Bugs, surfing, rainforest visit & horses

Trip Start Oct 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 12, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Catalina Jaco
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Monday, November 15, 2010

praying mantis and getgos
Maia found a praying mantis last week, they are rather large in size... very interesting creatures... she put it on Sydney's head and of course Miranda then wanted a turn to have it on her head!  I was happy to just look at it from a bit of a distance :)
Tonight we found a getgo (lizard) in our bedroom on the wall and even now, sitting at this little table next to the dinner table there was another getgo on the wall several inches away from me. 

Horses, horses!
We had a wonderful day today.  Greg and Carrol, Dave's parents, and the girls and I took the bus to Puriscal to  meet up with Birgitte for a horse back ride.  Sydney and I were excited about a 1 1/2 hr ride.  Once we arrived to Puriscal, we took a taxi into Barbacoas - a sleepy little town (smallest yet that I have seen) and met Birgitte and her family of kids and horses at la iglesia (the town church) peach in color and a bit colonial.  See photo.

Once we all met up at the church, we headed up the road on horse or on foot... and dropped off Miranda (who was riding with Birgitte on her horse) and Carrol and Greg... along with Camilla (16yr old daughter) and Joshua (3yr old son) to hang out up on the hill while we had our ride. 

Sydney was on Brandy and she road next to Birgette, who held another rope attached to him, she did great!  I rode Beauty and John (5yr) rode his horse - Blackie.  We went through some tiny towns where we met up with an occasional car and many barking dogs... lots of families were out and about and were pretty friendly saying "hola" or "buenos dias".  The road had twists and turns and steep and narrow in places.  Very interesting to see the little towns/villages that are more remote and quiet.

Sydney's horse galloped for the first time briefly, as she was bouncing around in the larger sized saddle.  We trotted on and off.  The horses like to run up the hills so we had to hold them off, if 1 gallops they all do.  It was fun to gallop a couple of times, so much smoother than trotting.  Sydney liked it a little, so we galloped a little bit more.  She was sort of bouncing all over.  At the end of the ride, Birgette was teaching her how to turn the horse and stop him. 

Once we got back we took more photos at a beautiful spot on top of a hill.  You could see all the way to San Jose and perhaps the ocean if it was clear.  Miranda rode with me for a few minutes at the top in the grass and she just loves riding horses.  She was so sad when the she had to get off and when the horses had to go back home.

At the beach a few days ago... surfing and sand/water play! (Friday)
A few days ago we spent 2 nights in Jaco again at the place we really like that Sharon showed us.  Carrol and Greg enjoyed it too! 
The girls and grandparents played and played in the sand and water and Dave and I took a surfing lesson the morning we left.  What fun!

Another couple from Austin, TX was had a lesson too.  Each couple had an instructor.  On the beach we learned the moves of how to get up on the surf board once out in the water.  Then, we hit the water after learning some directions for what we should do and when and how to stay safe.  It was a bit rough, but not too bad once you got out past the while water.  Lots of white foamy water to wade through and waves crashing over you and you work your way out to catch a wave.
We both stood up on our first tries!  We were excited... we had been boogie boarding quite a bit so had some "practice" for catching waves.  The boogie boarding was really fun too.
The instructor was out there in the water with us.  He gave us directions as we took turns catching waves.  At first he pushed my board into the wave so I could catch it, then it was up to me to stand up.  The boards were fairly big and sort of long so that helped. 

We had some pretty good pizza at the local pizza place a block from where we stayed on the day we left the beach... we keep talking about when we will go back here!  Perhaps stay for a longer time.

Rainforest Aerial Tram, waterfalls and Serpentarium (Thursday)
The day before our surfing adventure, Dave's parents and I took the girls to a rain forest close by for a  tram ride.  The company provided our own guide and he took us up in a tram to see the canopy of the rain forest.  We also saw some waterfalls along the way.  He told us lots of things about what we were seeing.  We saw a few birds.  We also saw lots of snakes in the serpentarium.  There were gardens as well and lots of termite houses.  We also met a couple of resident iguanas, which were a real hit with Miranda who kept looking for them after they had left the garden.  The girls were so sleepy from playing all morning at the beach that Sydney promptly fell asleep on gramma and grampa's lap on the way up into the canopy.  Miranda was tired too and she had some crackers to appease her until we got back down from the tram ride.  We had a great day overall!

Visit to Santa Ana - Open Air markets in the town center (Sunday)
Dave, his parents and Sydney went to Santa Ana day before yesterday to visit the open market in Santa Ana and also to visit the playground there... we used to play there when we first arrived in Costa Rica when we stayed at the first hotel, Casa de Alegre.  They also stopped by the hotel for a visit and Dave got to see Juan Carlos again, a nice guy whom Dave has a good connection with.  He will be in or near Samara when we go to the Nicoya Pen. for a few days in early Dec.  We may meet up with him.  He speaks very little English so I think Dave likes the challenge of communicating with him.   He made Sydney and Miranda the special bracelets, he is a sweet guy.  Dave is doing great with the language... learning more on-line on the other computer as I write this.

'Buenos Noches!  Carrol and Greg are doing the Poas Volcano tour tomorrow, the one we did our first week here.  They have to get up very early to head into Santa Ana to catch the bus for the tour.  The girls and I may head to the local pool again in the morning...

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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Rita on

The pictures are terrific...looks like all having a great time...keep us posted...we love seeing all of you...love & hugs, Gram

K Read on

I love reading about all your adventures. Keep on having fun! Tell Greg the Grizzlies won. love Kathryn, Gregg and Colin

Karla West on

Hello everyhone--I am enjoying your adventures via your blog and pictures. It looks so fun for everyone....even the horseback ride...good sports that grandma and grandpa I'd say. What a priceless adventrue for all of you--muy bueno. Yyour compadre Karla p.s. we had our first real snow storm today-so enjoy those sunny beach days.

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