Costa Rica Rios: Day 3

The Water in the Falls

We started off the day eating breakfast at our little hotel with Danial, The MMA Guy. He told us about the days plans and answered any questions we had. After finishing our food, we left for our first adventure!

Our first stop was a Serpentarium where we were going to see all forms of slithery things native to Costa Rica. After a 20 minute drive, we arrive at the place and pile out into the pavilion. The MMA leaves to get the host know we had arrived, and in the meantime all of us kind of mull about reading the little fact sheets that are spread across the pavilion. A few minutes later, The MMA returns and tells us that the guy who runs the place was rushed to the hospital about an hour ago! Not because of a snake bite he quips.  On to Plan B, a drive to the local Zoological.

Another 20 minute drive later and we arrive at what appears to be just another house. As we park alongside the road, a man emerges from behind the houses metal gate and greets us. He welcomes us to his home and zoo! We stand under his front porch  as he explains to us the flowers he has growing in the front yard as well talking about some of the native artifacts that has been located in the area. 

The front yard

A few of the flowers.

One of the recovered artifacts

After that, he took us behind the house were he had a very large pen full of while hogs. He was part of a conservation effort to restore their population. He, along with other people, raise the pigs until they are old enough to be released into the wild. 

Next, he lead us on a little hike to the top of a hill.

Near the top, we stopped while our guide chopped up a sugar cane for us to chew on. 

What you do is bite of a small piece and chew on it. You can sort of see the sweet liquid inside. After you’ve “chewed out” the sweet goodness, you spit out the fibers and take another bite. It was quite delicious! After our snack, we continue up the hill for another 10 minutes. It was a very cloudy day.

We stop along side a dirt wall, which the guide informs us, is full of Tarantulas. He then proceeds to pick up a stick and start poking it down holes. And sure enough, on the second hole, out comes what I can only assume to be a very angry spider. Paying no mind to the fact that he just invaded the creatures home, the guide picks the spider up to give us a closer look.

The MMA Guy decided that he want to give holding this little fur-ball a try. He gave a satisfying yelp when the spider leaped from his hand toward his chest…

With the spider adventure done, we headed back to the zoo guys home and packed ourselves back into the van. Up next, White Water Rafting!!! Or not.

The Storm in the Rain

The government body that says when rafting tours can and can not run has a rather simple system. They painted a rock in the river different colors at different levels. If the only color that can be seen is red, one on is allowed on the river. Well this year because of El Nino, Costa Rica has got a lot more rain than usual. And on this day, the rock was not just showing red, it was missing! So we went to a Rodeo Ranch owned by a fellow Texan, to have lunch. Sadly the owner was absent, but the meal, which The MMA and other prepared for us was delicious and the pings that the falling rain made of the tins roof was excellent music. The MMA also told us about the river and gave us some other options. So after we finished eating, we got back into the van and went to another ranch to do some horseback riding.

The Gallop in the Horse

We arrived at the ranch mid-afternoon and pretty much hopped onto our horses. All of us had ridden before, so outside of a little fitting, no instructions were given. Ohh except your helmet had to remain on your head, a compromise I was ok with. With The MMA in the lead and the ranch owner behind, we set off toward a larger hilltop that overlooked the valley. 

The Lady and Red Beard as we head out.

A circled up to the hill-top and spent a few minutes getting some pictures, before heading back down via a different part.

The different path snaked through a couple more hills and along a small town. Eventually we ended up following a small river which lead us back to the ranch. The ranch owner told us that the horses know the route quite well which is why they started to gallop when we were almost back to the ranch. I guess they wanted us off their back!

After we returned to the ranch, we had some time to wonder around and meet the other horses and wildlife. 

We then returned to our hotels for a quick change and shower before heading to La Cocina de Betty. We found out after we got there that she does not usually stay open at night, but since we were visiting, she open the restaurant just for us. She was a wonderful person and great cook!

After dinner we returned to our hotels for some much-needed sleep.

Thanks for reading day 3!

Trip Photos
Days 1-3
Days 4-7

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