful animals and one of the restaurants provided us with possibly excessive entertainment.



Cheekie cheekie racoons!



And of course beautiful beaches!

The restaurant was built around an airplane. The US had sent it, to support the Contras in Nicaragua during the civil war, but somehow it got stuck in Costa Rica and these people bought it, dissembled it and slowly moved it to Manuel Antonio, put it back together, and built a restaurant around it.

Captain Maeve and I had fun! (we kind of all took shifts)

It's be a great break - but I guess it is time to leave the beach side cartwheels behind and return to books.
Peace to you,

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