Since we had to write the blog early last night, we will fill you in on our over-night adventures! First, we played soccer with staff from Horizontes. We played on a dirt field with metal poles as goals. We learned to factor in the “slide” because the dirt was so slippery; many girls fell throughout the game! It started as a fun game and quickly became very competitive! We had a lot of fun and it was great to see our van drivers Felix and John play with us!
After working up an appetite, we headed to the kitchen for some lasagna. Once it was dark, we loaded up the vans with our sheets and blankets to drive to the beach. It was about a thirty-minute drive, full of bumpy roads! Nathan, the head turtle researcher, instructed us to lay down our blankets and head out on twenty-minute sweeps up and down the coastline looking for turtle tracks. We took turns, as some went with Nathan and John Doleman while the rest of us slept to the sound of the crashing waves. While lying on our blankets, we could see hundreds of stars and bolts of lightning in the distance. It was incredible! Unfortunately, we did not find any turtle tracks or turtles; however, it was still a great experience and interesting to ask Nathan questions about his fascinating career researching turtles.
At midnight, we packed up and headed back to Horizontes. Exhausted, we all fell asleep around 1 am. Then we had to get up around 5 am to go on our 5:30 am nature hike. Our guide Freddie was very knowledgeable about all of the various wildlife in the conservation park. He pointed out plants that can be used as sand paper, Velcro, and even toilet paper! At the end of the two-hour hike, we arrived at a waterfall. It was a beautiful sight and the perfect place for our breakfast picnic! We had toast, peanut butter, guava jelly, fruit, sandwiches, and orange juice. We even saw a black horned iguana! We finished breakfast and then climbed onto a tractor for a ride back to our cabins. We then had a few hours of free time before lunch. Most of us slept to catch up on our missed sleep from the night before.
For lunch we had rice, beans, potatoes, salad, and chicken. Then we had a little free time before loading the vans to head to the beach at 1:30 pm. We were all eagerly anticipating this trip, as it is very hot here in the dry forest! While we were waiting for the van, Jules found a large scorpion crawling on her backpack and we all freaked out! Pablo’s fearless wife, Ana, crushed the scorpion with her boot! Finally we arrived at the beach. It was great to see the beach in the daylight and see where we had been walking during the night. We set up our towels in the sand and ran into the water! Ana Paula and Tali (Pablo’s daughter and her friend) joined us for the afternoon at the beach. The water was surprisingly warm, but so wonderful! We had to shuffle in the sand to avoid stingrays as well as not go past our shoulders to avoid rip tides. Some girls went on walks down the beach and found a poisonous snake—yikes! But no one was injured, thankfully!
We really enjoyed our time on the beach, tanning, swimming, listening to music, and relaxing. Around 5 pm we had a barbeque, with chicken and beef kabobs, pork, tortillas, chips, guacamole, salsa, and soda. It was delicious, and even better because we were sitting on the beach! We watched the sunset and took many photos before loading up and returning to Horizontes. Now we are packing up our suitcases, getting ready for our early departure tomorrow.
We miss you all and can’t wait to see you tomorrow night!
The Visitation Beachgoers!