We had a pickup today around 6:00 AM for our transfer to the rafting station. We picked up a bunch of others around Puerto Viejo, and headed off towards the river. After a quick breakfast of eggs, fruit, toast, coffee and juice, we got back in the vans and headed up to the put-in place, 18 miles up the river. We walked for about 10 minutes down a steep hill, and went through training with our guide, Taz (as in Tasmanian Devil). There were only four of us in our raft, although we were with a group of about 45 - 50 in 10 rafts. Fortunately, it was hardly noticeable that there were so many other people in our group. Taz was great at keeping us safe, making sure we had fun, and pointing out things along the way. The rafting was truly incredible! I was a bit nervous in the beginning, but I realized that it was very safe, and our raft did quite well through all the rapids. The Pacuare is really a beautiful river, completely surrounded by rainforest. We went through two canyons, the first nine miles long! There were waterfalls, great rapids every few minutes, and lots of birds along the way. It rained on us a bit, and I got kind of cold when we stopped for lunch, but the day was truly amazing! After we got out at the rafting station, we changed and waited for the drivers to take us to the next destination. Since there were only three of us going to the Turrialba area, they just called a taxi, and had one of the guides came with us. The drive to Turrialba was one of the most spectacular drives we had done. It was so beautiful, on extremely windy roads, climbing mountains and dropping down into valleys and back up mountains again! We got to the Guayabo Lodge in the late afternoon, and were shown to our room on the top floor, looking out onto the volcano. Unfortunately, it was cloudy, so we were only able to see about a half a mile away before the volcano was engulfed in clouds. We wandered around the lodge, met the two friendly dogs, saw the great views of the valley below us, and just enjoyed the peacefulness of the area. We had a great dinner with the rest of the guests, mostly from France, and went to bed early. What a day we had!
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