Farwell to Village Cannan
After waking up to our last day of volunteering at the elementary school in Canaan, we were excited to move on to our next project. Although it started off rainy, it didn’t put a damper on óur enthusiasm to paint and play with kids. As we touched up the walls and ceilings of brown, our goodbyes to the children seemed to harder than we thought. As a treat to end the painting job, we treked through nearly ten waterfalls, where wild birds, gorgeous flowers and a rushing river surounded us. At night, the lovely ladies, Elena and Anna Marie prepared for the first time, fried plantains from the local market. They were a delicious addtion to the sauteed veggies with linguine. The next morning we traveled to Camp Chontal just 100 feet away from a bay of the Osa Penninsula. Once there we practiced our sea kayking skills where Sam seemed to know what he was doing right off the bat. This night we went to sleep with full bellies and dreams of chirping bugs in the night.
Warriors of the Sea
It was first light when we jumped into our kayaks and got ready to paddle across the bay. The gorgeous sunrise accompanied us along with the shimmering water that laped over the school of dolphins next to our boats. We were told they were feeding, and sure enough a few minutes later James exclaimed, ” A fish just jumped over our boat!” Everyone paddled hard into the grey sky until about 10 when we reached our destination, Saladero Camp. We were greeted by the owners, a friendly couple who had started the getaway destination after retiring from the U.S. The camp was lush with greenery and teeming with fresh fruit on the vine as well as howler monkeys hanging in the trees. Everyone was excited to take a swim in the ocean, playing frisbee and finding fresh coconuts to eat. There were hammoks everywhere to hang out in and homemade cocount ice cream for an afternoon snack, which still contents to be the best ice cream in Costa Rica. Charlie was working hard on making a cup and finally suceeded to rid the outside of its shell, it was one accomplishment. The next morning we sea kayaked to the next bay where we saw a raccoon like animal as well as some Jesus Lizards. Once back, a nap was much needed and of course a shower. We played with the frisbee and played bocci ball with coconuts, where Sam and James took victory. The next day we paddled out to Puerto Jimenez, a small town on the edge of the water, where we stocked up on supplies and grabbed some snacks for the ride to our next destination, Matapalo!
Surfs Up + Pura Vida!
It was time to do something with a little more speed, and our sanction was surfing. Mostly everyone had surfed before and the waves were looking fun, so before we got to go surfing we had to try our hand at tree climbing. It was a 60ft tree wildly spirling up in the canopy. Once at the top we were able to swing off a branch and get lowered to the bottom. Everyone styled there way to the top with no regrets and then proceeded to the beach! We surfed in Pan Dulce where the waves were perfect for beginners, small, smooth and easy to catch. Our guides greeted us with “Pura Vida!”something that can be used for hello, goodbye, how are you, im fine, or life is good! With everyone cheering and encouraging eachother everyone stood up and rode some waves. I often looked up to see Elena catching one wave after the other, she was becoming more confident as the afternoon went on. After such a successful day, we ate some papusas filled with locally crafted cheese along with gallo pinto. The next day we continued surfing till late morning and spent the rest of the day resting our tired arms and reading on the beach. The following day we would be transfering to a town called Turriablba were we could do laundry, eat some well deserved pizza and take some hot showers.
This morning we woke up at a reasonable hour to start our journey to the Pacuare River. We all got to be in the same raft, working as a team to takle the class III and IV rapids. We were surrounded by lushous waterfalls, and rock walls covered in moss. Our lodging for the night included a wonderfully cooked meal of basted chicken in a cream sauces with vegtables and rice as well as a spacious tent with a matress. Today, with everyone safe and sound we finished up the remainder of the rapids and went back into town to shower, shop and head to volunteer and spend some time with the Turtles!!
Nos Vemos, Pura Vida!
Joslyn Funez and Scott Coffin