Wait, today was our last day in Costa Rica? It seems like we just arrived! Our adventure today started with a bumpy tractor ride taking us to a trail, where we took a hike through the dry forest (meaning that there is little rain, especially this year due to peculiar rain patterns from El Niño). Our guide was a guy named Freddie; Freddie seems like he could have walked right off of National Geographic, or been tracking down pumas just moments before meeting with us. He's pretty cool. The forest was crunchy, slightly shriveled, and dense with new and exciting fauna (scientific speak for plants, remember?) The path we took led us past huge, wooden vines (Freddie sat on one like it was a swing), "tourist" trees that shed their bark for photosynthetic reasons (just like pasty white visitors blister in the sun!), and a variety of aromatic leaves, which we could crush and smell. It was right along the river. Dark teal in color, gently rolling along, the river is the main water source of the area. In dry times like these, animals congregate near it in order to survive. Unfortunately, we didn't see many creatures, just some bugs, perhaps due to the light rain received the night prior to our excursion. We had all been hoping to see white-faced monkeys, which are common to the area.
The tractor took us back to Horizonte on a ride just as rocky as the first once we'd reached the end of the trail. After lunch and some downtime, we headed to the beach! We'd been looking forward to this all day-- the temperature had hit 93 degrees (Fahrenheit, not Celsius) and we needed to cool off in the ocean. Papagaya beach had warm, clear waves to frolic in, light, soft sand (that blew all over from the wind), and plenty of space, since there was no one else there-- it's not a tourist beach.
Dinner was eaten at the beach, too; it was a grill out with chicken, beef, sausage, tortillas, guacamole and pico de gallo (all the fixings for tacos). We stayed until sunset. The sunset was unreal; the water reflected bright pinks, vibrant oranges, and calm lavenders, creating a soothing picture to complement the waves crashing in. There were a lot of photos taken (some getting very artsy). It was a fantastic conclusion to an enthralling, eye-opening, unforgettable trip. The scenery, the laughter, the science, of course, experienced in Costa Rica will not soon be forgotten, and in today's tech-savvy world, we can look at the pictures we took whenever we want! Adios, faithful blog readers. We hope you've had a good time reading about our adventure.