Day 6: Rara Avis

Trip Start Mar 05, 2005
Trip End Mar 20, 2005

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Thursday, March 10, 2005

We awoke early to the sounds of some birds that I couldn't identify but I could certainly hear. Though it had rained in the night, by morning the skies were clear. Incredibly - considering it rains over 300 days a year there - it was a brilliant, beautiful day, and we were able to clearly see just how beautiful a spot we were in. We made our way to the main lodge for breakfast (rice and beans of course) before heading out on a morning hike.

A naturalist took us through the rainforest, pointing out wildlife with nearly every step. The hike itself was fairly tricky, as the "paths" consisted mainly of rocks and mud. We used walking sticks to help us navigate the trail, but it was not easy in ill-fitting rubber boots that were at least a size too big. The weather had gotten pretty hot as well, making the long pants, tall socks and boots getup somewhat uncomfortable.

Despite that, we had a good time spotting interesting animals and plants. The "rare birds" for which Rara Avis was named were difficult to spot, though we saw a few. The hike lasted a couple of hours, and went past a lookout to a beautiful waterfall.

After the hike, we changed into bathing suits and set off for the waterfall itself. The hike to reach the swimming area was short, and we all jumped into the cool refreshing water for a swim. There is nothing quite like swimming in a pristine waterfall in the middle of a rainforest on a brilliant, sunny day. It was a definite trip highlight.

After a lunch of more rice and beans, we had the option of going on an afternoon hike or staying near the lodge. I opted for the latter, and curled up in the hammock on our balcony with a novel to read and relax. The weather stayed nice for most of the day, but by mid-afternoon it started to cloud over, and then the skies opened up and water started to pour. The afternoon hikers were just heading back to the lodge, and they made it just in time to avoid getting completely soaked.

The pace of life in Rara Avis was very relaxed. There was little to do so everyone spent time together in the main lodge because that's where the electricity was, hanging out, playing cards, chatting and just having a good time. After dinner, we introduced several people on our tour to the bean game, and some others played a lively game of spoons. We went to sleep to the sound of the rain.

Next: La Fortuna: return to civilization.
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