Friday, June 13, 2014

our weekend at the beach!

After all of our climbing was over, and right before really intense lab work started, we all took a mini-vacation at the beach! We traveled to Puerto Viejo de Limon, a really small beach side town in Costa Rica on the Caribbean coast. It was interesting to stay somewhere that had a strong Afrocaribbean influences, especially in the food! Before the beach, our time here has been mostly at the station, which has been the very scientific, academic and research driven side of Costa Rica. This town was a nice change of pace and opened our eyes to another culture within Costa Rica.

Friday, we left the station early to arrive at the beach a little after lunch. When we arrived, we walked from our hotel to town along the beach. We wandered in and out of a little venders along the street. There was a large variety of different jewelry, hammocks, and various other trinkets. 
Above and below are two pictures we took along the beach while walking into town.
Once in town, we stopped a little bakery. They had the most delicious chocolate banana bread! We also ended up going to the same bakery on Sunday for some pizza (not as good as Slices but close!) before we left!
Above is a sign from the bakery we ate at a couple of times on our trip.  

Another picture from in town.
Saturday, we woke up early and had a nice breakfast at the hotel. We crossed the street and headed to the beach for the morning. It was really nice to just sit around and have nothing to do. We all spent a lot of time in the water and sitting around in chairs we got from the hotel. Right before lunch time, we left the beach. Everyone got just a little too much color even though we were only there for a couple of hours...
A picture from our morning at the beach!
When we got back from the hotel, we rented a couple of bikes and headed into town to do some more exploring! We found a cool little restaurant that over looked the beach and had lunch there! Prov and I shared some arroz con pollo and chips with guacamole, which was AMAZING! Thomas had some ceviche and Shannon had some arroz con pollo, too!
Selfies at lunch at are a must!

Shannon really wanted to get a piece of her hair wrapped while we were at the beach. We walked along the street and found two women who would do our hair for 3,000 colones (about 6 American dollars). It was a lot of fun picking out different colors and beads to put at the end of our wrap! I think we were all glad Shannon thought of such a great idea! Before getting our hair done, we went to a little shop that had amazing fresh fruit. We got green coconuts, which you drink the coconut milk and then scrap the coconut meat from the side when your done. These are super refreshing and just what we needed after being in the sun all day!
Here is a great picture of Prov at the little place we found to get some fruit!

 We had a little over an hour to go exploring before we were suppose to meet Cat and Carrie for dinner in town. We rode our bikes along the beach and passed a bunch of cool places. There was one place made of old train cars that you could rent hammock space for 6 dollars a night! We also pasted a high school soccer game. A ton of people stopped along the road to watch the game and it was awesome to see the community together!

Right before turning around, we found a little in-cove along the beach. It was absolutely beautiful and was a really also spot to reflect on how lucky we all are to have such an amazing experience. We have all had such an amazing time here in Costa Rica and we have all learned so much about the culture, research and ourselves! We have little access to TV, wifi, and many other things we take for granted in the United States. Its been an eye opening experience to realize how little those things really contribute to true happiness. We are very lucky to stay at a place were there are a ton of people studying really awesome subjects in the rainforest and are eager to answer all of our questions! I definitely going to miss being here when we leave.
Here is a great group photo of all of us at the beach that someone nicely took for us!

A selfie of the four of us with "Pura Vida" written in the sand. This is definitely a phrase you hear a lot in Costa Rica. It directing translates to "pure life". But really means something more like "this is living!" or "plenty of life!"  Its a phrase the acknowledges a peaceful, simple life style that includes an appreciation for nature, friends and family.

Saturday night we headed into town and had dinner with Carrie and Cat at a cool place called, Koki. The food was delicious and the restaurant was painted all different fun colors. It was across the street from the beach and we had some pretty amazing views as the sun began to set.

Prov, Shannon and I in the taxi heading to dinner!
Above is a picture of the entrance to the restaurant we ate at on Saturday night

Above and below are the different views from our table at dinner

 Overall, it was a relaxing and very memorable weekend away!

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