Turrialba Valley (Torrey Ebaugh)
Six o'clock came early but somehow it was easy to get up. Our guide Luis met us right on time and off we went towards the Pacuare River. We soon left the city streets and were climbing the hills towards the volcanic ridges. We stopped for breakfast at a wonderful spot with gear on the lower floor and an open air dining area above. We enjoyed a delicious Costa Rican breakfast while watching tanager's nibbling on bananas and taking in the view of the surrounding hillsides. After breakfast we picked up two more couples and after a short ride we were at the launching spot. We meet Diego, our river raft guide, get our gear on and off we go. For a short time we are able to take in the beautiful forest that lines the river on each side. We are frequently joined by bright butterflies fluttering along next to our raft. Then we hear what we've been waiting for. . . the rapids. Paddling, bouncing, and sliding through the white water, just pure excitement. ''Pura Vida'' Diego says and I think I may be beginning to understand. After several more rapids we stop for lunch and have a delicious meal on the banks of the river. During lunch, we enjoyed watching some local indigenous children who had come down to play in the boats and the river. Water play is indeed universal. We ended our river raft trip by floating through the area called Dos Montagnes (Two Mountains). With sheer cliffs on both sides we paddled under cascading waterfalls and couldn't resist our guide's suggestion to slide out of the raft and have a float. The peacefulness of lying back and gazing up at the sky between the sheer cliffs was a memory in the making.
After rafting, we were dropped at the Guayabo Lodge, our accommodations for the next 2 nights. We had comfy rooms on the third floor. The small balcony had a view of the beautiful valley, and a local church on the hill, and just a glimpse of the top of the Turrialba volcano. I am glad we paid attention to the packing list as it was quite cool in the evening.
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