Sunday, July 24- We left the Herradura village and headed to Hotel Espadilla in Manuel Antonio. Almost immediately after arriving to the hotel we hung out at the pool for a couple of hours until we left for the beach. Overcome with joy, I sprinted for the water with my feet sinking into the soft, powdery sand. I was awe struck by the beauty of the sun sandwiched between the sky and the water as it kissed the horiz0n good night. The waves were calm so we had a blast being carried by their gentleness. I’m at a loss for words when it comes to accurately describing the captivating beauty of the beach that I got to experience for the first time ever on this trip.
Monday, July 25- Monday was another peaceful day enjoying ourselves at the beach. When we first arrived, we looked through the shops that we had seen the day before, searching for accessories, souvenirs, and gifts for friends and family back home. When we were done shopping (or exhausted all our funds, rather) we played volleyball with another group of Walking Tree Travelers and had lunch until it was time for our surf lessons. Our instructor demonstrated on a surfboard what we were supposed to do and when; then we all took turns practicing how to paddle, get into “set” position, and how to stand. Unfortunately, my struggles began before I even entered the water! I tried dragging then pulling my surf board to the water because I couldn’t lift it, but eventually one of the instructors lifted it and placed it on my head. Almost as soon as I set foot in the water I was knocked over by waves while trying to keep track of my board, which I guess wasn’t so hard considering it was strapped to my ankle. During my first attempt to master the waves, on my instructors command I lifted myself and stood on what I thought was a safe spot on my board but I slipped and crashed into the rushing water where I was pulled and tossed around by my board. I decided to give it one more try but with the same result, I called it quits.
Tuesday, July 26- In the morning we visited the National Park where we saw monkeys swinging from trees and shooed raccoons away during our PB&J sandwiches, tortilla chips and salsa, potato chips, and oreos picnic lunch. In the afternoon we traveled to the capital, San Jose, where we strolled through the mall, had dinner and watched the newest Harry Potter movie together. Personally, I’m not a fan and I never could keep up with the books or movies. It was no surprise that I was confused and bored during the first 45 minutes of the movie so I “accidentally” fell asleep and ended up missing the rest of the movie. Oops.
Wednesday, July 27- Apart from experiencing a beach for the first time, I’ve also never been rafting. I haven´t been as terrified as I was yesterday in a while but I had to trust our guide otherwise I would have decided against going altogether. Once I learned how to paddle I eventually became a little more relaxed and got comfortable with the rocking of the boat even when it crashed against the rocks. Every so often we would be able to stop, and look up, and just soak in the beauty of the greenery surrounding us. We stopped halfway for lunch and got back in the raft for another hour or so. After we returned to the hotel, we got ready for what would be our final group dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant in San Jose. We embraced the restless night that we knew would surely find us because only six hours remained until we would leave the hotel for our flights home.
Thursday, July 28- It’s a little after 3 a.m here and we’ll be leaving for the airport in about forty minutes and that, my friends, will conclude this journey.