After a traditional “tico” breakfast of gallo pinto (rice and beans), huevos and tortillas, it is time to leave Magda’s house and hike to our next homestay. I do not want to leave Magda’s. Her home has been so warm and comfortable and I have fallen in love with her granddaughter Kimbra.
Kimbra is without a doubt the most well behaved 18-month year old baby I’ve ever met, spending hours standing on the front porch and the kitchen without touching the hot stove or falling of the porch step. Playing with her, along with the time I spent with Magda, erased all my negative thoughts about the hike and made me appreciate this destination we spent so long walking to.
A Hike Through the Costa Rican Rainforest, Days 6 and 7
We say our goodbyes and trek on, back into the rainforest, making our way to the home of the Lopez family – Magda’s nearest neighbor. The matriarch of this family has given birth to 18 children, and several still live here along with several grandchildren. In contrast to Madga’s peace and quiet, the Lopez home is loud, full of movement and love.
The Lopez family home is near a river, carved into a rock and wide open to the outdoors. In the village of Piedras Blancas, the homes have few walls or doors. The temperature is consistently warm year round so protection from the cold is not needed.
The Lopez family, like the other families in the village, are farmers. We spent the afternoon learning how to harvest sugar cane.
The next morning we grind the sugar cane, learning about traditional farming techniques.
We extract the juice from the sugar cane, later turning it into candy and table sugar.
We then hike off into the rainforest in search of a waterfall to rappel. One by one we climb over the edge and descend through the refreshing mist.
My smile proves this to be my favorite activity during the hike so far.
Back at the Lopez house we eat a traditional afternoon snack of bread and coffee and pass the afternoon playing card games. The afternoon slowly and peacefully turns to evening.
We learn how to make tortillas by hand and help prepare dinner.
Time has sped up infinitely the past few days as I have begun to enjoy the experience more and more. There are only three days left on the hike.
Actual time spent hiking: 2 hours.
*Note: This post is the fifth in a series of an account of my experiences during a ten-day hike with Outward Bound Costa Rica, leading through varied landscapes and small pueblos in Costa Rica’s Central Valley. During the trek we camped under tarps and stayed with local families for a culture exchange. I hiked with seven students and two instructors, however, out of respect for my fellow participants will not mention their names or stories in this series, but rather focus on my own journey of self-discovery along the trail. Read the rest of the posts in this series here.
Recommended Equipment for Hiking in Costa Rica