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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Cartago, Costa Rica

Mar 12, 2020 - Guayabo National Monument

John writing now. At 6:30 this morning there was a birding walk, which neither of us went on. We had a leisurely breakfast and then boarded the bus at 9 am for a short drive to the Guayabo National Monument, which contains a Civil Engineering World Heritage site. Before we started the guided tour (by Ellie), we saw two three-toed sloths high in the trees above us - check out the picture. The site was occupied from 1000 BC to 1400 AD by people who built a large aqueduct system that still functions today! In addition, they built a stone road...

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Mar 11, 2020 - Full Day in Turrialba

Lois writing again, since John was busy editing the 180 photos he took on the 11th It was a very full day, starting with breakfast, loading the bus at 8 AM, and not returning to the lodge until 5:10. Quick showers, then a lecture at 6, followed by dinner, checking email (we have internet, but it’s sloooow), and falling asleep at 9:30. So I am up early the following day to write this up. We will remain at Guayabo Lodge for 3 nights, touring the Turrialba area. The name of the town comes from “white tower”, since high above the valley sits...

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Mar 10, 2020 - Central Valley

Lois writing tonight. Today was our first full day on the Road Scholar program here in Costa Rica. Our group of 15, plus guide Katherine and driver Oscar, fit comfortably on a tour bus that will take us everywhere during this trip. We headed east from the capital city of San Jose, towards the Cartago province, and to the town of Turrialba. Once we left the city and surrounding suburban areas, the scenery was green, with mountains all around. We had 3 stops during our morning drive, at a basilica where mass was taking place, at the Uharra...

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Mar 9, 2020 - Downtown San Jose

Lois writing now We slept well, and once again, were glad that we planned to arrive a day before the tour group meets. Last night we met one other couple (from upstate NY), and today shared a cab with another (from Victoria BC) who will be on our tour, and also came early. It's nice to have time to find our bearings and acclimatize to a bit of altitude. San Jose is at about 4000 feet. Our room in the Rincon de Valle Hotel is fine, though the breakfast was so-so. At about 10 AM, we headed downtown to explore. It's another gorgeous day, about...

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Jul 17, 2014 - Graduation Day

We have just completed our third week of Spanish classes. The girls logged in 48 hours of Spanish instruction each, and I logged in 52 hours. I took two extra classes focusing on medical Spanish to help me at the clinic. It has been very helpful. Our last class was bittersweet. We have come to care for the teachers and fellow students, as well as the stray dogs here. We did our last presentations today, and I wish I could attach them, but I can't figure out how to change the format. It has been raining, raining, raining here. We experienced...

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Jul 13, 2014 - Grumbling hearts

It stormed all night long again on Friday. Saturday, we walked to the bus station and met some fellow students to go into Turrialba to walk around and watch people. The rain finally let up as we got off the bus and it only lightly rained the rest of the day. Turrialba is the biggest city closest to our town. It's about 45 minutes by bus. Not much to see or do but we were all grateful to get out and walk around. It rained all night Saturday night and cleared in time for us to walk to church. Brilliant sunshine! So thankful our laundry will...

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Jul 11, 2014 - Rain, rain & rain- ok, a volcano too!

The heavens have opened up! It has literally been raining for 3 days straight. I don't mean a nice drizzle or raindrops. I'm taking sheets of rain, thunder, lightning and wind. We love the sound on the tin roof, but Emilia and I have cabin fever and are bouncing off the walls. Rebecca is enjoying every moment- reading books, listening to music and writing poetry. Today we were grateful to go somewhere other than school. There are 8 of us students and all of us traveled together to the tallest volcano in Costa Rica. By the grace of God we...

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Jul 10, 2014 - Spanish lessons week 2

It's been a busy, wet week for us. Our school days have been full and afterwards we have been teaching the neighborhood kids until about 4:30 pm. We each had to learn something different about the province of Guanacaste and then present it to the whole school today. Teaching the kids was fun. We played games, taught a short lesson, had snack, and made a craft. The kids favorite game was hide and seek where we hid balls in the yard or in the sala (living room) of the school. Needless to say, our brains have been exhausted when we get home....

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Jul 2, 2014 - School

We are starting to get into a rhythm here. We are woken up each morning about 4:00 am to the beautiful music of roosters crowing, dogs barking, cats meowing and people getting ready for work. We actually get out of bed about 6:25 am. By 6:45 am, we are having breakfast. Breakfast here is very different for us. Traditional breakfasts include, something akin to a banana pancake (but completely different), empenadas of black beans, cheese or potatoes, or ham sandwiches. There is always fresh fruit- papaya mango, banana, apple, guava or...

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Jun 30, 2014 - Settling in

After a few flight delays, we finally arrived in Costa Rica just after 5:30 am on Saturday morning. We made it through customs in record time. A driver from the school met us at the airport and drove us the two hours to our new home "la casita" in Tuis. After meeting our host family, having a bite to eat, and a quick tour of our pueblo, we took a much needed siesta. So I wrote this whole description of life here yesterday and wouldn't you know it, we lost power and it was all lost. Suffice to say, life here is very different. The people are...

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Apr 18, 2014 - Cloud Forest Adventures

Two full days at the Savegre Hotel and Spa in the cloud forest with great weather! glorious! Two jeeps came for us to take us up to the near top of the closest mountain, at over 10,000 feet and after birding, we were to walk down the road back to the hotel. The path called Le Robles (the forest) was a good one and lots of little birds were found by the birders. I found bamboo, palm trees, vines, and flowers to my liking. but after walking again in the hiking boots, I had to wimp out and take a jeep ride back along with 5 others. The...

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Apr 16, 2014 - Costa Rica - Day 6

We had to leave Rancho Naturalista after breakfast, and all the staff were out front to wave goodbye to us. What a great place! We stopped at a shopping mall around 9:30 so that people could use an ATM and do some grocery shopping. Most all of us decided that the salsa we have been eating with our rice and beans and meat was good enough to give as gifts, as it is like a barbeque sauce instead of what we call salsa. People purchased coffee as well. Some bought wine to drink in their rooms since we all retire around 7:30 PM! the other stores...

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