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Costa Rica Adventure - Part VI

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Postcards from you


Join Anne, Tarek and Kurt Kutay of Wildland Adventures (800-345-4453) and five other families, on a 10-day overland journey through Costa Rica.  Follow seven 1st and 2nd graders, one kindergartner, and a 6th grader through rainforests, past volcanoes, over highlands on their way to the Pacific Coast.  Watch as their adventure continues to unfold in upcoming issues...

    Tamarindo--It’s easy to arrange a variety of extra-curricular activities, outside of the core program of "R & R" at the Capitan Suizo Hotel. Kelsay, Jillian, Stephanie and their moms went on a memorable 2-hour horseback ride in the morning. They had arranged the ride directly with Pablo, a local who brings the animals in from a nearby village, for $10 an hour.  Jillian fulfilled one of her wishes on this trip to Costa Rica--cantering through the surf on the beach.
    They also rode up a hill with spectacular views, through what they described as "...a whole city of howler monkeys..." inhabiting the tropical dry forests.
    There are also boat tours to view wildlife in the estuary, night walks on the beach to witness giant 1,000 lb leatherback sea turtles nesting in the sand from November-February, day tours to Palo Verde National Park, mountain biking, and deep sea fishing.
    We arranged for a small boat to take Tarek, Patrick, and Sammy fishing. Costa Rica offers world class deep sea bill fishing right off the Tamarindo Coast, but we just wanted to take the boys out for a few hours offshore, to troll. In our own carefree style, we ambled out to meet our boat at 7 AM on the beach in front of our hotel. Our skipper Jose spoke little English, but he had his own kids the same age as ours and he understood our goal was to have a good time rather than make a big catch.
    The boys yelled, “Yahoo,” as Jose skillfully raced over the waves to get through the surf to our Whaler. This craft was small but well equipped with life jackets, a radio, and depth sounder to find the fish. It was a windy, choppy day so we stayed within a few miles of shore. Patrick had never caught a fish before and his was the first line to get a hit. It was a Roostertail, but it got away. Ten minutes later Sammy pulled in a Black Jack, an inedible relative of the tuna. In the next 2 hours we took turns pulling in and releasing about 10 Black Jack. They were all a good fight but too much for the boys after the first few. Finally, we hooked into a large Mackerel, and it was a keeper! Jeff and I, two proud Indian Guide dads, were glad we wouldn’t have to go  home empty handed.   
    We got back by 11 AM, about 6 Cokes, a bag of chips, and a few brownies after we started. The boys watched Jose clean the fish. He made a biology lesson out of it as the boys asked him to show them the intestines, liver, heart and gills, piece by piece before they went over board. We left the head intact and the boys proudly carried the 12 lb. catch together through the pool area to the kitchen, yelling “Here’s lunch!” so everyone would look.
    Pierre, the head chef at the Capitan Suizo Hotel was pleased to cook our fresh catch.  This well-loved and creative French chef had run his own restaurant in Monterey, California before moving to Costa Rica many years ago. He cut our Mackerel into 22 pieces and marinated them in a light garlic, butter, and soy sauce. They were grilled and served on homebaked toast with herbed rice. Our catch served the entire group, and many said it was the best meal of the entire trip. After lunch the tide was out, creating a vast, shallow slackwater behind a natural rock jetty, just right to introduce the kids to snorkeling.
    Of the four Spanish-speaking parents in our group, Lori worked the Costa Ricans we encountered like a politician on campaign. She was always looking for opportunities to meet "Ticos" and share cross-cultural interactions with her 8 year old daughter, Lindsay, and the rest of the kids. It was instinct. Lori provides health care services for Latin American agricultural workers in Eastern Washington state. Toward the end of the trip, she was inviting a new guest to every meal!
    Usually in the high season, the Capitan Suizo Hotel and the Hotel Tamarindo host BBQ parties on the beach with local marimba bands and folk dancing.   These are local musicians and young dancers from nearby villages passing down their culture while earning extra income. The kids wore their bathing suits so they got to swim in the Hotel Tamarindo pool while we waited for dinner. We caught a ride back to the Capitan Suizo in the local hotel employee bus (there are no taxis in Tamarindo).

    "Today we woke up at 7 o’clock to go horseback riding. I got a big blister on my leg. When we got back to the hotel my dad and I went boogie boarding and my aunt took me snorkeling. We saw a little blue fish, a tiger fish, a puffer fish and a yellow and black stripped fish. We met a little local boy named, Adrian, and invited him to swim with us."                     --Stephanie Clark, age 8

                Until next time...  Kurt Kutay    

 

Where is Alyx?


Alyx is near the 10,677-ft elevation of this Ski Resort offering awesome views and super ski slopes. Where is she? Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

Camping the Great Outdoors
...ideas to consider

   "Since that first camping trip, all of our trips have been only partially planned, with itineraries set more as ideas than as fixed schedules.  We usually take each day one at a time, and do whatever feels right for that particular day.  Slowing down to smell the roses has never been so sweet as when we travel with our two kids!"  -- David, Westminster, MD

 Take it from David, there's a time to plan and a time to take one day at a time.

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