*Pura Vida = Good Life
12 kayaks, 24 bags, 15 paddles & 12 people. My journey to Costa started from LA airport with a flight to Portland, some of the team would meet in Portland, while the Colorado crew rallied to Denver.
The check-in lady didnt look to impressed with the amount of gear we had with us, and forewarned that there was a good chance it wouldnt be there to meet us in San Jose. *That’s despite the fairly large sum of money we paid as a group to fly our kayaks…
The flights began, for me I flew from LA -> Portland > Phoneix > Charlotte > San Jose! This took somewhere in the region of 24 hours..
After clearing customs in the airport, I witnessed a miracle, everybodys stuff had turned up, despite the # of people, items, flights, airports etc etc.
We loaded up the bus and the team headed for Terrialba, where our accommodation was. The place we had lined up to stay is incredible, it has everything – Pool, Internet, Power but more importanly, a wall, beds and a roof… As much as everyone loved BC, camping in the wet and cold forest for 2 months got kinda tiring.
Anyway, On Sunday we hit up the Lower Pucare. The guidebook says it’s “one of the most classic runs in Central America, 16 miles of quality grade 3/4 white water through dense jungle. The group bombed down, and all had ton’s of fun. We had one swim in the group, but it was all good! There are lot’s of pictures of the run at the bottom, if reading isn’t your thing head down that way!
Like most mornings with WCKA, We started our first school day of the quarter with a 6 AM Morning workout, We were eating at 6:30 am, and classes started at 7am. In Costa It get’s dark fairly early in the evenings early, so unlike in Canada and the US, We will only have 1 or 2 lessons before going on the river. We will then come back and finish the last lesson(s) in the evening. Today we hit the Pejibaje, it’s a really fun run with a hike in to the top. We portaged the first rapids which had some gnarly under cut’s. The rest of the section was a class 3 run through dense rain forest.
Tuesday – Revantazon. They don’t call it the rain forest for no reason. We had two classes this morning and it was to hot to sit inside for any length. In the 30 min’s it had taken us to get to the river, it turned to a huge rain storm. The river was looking big and brown. It turned it was not as high as expected and was a typical Costa Rican run.
Like every Wednesday, it was video day .We work on our filming & photography skills, and spend a large portion of time editing projects we have done. Everybody was keen to visit the local town Terrialba. One of the unique things with World Class, is literally anywhere can be a classroom, so by each completing a treasure hunt, it counted as our Spanish class for the next day!
Thursday – Upper Upper Pacaure – This was probably one best sections of whitewater we had paddled in Costa Rica. 6 Miles of epic grade 3 boulder garden rapids with a good few grade 4 rapids thrown in for good measure. This is an absolute dream in the Burn, I had tons of BIG boofs which were real fun to get.
Friday – A very important friend to World Class, Jim Wells, made friends with the Venegas Family, they are Coffee Farmers in a very remote part of Costa. We were lucky enough to visit them for a day and get an experience of what their life is like. We started our day at 5:00 am, this was because the first bus left at 6:00 am. We had (yet another) amazing breakfeast at our Siloe lodge accomodation, then set off the 10 or so minuets to the bus stop. It was about a 1 hour 30M ride through rainy Costa mountainous countryside.
We finished the last leg of the journey hiking through a wet and rainy path/stream up a steep hill in the pouring rain to their house. Their house was absolutely no way assessable by car. Note to self, Flipflops + Jungle = negative, they had broken by the end of the day.
(Unsurprisingly) we were welcomed to their house with some coffee, I’m not a coffee drinker, but it would have been rude not to! We dried off and attempted to wait for the rain to pass, That didnt happen, so we ventured out anyway, we hiked up the steep hill, passed the chickens and turkeys. We picked some oranges from a tree and ate them, still green, but good! We then hiked down a REALLY steep path knee deep in mud. We arrived where the batch of beans were ready to pick. They are small marble sized beans which need individually picking by hand. Between 8 WCA students, 4 teachers, 1 director, and 2 memebers of the Venagas family, it took nearly an hour to fill a bucket’s worth which sell for a mere $6. (No pictures of bean picking because it was POURING rain)!
We dug some roots of a special plant up, and took them back for lunch. We also cut some sugar cane down which we sliced and munched on! After lunch, we chilled out with the family for a little while whilst waiting for the only Bus back to town for 4 days. Son & Daughter Daniel & Elizabeth are currently studying English in the ‘Local’ town. They came with us at 4pm on the Friday to get the bus into town, they would do a day’s class on the Saturday, then walk 2h30m back on the Saturday evening in the dark!
With our trip on the Friday, we didnt manage to actually get any school in, so in true World Class Style, Saturday meant classes! (as well as the Pejibaje!)
Sunday was finally a day off of sorts! We the Lower Pacaure again,
- It was an awful day for me – I swam twice! – Ton’s of carped rolls, Not sure what’s happened to my roll recently!
- Teauge saw his rockstar re - modelled
- Amazing river in an amazing place
- Check some pictures from the run out below
Thanks for checking the post out, I’m currently getting to grips with Final Cut Pro and editing a video, of these very sections of river. It should hopefully be uploaded this time next week.