We were taken on a cultural activity, to a primary school. We were greeted by the lovely faces of children, who took our hands in their little hands and guided us to where we had to sit. I must say it was very sweet, if a little unusual. They went on to give us a performance of Costa Rican dances, in their traditional clothes, which was wonderful, but my favourite part was the broom dance. You all danced in a circle holding hands and at a certain point in the music, everybody paired up and one sorry soul was left to dance with the broom, looking like a buffoon. That is exactly that type of dance that is right up my alley, as long as I am not the one dancing with the broom.
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The time came for the little children to try and gather us tourists up to the dance floor to join in with the broom dance. Badger’s luck strikes again, all be it very sweet, that I ended up with two six year old boys fighting over who would take my hand to invite me to dance. They were pushing each other out of the way and perhaps the initial sight of sweetness, was less profound. It still made us giggle and Ollie and I joined in (who can say no to a child anyway) and we both made very sure that neither of us were lumped with the broom. As funny as it would have been to see Ollie using the broom as an air guitar, we were married now and so I couldn’t stitch him up like that.
We made it through the dance unscathed and unbroomed, if you will, and returned to our seats victorious in the fact that we had each other and didn’t have to dance with an item used for household cleaning.
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We left the school and went to a local farm. The current owner of the farm had bought it from the former President of Costa Rica. We were greeted with shots of coffee liquor, alcohol is always a winner for me; it’s guaranteed to give me a good first impression. The farm owner was telling us about the history of the farm, as his lovely little boy asked him for some cash. He said no and carried on telling us information, as the little boy put his hand into his dad’s pocket and drew out his wallet. He wasn’t as coy as someone on the London tube, but the thought was there.
Only at this point did I notice our tour guides shirt saying “Green is sexy, waste is trashy”. I don’t know why, but it really tickled me. It reminded me of when I went to France in year 7 and the French people were walking around with really weird English slogans on their t-shirts, or the odd present bag my Auntie brought us home from Japan. It’s like when you hear these stories of English people thinking they have tattoos of ‘hope’ or something written in Chinese and it’s something completely different. The thing is, that I think Jonathan knew exactly what his shirt said and wore it proudly, because that was just the kind of maverick he was. Waste isn’t sexy and neither were we.
We had a tour around the farm in the heat of the mid-day sun and to be honest, my lilly white skin couldn’t handle the heat. I was looking for shade at any given opportunity and wasn’t really concentrating on what the tour guide was saying at all. After about half an hour of me hiding in the smallest area of shade by each plant he was telling us about, we found ourselves in a small scale trapiche, a sugar cane processing plant . The man who was showing us around, went to find some ‘help’.
To my utter discomfort, he brought two bulls into the small area we were sitting in. I have a fear of cows, as you get further into my blog you’ll find I am pretty afraid of most animals, unless they are my dog. We went to Africa in 1998, when I was six, and I was chased by a chicken and now am immensely scared of orange feathered birds and I have never liked cows because they are bigger than me and quite frankly rather suspicious.
My Dad, brother and I jumped into a deep pond in Zambia and after a little while, cows joined us, and I was out out the water like a bullet out of a gun. So I can say, I was less than impressed when he brought two bulls within a few feet of where I was sitting. I told Ollie I was worried that they would touch me and he pointed out the grooves in the floor from where they had walked the circle to grind the sugar cane. The man had a good point but I still felt uncomfortable when they walked past me. He was right though, I came out unscathed and drank a lovely shot of freshly ground sugar cane. I must say, if I lived in Costa Rica and had to do that for a sweet drink, I could probably learn to live without it.
After the farm, we visited some hanging bridges. To be honest, there isn’t much to report, we were expecting to see all sorts of wildlife but we resorted to taking photos of ants to prove were actually there.
The final stop on the tour was to some thermal spas. They were natural spas heated by the warmth of the volcano. The natural individual pools were hotter at the top of the resort and got cooler, the further down you travelled. We moved as a group and situated ourselves in a medium heat pool. Dave spotted a ‘Jesus Christ’ lizard. It lived up to its name as after Dave had pointed it out, it leapt into the middle of the water and ran across it like Jesus on the sea of Galilee. It was amazing. We couldn’t believe our eyes. It’s little toes were splayed, distributing weight evenly across the surface of the water, his legs resembled the propeller of a small boat, pushing its body towards the rock in the distance. If you were to blink, you would have missed it!
We decided to move down to the swim up bar (as of course is tradition) and discovered a small flume. We scoped it out and found out it was a lot faster if you lay down, despite all of the safety signs saying absolutely do not lie down. I was worried about the bane of my life on holiday aka hair extensions but after seeing everybody whizzing down the flume, I decided to have a go. Up I went, down I led and whizzed into the pool like a sack of potatoes. It was brilliant!