Over Thanksgiving break, Zephyr Strosnider went on a trip to Costa Rica with her father, his girlfriend Susan, and her daughter Emily. The following is a travel log of her experience through the tropical paradise.
Monday: We left home around six A.M. to get to the airport. After the four hour plane ride to Liberia, Costa Rica, we were all disappointed to hear that the car ride from the airport to our resort, Hotel Punta Islita, would be another two hours cramped up together. However, the car ride proved more of an adventure than was expected. Due to the fact that Costa Rica is a thrid-world-country, many of the roads on the way to the hotel were not paved, resulting in one bumpy ride. Finally, after a two hour car ride filled with bridges without railings and donkeys crossing the streets, we arrived at the hotel. It was a beautiful resort, the type you would expect to see in a magazine. There was an infinity pool that looked like it led straight to the ocean with a swim up restaurant. For dinner Monday night, we all went to the large restaurant at the hotel. I had chicken cooked in a home made tropical sauce.
Tuesday: Tuesday was a beach day. The hotel had a beautiful beach, which was especially interesting because grass from the hotel lawn went almost all the way up to the ocean water. I immediately found the hammocks hidden in the shades of the palm trees, and set up camp with a good book and a big glass of water. I ended up starting and finishing “Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins without getting up from that hammock. For dinner Tuesday night, we went to a more local restaurant that can best be described as pretty sketchy. There were stray dogs walking around, and the only thing showing on the TV was a local hula hooping contest.
Wednesday: Wednesday was a rather exciting day. In the morning, we travelled to the local town of Islita. We found a family of monkeys, two parents and at least four babies, in a tree right across from the local children’s center. We also visited the contemporary art museum, which only had four pieces of artwork in the whole building! They were beautiful, and we bought most of our souvenirs from the gift shop. After we got back from the town, I went ziplining with my family, which I had done so twice before. It was Emily’s first time, and to say she was terrified would be the understatement of the century. The views were beautiful, and I am not afraid of heights, so looking down the whole time was part of the thrill for me. This ziplining was different from the times I had been before; two years ago when I visited southern Costa Rica, we went from tree to tree and landed on little platforms on the trees. This time, we instead travelled from hill to hill and landed on solid ground every time.
Thursday: Thursday, we opted to travel a little bit and drive to the local swimming beach instead of relaxing by the hotel beach. The beach was very different from the one at hotel; there was no grass, and the water was a lot nicer to go into. After a morning of swimming and tanning, we went to a beach side restaurant for lunch. While we were eating, a guy pulled in on a huge, expensive motorcycle. We asked about his trip, and when talking to him we learned he had been travelling on his bike since mid-July. He was travelling all the way from Alaska to his hometown in Argentina, and had already gone 2,500 miles! He had a camera to film the trip, but he was not looking to make any profit off filming it.
Friday: Most of Friday was a beach day, much like Thursday. However, in the morning, we went to a local beach to help baby turtles into the ocean. We looked for the tracks of their siblings, which led to the nests where the mothers had laid eggs in the sand. After digging for about five minutes, we found some empty eggs. Deeper in the sand were hundreds of baby turtles who we picked up and put near the water. They would walk into the water on their own with no help from us, and we had tons of fun coaching them so they could swim out into the waves. Our guide informed us that only one out of every million baby turtles in the area would survive to the point where they died of old age. I had never thought of all the obstacles they face: predators, too big of waves, and locals stealing baby turtles and selling them to tourists for only fifteen dollars.
Saturday: Saturday was our last day to spend in the paradise that is Costa Rica. We started out the day with an early breakfast. Then, we rode in a van to the hotel barn. There, we were assigned horses and went on a beautiful horseback ride on a horse trail through some mountains. Because I have four years of previous experience, my guide let me canter up the mountain instead of walking like the rest of my group. After the ride, we went back to the hotel and spent our last few hours chilling on the beach. We left Costa Rica Sunday morning at 7 A.M.