After escaping death by crocodile successfully (read more about that here) we were off and ready to explore all that Guanacaste had to offer. First stop was a boat tour that was right down the road. Oddly enough after learning about the crocodiles we were all super intrigued and wanted to see one for ourselves. (Hey I never claimed to be normal).
There was a boat tour through the estuary where the crocs were supposed to be. Now… in our heads we were picturing nice big boats that placed the passengers up high and away from harms way but just close enough to be fun. Well… As we would soon learn Costa Rica has lots more tricks for us up its sleeves.
We walk over to the hotel. Try to speak our broken Spanish and explain what we are looking for (thank goodness our niece had just returned from a semester in Spain). The waitress nods and points to the right. We walk down the path to find a tough looking man with a rickety VERY tiny little boat who gestures for us to all hop in. We look at each other like “Is this man for real?? Surely we will sink this boat.” But, he says we will all fit so we laugh and start climbing in.
As you can see the estuary was beautiful
But after seeing a ton of trees, water and birds we were starting to think this was a waste of money. A few minutes after that thought crossed our minds the driver pulls up to a bank. This is not the start… we were not told we would be making any stops. What is this guy doing??? He climbs out, pulls up one of the fence posts to create a gap between the barbed wire, whips out a machete from his belt and starts cutting a path. He looks back and gestures for us to follow. Reluctantly (stupidly… depends on how you look at it) we follow. After about two minutes of walking behind our boat driver turned guide as he slashed a trail he tells us to stay and wait. We watch as the guide disappears into the thick brush in front of us until we can no longer see him. We all look at each other and realize we are idiots! IDIOTS! We are in the middle of who knows where, in a place where crocs are supposed to live and now we are all ALONE! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
After our total freakout (about 5 minutes) we see our guide making his way back through the brush. We are all assuming he just went to take a pee. We tell him we were scared and he assured us we were fine and we continued on. The trail was a bit scary with what looked like snake holes at our feet complete with crab skeletons and mounds of black hair around them. I was completely freaking out having the kids walk through it all. Especially, since most of us were in flip flops (again idiots). But, finally the guide got excited and pointed up. There were monkeys in the trees. That is why we were up here.
After we were done with the monkeys we walked back to our boats and continued on. Until we heard my oldest munchkin and niece yell “CROCODILE”… we all swing our heads and the driver puts the boat in reverse. Up on a bank (identical to the one we had just hopped out on to take our monkey stroll) was a baby croc. Our boat driver wanted to give us a better view so he drove right up to the bank. Remind you we were literally 4 inches off the water in our rickety old boat. The croc didn’t appreciate our closeness so he opened his jaw to show us his rows of pointy teeth.
Our driver can tell we are scared and he thinks its funny. We tell him to go.. and he laughs and drives closer. That croc literally jumps in the water… we SCREAM!!! And, the driver again laughs and then S.L.O.W.L.Y. pulls away from the bank. Our hearts our racing. Part of it is excitement… we just saw a live crocodile up close and the other part was complete panic. The driver had mentioned how baby crocs are often not too far from their mamas. I couldn’t get that thought out of my head. “Was mama chasing us?” Then I took out and notice we are heading right for what looks like the top of a crocs head. I look around and it seems like everyone is so preoccupied talking about the baby croc that no one sees what I see. I feel like I have to warn the driver so I point straight head and yell “CROCODILE!!! CROCODILE!!!… coconut.” Yes, instead of being the hero and saving our lives from this mama croc I completely made a fool out of myself as it was no croc… just a coconut floating in the estuary (so embarrassing!). The kids do NOT let me live that down. It’s been almost a year now and they have all written about the “crocodile, crocodile coconut story” in school and they love to bring it up in random conversations- ha!
Day 3 we had booked a super fun excursion that included zip-lining, horseback and kayaking. So, once again I was going to be a stress ball the ENTIRE day- yay!!! Let me tell you this trip is a lot more fun to blog about than it was to live through. Mama’s do NOT like watching their babies swing like tarzan across the jungles, kayak through huge boulders and fast moving waters or on top of horses that are spooking. This trip was some test in trusting my kids and letting go. But, seriously… how cool are these pics!!! A trip my kids will never forget for sure and a great bonding experience for our whole family!!! In case you are wondering we always hop onto tripadvisor and read reviews before we booked places and we gathered pamphlets from the local shops around town. For the adventure shown we used: Guanacaste Vieja Tours and we LOVED them! Their guides were great… and funny too.
I was just thankful that all the activities usually ended with some sort of sauna, volcanic mud bath etc… Mama always needed a good soak by the end of the day.
But you know what they say… “If you can’t beat them… Join them!” So, I did. That’s me in my pink tank upside down.
Do you see the spec in that pic above on the right. Yes, that is one of my children. You know… just zipping across a ravine- No big!
Super cool bridges!!! My kids are SO lucky!
Now I LOVE horses and have owned them in my youth so the horseback was something that I thought we be no big deal. However, these horses were super skinny and not anything like the horses I was used to. I was nervous with my kids just hopping on and heading out to the trails. I would not recommend the horseback for begineers as we had several horses spook along the trails. And, they put my little munchkin on a horse with me. Just sharing a saddle trying to keep her on and hold the reigns. I was sweat’n it the WHOLE time. But, the kids impressed me. They did great!!! Next up was kayaking…
Off we went… it was gorgeous and super fun!!
We stopped along the way and jumped out. They let the kids swing into the water off the rope swing. Another moment I wasn’t sure we would all live through. The kids just laughed at me and my panicky self. They LOVED it and the guides assured me they would all be fine. Then back in the water where things started getting rougher…
Do you see those pics… yes super cool but leaving through that and watching as the kids boats went in between the rock- AHHHHHHH!!! Crazy. They LOVED it though. One of my favorite pics from that trip is above where the kayak is horizontal on the rocks… I was sure they were going DOWN and there I see my munchkin with a huge smile and flashing his classic “hang loose” hands as I am yelling- “HOLD ON!!!”
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