Winter Highlights – Waterfalls and a Wedding

Now that we know we are moving back to the states in June, we are trying to appreciate every moment we have here in Costa Rica. I am currently writing on my porch in shorts and a tank top. Meanwhile, my mom sent me this picture from NH. We are hoping that if we soak in enough warmth/sun now it will make next winter in CT a little more bearable. We shall see. It works that way, right?IMG_3402.JPG

Bajos del Toro with Lacey and Stewart

At the end of February, Lacey and Stewart came down to visit and I met them in Bajos del Toro. Em was in the states for Grandma’s 90th birthday (I was bummed to miss everyone and Em was bummed to miss Lacey and Stewart). I had heard a lot about Bajos del Toro and told them that would be a good place for us to go since they are into hiking. Little did I know that I asked them to meet me in one of the most remote towns in the country – there are 1.5 convenience stores and 2 bars/restaurants in the town. I was nervous at first but it turns out that this was just the scene we were looking for. We did some karaoke in town on Saturday night and enjoyed hours of hiking and swimming during the days.

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This was the only remnant of our karaoke night (it started as us stopping in for 1 drink and end 3 hours later having had 4 rounds bought for us). This dude had an incredible voice and serenaded us throughout the night. Lacey and my rendition of “Twist and Shout” didn’t bring the house down as we thought it might.

On Saturday we went to Catarata Tesoro Escondito which is home to unbelievably blue water. We spent the morning in awe of the color and plunging into the icy cold water. I don’t think I’ve been in water that cold before (or maybe I’m just spoiled because I’ve been swimming in the Pacific/Caribbean for two years). Some highlights (FYI – this is the actual color of the water, no filters used):

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Before our swim

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Plunging into the ice depths

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#roommates

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After refueling with our 3rd casado (we pretty much had casado for all 6 meals) of the weekend, we headed to Catarata del Toro to get some stair training in. This was an enormously powerful waterfall that required us to walk down (and then up) ~400 steep, concrete stairs. Well worth the trek. The Pilsens we packed to enjoy at the bottom of the stairs were hugely helpful in keeping our spirits high for the hike back up.

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View from the top – pre-400 stairs.

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So many colors and textures

The next morning (after the infamous karaoke night) we headed to Paraíso Manantiales which was a spectacular trail that brought us by 8 waterfalls and ended on a orange rock ridden river.

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We had to cross this questionable hanging bridge and Milo was having none of it. So I treated him like the baby he is.

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Making our way down to the river

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Made it

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Colby in Costa Rica

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Heaven

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Right before I ran into a snake

So I was minding my own business – walking with Milo toward the 7th and 8th waterfalls – when I stopped to take it all in. The sun was shining, the grass was green, it couldn’t get any better. We kept walking, I looked to the left, and saw this MASSIVE and DISGUSTING black snake outstretched and sunning itself. It was at least 2 feet long and so gross. I turned, called Milo (who is too dopey to have noticed) and started screaming, “HUGE SNAKE. HUGE SNAKE (super original).” Needless to say, we didn’t get to the 7th and 8th waterfalls. I was thrown for a while – it was my first Costa Rican snake encounter in the wild (other than seeing them coiled up in a tree). I didn’t know what kind it was or whether it could kill us so I was pretty much done exploring by the river. We ran into the man from karaoke (see first picture) on our walk out and he said not to worry it was just a black milk snake and that he has them in his bed all the time. Gross.

I had such a great time connecting with Lacey and Stewart and laughing, and laughing, and laughing. They share my preference for being in the middle of nowhere with not a person in sight so it was perfect. Our airbnb had a great little porch where we read, enjoyed cervezas, and caught up. For less than 48 hours together we packed a lot in.

Photo credit to Lacey for most of these pictures. She was one of “those” tourists with a camera around her neck the whole time but it was totally worth it.

Annie and Eduardo’s Wedding

Two of our good friends from here in Costa Rica got married last weekend in Samara. Every moment was stunning and such a beautiful representation of who they are together and of the lives that brought them to where they are. It took place at the all-inclusive, beach front resort where they got engaged last year. Gorgeous.

Friday night everyone met up on the beach for a pre-wedding day drinks.

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Beautiful tradition in Annie’s family. The kids, when fighting, had to sit back-to-back and say/yell what they love about each other. Modified by Annie’s older brothers to embarrass them in front of everyone at the wedding.

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Sunset drinks

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Calm before the storm

The day of the wedding everyone spent time enjoying the area and taking in some sun. Em and I went for a long beach walk, swam in the ocean, napped on the shore, and spent a solid amount of time in the pool enjoying the swim up bar. A+ day.

The ceremony on the beach was stunning.

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Heading to the ceremony. I swear other people had drinks, too.

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Waiting for the big moment

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Scene of the crime.

There was a cocktail hour on the beach followed by sending off Chinese lanterns with well-wishes for Annie and Eduardo.

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CDS Crew

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Groomsmen

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Congrats to Annie and Eduardo for pulling off an incredible weekend. We wish you a lifetime of happiness and can’t wait to keep the celebration going!

Upcoming Adventures

  • Looking forward to getting dinner with Voyles next week who is here on vacation with a grad school friend (couldn’t make it work for the weekend, unfortunately).
  • Nicholson cousin extravaganza next weekend – Ross, Tess, Kevin, Leah, and Willa will be blessing Costa Rica with their presence. Can’t wait to play in the waves with those fools. Hoping to recreating some of this as well.11009973_818527582155_8701924559055431707_n.jpg
  • Em and I are heading to the Osa Peninsula for Semana Santa. We’ll be doing a 3 day, 2 night trek in the rain forest. Osa is the most undeveloped part of Costa Rica and home to Corcovado National Park. Hoping to see wildlife we haven’t seen yet. Huge shout out for Eric and Yessenia for letting us stay at their place. #kuaprideforlife

That’s about it. Hard to believe that in less than 3 months we will be in Wolfeboro and back on the shores of Rust Pond. Hope everyone up North is surviving the winter. Hang in there.

K

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