~living a life of adventure with a little bit of attitude
Costa Rica - Day Three - January 2021 - Waterfalls, Coffee, and Fun!
Day Three- Monday
We were awake before the alarms. We had plenty of time to get ourselves ready and down for breakfast. Because of Covid there aren’t many eating establishment choices so we ate at the same buffet as the night before and had our temperatures checked. So much food! They always have plantains so I am happy because they are my favorite! We went up the stairs to the lobby and our Delta Rep- Owen was waiting for us.
We loaded up into a van that reminded us of the van that our current favorite you tubers Kara and Nate have (but theirs is turned into a home and ours had rows of seats). Elias was our guide for the morning. He was so knowledgeable and informative! It was awesome to be able to learn so much about Costa Rica from him.
On our way to our first stop we saw cattle vultures and ducks. Many of the birds we saw were actual “snow birds” that we see in Michigan during spring summer and fall. They migrate here during the winter. We also found out that the quetzal bird which is the National bird of Guatemala comes here to mate in the highlands and then goes back to Guatemala.
We veered off the main road and onto a gravel road where Elias skillfully avoided holes and bumps. At the entrance to the park we were required to have our temperature taken before we pulled into the parking lot. There was a clean, well kept bathhouse equipped with a shower, changing rooms and toilets. We walked into the woods down a set of gravel and wood stairs only to encounter capuchin monkeys playing in the branches next to the stairway.
We could hear the crashing of free falling waters before we could see a calm stream reflecting the forest ceiling. A few feet beyond a first glimpse of the calm stream was a beautiful cascading waterfall. It originating from a cliff well beyond our reach covered in grey boulders with green sprigs of growth. The water plummeted into the pool below at our feet. The wind gentler blew the mist in our direction cooling our hot skin and causing rainbows to form as the light reached through the trees overhead. The clearing wasn’t large but it was beautiful and secluded.
Other tourists had come down at the same time and were taking pictures. Our guide took pictures of the two of us in front of the falls and then we began to wade in the cool water. It wasn’t even 9am and the water felt cold but as soon as we emerged ourselves and began to swim around it wasn’t that bad. We were the first ones in and soon others followed.
We swam around enjoying the sun casting rainbows around us and the relaxing sound of the running water. The area close to the falls was roped off so we weren’t able to get under the falls. A lifeguard sat by making sure no one went in the forbidden area.
I had left my sandals on not wanting to step on anything questionable. Not the best plan. In the deep part of the pool I was tread water but not as easily as I normally would because my strap on sandals were catching the water and making it very difficult to kick. My straps suddenly came undone on one shoe and I suddenly lost it in a deep part of the pool! Thankfully it floated to the top or I would have been without a shoe the rest of the week!
After climbing rocks around the falls and swimming some more, we dried off and headed to the bath house to change. On the way to the bathing house we spotted three howler monkeys laying on tree branches spread out like wet beach towels napping. I also smelled a peculiar smell even with my mask on. When I asked what I was smelling Elias said it was a kind of fuel that they spray to keep the bugs away. The smell wasn’t bad and I would be happy to smell it all day if mosquitos stayed away!
Our next stop was in the small town of Liberia about 20 minutes from the airport. Liberia had cute little local shops and restaurants as well as a Walmart, Taco Bell, McDonalds, subway, and a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Thankfully we didn’t stop at any of those places. down a small street we halted our journey across from a small park next to a local restaurant. There was an outdoor patio filled with tables and chairs. We were instructed to sit at a table under the shade of a tree growing out of the floor.
We met Jose who is basically the most knowledgeable person about all things coffee I have ever met. He knew everything about the growing harvesting and processing of coffee and he shared it with us in an interesting way. We were able to see and smell the actual coffee roasting and sample some.
As the coffee roasted it smelled sweet. This was very unexpected! The beans turned from a light tan to a golden tan to a light brown to a dark brown. Jose checked the color and sheen of the beans every few seconds to see what stage they were at. The kind of coffee you get depends on how long it is roasted. When the beans are roasted for the shortest amount of time it is a light roast and the beans will be lighter and have a higher content of caffeine in them. The longer the beans roast the darker they get and the more oils they emit with less caffeine.
It was a lot of fun learning about the process watching it happen and then feeling so sophisticated as we sampled it. We took away two bags of coffee and a special coffee making that they use in Costa Rica.
On the way back to the resort we stopped at a tourist trap and then asked about the town next to the resort. Elias was kind enough to drive through it so we could see what it was like. It is called Coco Beach and was filled with restaurants and souvenir shops. The coast line was dotted with boats and it looked like it could be a pretty happening place!
Back at the resort we changed back into suits and headed to the pool just in time for black clouds to roll in and the rain to begin. It didn’t last long and the sun once again peeked out. The sun is so hot that I am forced to jump in the pool or be reduced to a puddle of sweat! We stayed out by the pool until the sun was no longer in view and it began to get dark. (About 5:30)
In our room we found a giant purple swan made out of a blanket on our bed. We changed into clothes appropriate for dinner and made calls to the kids to check in. We again ate too much at the buffet and skipped out on the show to go and listen to our books. That was the plan but I wrote this and Ry listened to his book before snoring away.
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