Costa Rica: Day Five and Six

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I actually took a few pictures on these days, so we should all be happy about that! Day five consisted of a wonderful walk through a cloud forest, and a canopy adventure aka zip lining! Not much more to say than that. Zip lining in Costa Rica is a lot different than zip lining in the states. Basically you have a glove with a thick piece of something durable in the middle of your palm, and that is what you use to stop yourself. It is kind of terrifying, but it was so fun!
On top of the cloud forest
What I had to climb up in order to see the top of the cloud forest..
Getting all geared up to go zip lining!
And proof that it actually happened!

Day six was quite the treat. First, we traveled to the Puntarenas region which meant two days of beach! But before the beauty that is the Costa Rican beach, we went on a crocodile tour. I don't know if any of you have ever been on a crocodile tour in the U.S before, but I will tell you what you see. Birds... a lot of birds. Guess what you see on a Costa Rican crocodile tour? Actual crocodiles! Like huge ones that are freaking scary! Let's just say I have NEVER been so close to a crocodile in all my life, and I have also never seen so many! They were seriously everywhere! In one spot there were like fifteen just sun bathing. It was freaking crazy you guys! Crazy!

Well that is all for day five and six. I am sorry I have been so slow putting these up. It is kind of crazy what being an adult does to your time. Thankfully I am done with summer semester in a couple days, and I will have two glorious weeks of no school! I can't even wait! 

Costa Rica: Day Three and Four

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I apologize for how long it took me to get this post up! I just spent the last week in Cape Cod meeting Zachary's wonderful family, and there wasn't much time for blogging. You know how it goes.

I am going to be very honest. Pictures are going to be quite sparse from here on out. I came to the decision after finding out that my legit camera had no memory card that I was instead going to just soak up everything, and try to leave my phone out of it. I didn't want my camera to be a distraction from my experience. All I can say is I am so glad I did. It is like I left a piece of myself in Costa Rica as I experienced its beauty through MY eyes and not my cameras. I didn't think it would make such a difference, but it truly did. I felt like I was able to completely enjoy every single moment without the distraction of a flash. Obviously I took out my camera every once in a while (I brought my film camera along with me), but there were days that I didn't take a single picture, and I am happy I didn't.

I don't need to prove to everyone else that I was having a blast in Costa Rica. While everyone was taking a picture "with" the waterfall with their back turned to the beauty, I was taking it in alone. Feeling its power as its thunder ran through me, and feeling the mist of its aftermath hit my face. Costa Rica is a place that you can truly be one with, and I didn't want to waste to much of my short time there behind a lens.

Well, I think I have made my point. Now I will get to the day three and four part of this post.

Day three was our water day. This was one of the days that I did not bring my phone or camera. We started the day off by kayaking across Lake Arenal which was absolutely stunning! It is a man-made lake which makes it all that more impressive given its size. We raced, we laughed, we swam, and then we headed to La Fortuna Waterfall which was incredible! I wish I could explain the power of this thing. It was crazy. It poured rain as we trekked down 500 stairs, and of course did not rain as we hiked back up. Like I think that may have been one of the most impressive moments of my life. Haha I didn't stop once as we hiked back up those stairs, and I am pretty proud of myself.

After a long day of hiking and kayaking we spent the rest of the night relaxing in man-made hot springs. Now when I imagined hot springs I imagined a whole in the ground with some hot water in it... Oh was I mistaken. This place was a full on RESORT with drinks, tvs, waterfalls, slides, and much more. It was beyond heavenly, and the perfect way to end the day!

I guess now it is time for some pictures of day three... I don't have much, but I have a few photos I stole from Facebook. Enjoy!
Lake Arenal
La Fortuna
Hot Springs!!

Alright day four... the day I thought I was going to die. Let me give a little background.

When I was eight my family decided to go horseback riding in someplace similar to the grand canyon. I can't really remember where exactly. Anyways, I was stuck with this donkey like horse that scared the crap out of me. It was the only horse that didn't listen, and would just wander off the trail with me having no choice put to wander with it. Then there was the donkey horse deciding it wanted to look like it was going to walk of the edge of the CLIFF, and that was it. I cried the rest of the time, and from then on hated horses. Well, not hated but I am deeply terrified of them. If there is a wall between us I am fine, but no wall and I am done for. Release the panic attack!

Anyway, so I decided that in Costa Rica (where there are apparently no rules or safety regulations) I was going to give horse back riding another shot. Worst. Mistake. Ever. You guys, I literally thought I was going to die. I thought I was going to fall of the horse, get trampled, and die in Costa Rica. I have never been more terrified in my entire life. This was not a typical leisurely horse back riding stroll. No, this was a trotting enough to almost make me fly over the top of the horse, and running at full speed kind of horse back riding fiasco. Basically what I learned is that I am not a horse person, and I am still 100% terrified of horses. The end.
On the bus thinking that horseback riding was actually going to be fun.

And there I am over to the left. The one whose body language is completely misleading even though I am smiling in the picture. Basically I am using my legs to hold on to the thing for dear life. But the ride was super pretty! Too bad I spent most of the time thinking I was going to die. Oh well. Life. Yay for day three and four!

Costa Rica: Day 1 and 2

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

So for those of you who follow my instagram account you have seen that I spent the last week and a half in the beautiful land known as Costa Rica. It was kind of crazy finally embarking on this adventure seeing as I had signed up for the trip last October. I went with the same program I went to Europe with (EF College Break) only this time I decided to go alone.

The first day consisted of flying to Costa Rica, and dinner with the group to get to know each other. I arrived by myself after the majority of the people had already arrived and been taken to the hotel. I got to ride to the hotel with just my tour guide, which was actually quite cool. I was impressed with how much he knew about his country, and I knew that we were going to have a blast with this guy. Good ol' Walter!

We arrived at the hotel to find that all the other group members were out exploring the city, so I went up to my room and relaxed for an hour before everyone came back. It was there that things really started to sink in. I was actually in Costa Rica! Not only was I there, but I had made the trek alone. I just stared out the window at all the locals passing by on the busy streets, and smiled to myself that I was able to have that moment alone to really let everything soak in.
The view outside our hotel window. Not the best photograph, but you get the idea. 
This was my morning view at breakfast on day two.

Day two started off with a bang! We backed up all are stuff in the bus and headed over to INBioparque. This place was unbelievable. It had areas of all the different types of forests found in Costa Rica. I swear not two minutes in we found a baby sloth hanging in a tree! The amount of wildlife I saw on this trip is unreal you guys. UNREAL!

I had a battle with myself about taking crappy and blurry animal photos, sooo I didn't. I am sorry fellow humans, I just couldn't do it. You are just going to have to take my word for it.

Now I will just show you all the wonderful photos, because no words can do it justice. Here is day two everyone!
Alright, so I have one picture of an animal. Haha enjoy! Iguanas were everywhere! You know how we have deer crossing signs? Well over in Costa Rica, they have iguana crossing signs. Haha It was pretty hysterical. 
Isn't this just the prettiest duck you ever did see? At least I think it's a duck.... doesn't it look like a duck??
This is Neon the butterfly. This little guy hung out on my backpack for a good 15 minutes. Long story short, we are best friends. 

Oh I forgot to explain the reason for the crummy iphone photos. I brought my beautiful Nikon with me all the way to Costa Rica only to find out I left the handy dandy memory card back home in Utah... *palm to face*

After exploring the wonderful park we were on our way to Poas to see the Poas Volcano! This volcano apparently has one of the biggest craters in the world! Can't you tell...
Yeah, that's it. Haha luckily there were a few times when the fog moved so we could actually see the crater, and it was definitely worth the wait. 
Did I mention there were two other Shelbys on this trip? Yeah, it was very confusing. In order from left to right. 
Shelby "Queso", Shelby Black, Shelby "Utah"
After hiking back down the crazy volcano (which we later found out erupted the next day) we headed by bus (our form of transportation) to the Arenal Region were we would spend the next day. That is pretty much it for day one and two my lovelies! Oh yeah, we stopped to see this one the way to Arenal. 
Until next time humans!

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