What to do on a long weekend?
After a month in the jungle we, the volunteers, had our first long weekend. This was a pleasant trip back to the civilization and a wonderful reunion with hot showers. Sian, Glen, Justin, and I (Martin) headed to San Jose on Saturday, where we were meeting up with the interns and our leaving volunteer Stephanie. In San Jose we had a nice dinner at Tin Jo, all of us together. This was a very good way of saying goodbye to Stephanie who was heading back to Canada after two weeks, and to say farewell to the interns that were heading to Spanish school in Nicaragua.
After a night in clean beds and a hot shower the four of us took the bus to the smaller town of Turrialba, were we had accommodation for the last days of our long weekend. In Turrialba we were living at a small but very nice hostel called Casa de Lis. At the hostel the owner helped us decide which things would be the best to see or do in our couple of days in the city. She helped us make an appointment with a snake farm called Serpentario Viborana, were we could go the same day. On the snake farm we listened as the owner, who had 50 years of experience with snakes, talked about how the climate changes and the increase in foreign crops have made the snakes travel from the forest and in to the plantations. We also got to see some of the most venomous and dangerous snakes of Costa Rica, like the Fer de Lance and the Central American Bushmaster. Furthermore we got to see one of the few remaining jumping pit vipers there is left.
The next day we were off with the chicken bus to see some of the ancient ruins on the slope of the volcano in Turrialba. Although the ruins wasn’t much more than the foundations it was still a very beautiful sight of ancient culture combined with beautiful nature. After the walk around the ruins, we found a very small fish restaurant in the small “town” close to the ruins. At the restaurant we got some of the best food we had on the whole trip, even though we seemed to be the only customers for several days. That evening we topped off a great day with steaks and burgers at the local barbecue house. That was a well waited taste of the meat that seems so long away when spending the days in the jungle where meat is only seen in its living form.
Tuesday was our last day in Turrialba, and instead of taking the bus to Siquirres we decided to do it the cool way, white water rafting! This involves river rafting of about 14 miles, from Turrialba to Siquirres. It may have been a bit more expensive than taking the bus, but it was sure more fun too. A six hour long rafting, with breaks in form of waterfall climbing and bathing in waterfall pools, and a delicious lunch at the riverside, while the local children were playing with our boat and gear. All in all an amazing experience and something that is worth every penny.
After the rafting we enjoyed a last cold beer in Siquirres before catching the chicken bus back towards the jungle. It has to be mentioned that I on the specific bus, as the only person, saw the very illusive Sunbittern bird!! After we arrived at Caño Blancho we got on a boat and we safely returned back to the jungle and back to a base filled with new faces. Faces of a new bunch of volunteers that are in training week and who we look forward to getting to know.
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