We then headed 10k north to Punta Uva a lovely white sand beach to relax a bit.
It had rained all night, so the start of the surfing lesson was pushed back a half hour due to the weather. When we got there we were loaned a rash guard (long sleeved t-shirt) given a lot of instructions on safely and then split into small groups, each with an instructor and taken out into the surf.
We then reached the Bribri village and did the chocolate and medicinal herbs tour. We were shown various plants used for natural lipsticks, glue, mosquito solution and other things. Highlighting just how practical indigenous people have been with their environment. Nothing is wasted because waste cannot be afforded.
Once we were changed and had snorkels on, we took a small, somewhat overloaded, boat out to ‘the point’ to swim around the coral reefs. The water was very shallow, most of us got a scrape or two from the rocks but visibility was excellent and we saw some great fish, the highlight being a manta ray.
The alarm at 4:30am signalled the start of one of the main adventure elements of the trip. We would white water raft down the river to a lodge in the middle of the jungles of Costa Rica. We would then spend some time hiking and doing various other activities on the second day and then do some grade 3 and 4 rapids on the final day.
Walking across the eight bridges of the cloud forest was a bit of a disappointment from what we were expecting. Advertised as a solid two hour walk we were done in 55 minutes; including time to take photos, and I take a lot of photos. To be fair to the guide, we were the ‘active adventure’ group and so would take a walk like this more briskly.
Sunday was an early start though easy to manage as we had all had and early night the night before. Breakfast was very local, and something we all later found out we’d need to get very used to, Gallo Pinto, Costa Rican Rice & Beans, a stable of breakfast and several other meals. Once we were full of rice and beans it was then on to the bus for the 4.5h drive to Montverde.
The flight Miami to Costa Rica had some lovely views as we traveled south, although we were nearly redirected to Liberia due to bad weather which would have been a bad start to the trip. They made it down on the second attempt; to the wild cheering and applause of the Americans who get very excited by ‘airplanes’.