Anne, Lisa und Oliver auf Reisen
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June 27 2006
So, this is for everybody who is interested in what I'm doing after I got back to Germany. No, I'm not just staying here. It seems like I will never stop travelling and I really don't mind that. This time I'm going further than ever before: Costa Rica. Now it is only twelve hours till I will be on the plane. But more than a day till I'll be there... I'm going together with my mom Anne and her boyfriend Oliver. They will write in German on this website. You should probably look at all of this website even though you won't understand much, but I don't know where most of the pictures will be. I'm excited about seeing a totally different country. All my life I wanted to go to the rainforest and now I finally can. And I will get to speak Spanish and see how much I really learned in school last year. Well, this just as a short introduction, I really can't write more now, I'd better think about what I forgot to pack...
June 30 2006
We have been in Costa Rica for more than a day now. The flight was long and boring, but not too bad. We spent the first night in a small hotel close to the airport and this morning we drove to Playa Cocles. Somebody told us, it would take three hours... I don't know how long it took, but I think at least twice as long. We had a hard time finding the right road because there were almost no signs and everybody we asked was telling us something different. Someone would send us to the end of one street and the next person we asked would send us right back. But we finally found some people who knew where we wanted to go and drew us a nice map. We found the right road pretty fast. Everybody had told us that the streets in Costa Rica are pretty bad. Well, now we know what bad roads are. The holes in the streets were huge and some of them looked pretty dangerous. I don't think you can drive here at night when you don't see the holes. Your car could disappear in one of them! After some time we came to bridge that was under construction, so we had to wait some time till we could cross it. Now, streets with holes can be bad, but a bridge with holes is just scary. Because of the bad roads we had to drive really slowly, which was acually good. It gives you some time to admire the nature and look at the way people live around here. The nature is so beatiful. The trees, the flowers, the water, even the rain... And I really enjoyed looking at the houses people live in. But I don't have much time left, so I guess I will write more later.
July 2 2006
Today I have more time than yesterday so I will try writing a bit more this time. Maybe we will be able to also put some pictures on here soon, but we have to take some good ones first. I think yesterday while we were driving here we saw quite a bit of Costa Rica. Everything is so different. The plants here are so beautiful. At home you sometimes see one or two of them in a greenhouse and are fascinated by them and here you see hundreds of them and it is just so amazing. And all along the road you see waterfalls and all those tropical plants. It rained all day yesterday. I understand that most houses are build on pillars because if it rains long the yard turnes into mud and if it rains even more it turnes into a little lake. I was fascinated by the houses people around here have. Most of them are really small wooden houses without glas windows. Almost everybody has a small porch and a yard. It is hard to imagine how different people around here live. A few banana plants in the backyard and some chickens in front of your house. I don't think a lot of people here have warm water. The houses don't actually look too small, but if you see all the children sitting in front of their house, it makes me wonder how they live in there. I always like seeing different cultures. When I was in America, everything seemed to be bigger than in Germany. Here, everything is smaller. It also seems, like life isn't really as complicated. You just put some bananas and pinapples in front of your house and you have your own grocery store. If you see the way people live here, it is sometimes hard to imagine that Costa Rica is the richest country in Central America, much richer than the others. It makes we want to see what life is like in those countries. Most people here don't have much, but they have everything they need. And they seem to be real happy. In the area where we are now, the are lots of tourists. Not as many tourists as you would expect in a country with a climate and nature like Costa Rica, but quite a few. You see a lot of hotels, restaurants and souvenir stores. But the beach is almost empty. We went to the beach this morning. It is beautiful. The water is really warm and the waves are pretty high. But if they are too high, you aren't allowed to swim. So we just lay in the sun for some time and I got bored pretty fast. Now we are in town and that's much more fun. It is really interesting. I also really like our hotel. It is like little rainforest-like park with some little houses. You feel like you are in the dschungle. Today I even got a chance to try talking in Spanish. Some guy in the hotel talked to me but the only thing I understood was Nicaragua. I think he asked me if I knew the woman who wants to go there. Well, I don't know her. I guess next time I talk to someone I will have to tell them to talk slower. But I like listening to Spanish, even when I don't understand it. Well, I guess I will have to go now. I probably won't have time to write any e-mails again...
July 3 2006
today was a really exciting day. And really exhausting. We went on aa tour in the rainforest to see some more of the forest and to go to some indians who live there. So we got up early and went to town to eat breakfast. Of corse we didn't expect we would ever see the people on the table next to us again, but it turned out later, that they had booked the same tour . They were a couple from Spain. Our guide met us in front of the Supermarket. She was actually one of the indians and was really nice. She didn't speak English though, but I always like hearing some Spanish, although i don't understand everything. So we started walking. We saw a lot in the forest. Huge trees, colored frogs and really big insects. We saw ants that were almost two inches long. Our guide said when she first moved here, one of those ants bit her and first she thought it was a snake that bit her. She said her tongue swoll and she couldn't talk for some time. Afer some time we finaally came to a little house in the woods, but we just kept on walking, and walking, and walking... We walked up amd down hills and all the time through the mud. It was really steep and slippery and sometimes it was hard not to fall. We got so dirty. Our clothes were soaked in sweat, the pants muddy all the way up to the knees. But we kne we would go to a waterfall and go swimming there. After some time we saw an armadillo. Our guide told us that they eat them, but only the white ones, not the black ones. When we finally came to the waterfall we all really needed a break. This walk was so exhausting. The waterfall was really beautiful. It is strange, I always wanted to swim at a waterfall, and this year I got to do it even twice. Our guide had said the water was rerally cold, but I thought it actually was pretty warm. We stayed there for a little while and then started the way back. The way to the waterfall had been pretty hard and all of us were kind of scared of having to climb all that back. It was so steep. So we walked all the way again. Our guide said, we could just go back and go swimming again. We all felt like we really needed a bath again, but I don't think any of us would have mage it back to the waterfall. Walking along that path in that heat is much harder than what we expected. But I think it was alot of fun. I like walking through the woods, especially when it is as wild as here. We also saw two snakes. One of them was really big and colorful (and dead, which was probably better for us) and the other one was small and brown. Finally we came to another house where we could come in and got some food. It was really good. We got hot chocolate that was made with water and tasted surprisingly good. We got our food in a bid leaf. I looked at it and the first thing I thought was: "I don't think I like cooked banana". But it tasted like potatoe and is really good. We also got some chicken, something strange yellow that I liked and something really weird grean that wasn't too good. We also got to buy something from the indians. We bought a little bag that is made of grass and lookes more like a christmasornament than like a bag. It was pretty interesting to see the house. We didn't get to see a lot. I think we sat in the lilvingroom. It was very simple but pretty nice. It had a few chairs, a bench and a box with a turkey. It had the size of half the house, but it was pretty small. There weree two other rooms, but we didn't get to see those. The kitchen was in another house and they were connected by a bridge. All around the house were turkeys, chickens, and dogs. The bathroom was a little house somewhere in the woods. From there we still had to walk a long time. The rainforest was so beautiful, but we all just wanted to get back. After we got back to the road we stopped at a river to clean our shoes. I had to wash my pamts too. The trip was really fun, but we decided to spend all day tomorrow resting. And we won't book another trip that includes seven hours of walking. At least not too soon. I would actually like to, but I don't think anybody agrees with me...
July 5 2006
Yesterday we didn't do much, but it didn't get boring either. The weather wasn't too good so we didn't go swimming. But we went to town and there we could watch the semi final of the soccer worldcup. Germany lost against Italy in the last minute. Well, at least we don't miss anything while we're not there... Later we went back to town to eat dinner. While we were eating, it started raining. Later we got a thunderstorm and it kept getting worse. Finally, shortly after we got our food, the power went off. So we were sitting in the dark eating our food. I'm glad we had candles. It was actually pretty nice, until the roof started leaking and it started raining on my head... Well, we stayed a little longer, hoping the power would come back on, but it stayed dark. The town was suddenly so quiet. We left pretty soon. It was interesting to see what people around here do when this happens (seems like it happens pretty often, it was the second time now). We saw one guy who was carrying a candle and holding a big leaf over it to protect it from the rain. When we arrived at the hotel, we were happy to see that the lights were on. But we were soon disappointed, because the electricity in our house didn't work. Well, this day had been planned as a day of rest anyway so we decided we could just go to bed real early. It gets dark at six around here so it wasn't late yet, but you couldn't see anything. Just after I had finally found everything in the dark, including my flashlight, and was ready to go to bed, the power went back on. I hope things like that won't happen too often. But every once in a while it's pretty fun.
Today we went to another beach. We couldn't swim there, but we walked for a while and lay in the sun for a little bit. It was really nice, but I couldn't really enjoy it because I had a pretty bad headache. I think it's because of the heat. So I spent most of the afternoon in bed and we didn't really do anything. Well, at least I got some rest, that's what vacation is for. We don't have anything planned for tomorrow either, but it is our last day here. Friday we will leave here and go to the next hotel. That one is near a volcano and I think it will be really cool. We arrive there Saturday so we will stop somewhere along the way. But we probably won't have internet where we are going next so I don't know when you will here from me again. I will probably write again Tomorrow and maybe Saturday, but then it will take a few days till I can get online. Maybe next Wednesday, I don't know.
July 9 2006
We left our old hotel Friday morning after breakfast and drove about halfway to where we are now. We stopped in a small town (the biggest town in that area) called Sarapiqui. We started looking for a hotel and finally decided for a cheap but clean one. The rooms weren’t reel comfortable, but good enough for one night. The town is located near a river, so we decided to go there and look at it. As soon as we got there, a guy came to us and offered us some information. We asked if there were boats tours on the river. Five minutes later we were sitting in a boat. I like the way they organize it here. We had our own guide and he pointed out to us all the animals he saw. We saw lots of birds, bats, monkeys, frogs and other animals. At one point we even stopped and got out of the boat to see the blue jeans dart frog and some bats. After the tour we looked around in the town, but there wasn’t much to see so we soon went back to the hotel. The next morning we found out why it’s sometimes not good to book a cheap hotel. Of course there are a lot of good things about cheap hotels: you save some money and – there is a chance that something really funny happens that you will always remember. Like when we got up in the morning. My mom knocked on my door in the morning and said “You got to look at something” So I came to see what happened. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I saw definitely wasn’t what I expected, because usually my mom isn’t the kind of person who destroys hotel rooms… Well, when I came in the bathroom, I saw the sink lying on the floor, broken in hundreds of pieces. My mom had just wanted to wash her hands and probably pushed the sink in the wrong spot a little too hard. It had been one of those sinks that you look at and think: “One day that thing is going to fall”. But of course you never really expect things like that to happen. We all laughed so hard but at the same time we were worried about what the owners of the hotel would say and how much we would have to pay for that old sink. But the funniest thing was the reaction of the woman at the front desk when we told her the story. After Oliver had explained to her twice what happened (with sign language, because she didn’t speak English, that was so funny), she just said “Okay” and looked at us as if that was the most usual thing to happen and it seemed to be real strange that we worried about something like that. Apparently things like that happen pretty often there. After we left the hotel we started looking for a place to eat breakfast, but we drove through several towns and every restaurant we found seemed to be closed. We finally stopped at one that didn’t look as closed at the others, and the woman who worked there only looked asleep when we came but woke up immediately. We asked if it was closed and she said, it wasn’t really closed and offered us some coffee. We asked for breakfast and after making sure that we really were only three people she said she could fix something and disappeared in the kitchen. We didn’t know what she would cook, but she came back with some really good French toast. And some water. She told us about the water and said they had a special filter that aligns the molecules of the water with the magnetic field of the earth and if you drink that water it improves your balance. Interesting idea, but I guess I’ll continue drinking “bad” water and won’t have a good balance… That day we drove all the way to Volcan Arenal. On the way there we could only guess where the volcano was because it was so foggy. We drove past all other hotels and ours seemed to be the very last one, but we kept seeing signs that told us how many more miles to the hotel. We finally saw a sign and arrived at the front gate. We then expected a short driveway and then out hotel. It turned out to be a long driveway. A really long driveway. After six or seven minutes (we had already started worrying what kind of hotel would be that far away from the road) we saw a big “Welcome”-sign. But we weren’t there yet. We had to drive some longer until at last we saw a sign that said “Welcome – You made it!”. The drive really seemed endless and the road was so steep. But there is one good thing about a hotel that’s so far away from everything else: They have everything here. I think this is the nicest hotel I ever stayed at. We have a balcony with huge windows and we can see the volcano from the bed. That’s so cool. The hotel has a pool, a huge park, a restaurant, a souvenir store and internet. That’s why I can write this now. While we were eating lunch, the clouds around the volcano disappeared for a little while. Just long enough for us to see a small eruption. I don’t know if it really was an eruption, it was just a loud sound at a big cloud of smoke, but I don’t think it happens that often and the clouds came right back after we had seen that. It was just perfect. Also while we were eating lunch, we saw a big blue macaw. It landed right in front of our window. The birds are fed at the hotel so they come pretty close. The same day we booked a tour. We went to the national park and walked through the rainforest with a guide. We didn’t have to walk as much as last time when we went on a tour in the rainforest and the trail was much easier. And we saw so much more. We saw parrots, and monkeys, and toucans. It was really good. We didn’t see the volcano, but the guide told us something about it and we heard the lava. There are some places there that are pretty dangerous and you have to be careful where you go and when you go there. Six years ago a guide and two tourists died when the volcano erupted. There had been a warning that day, but forty years ago an eruption killed a whole village. After we were finished walking we went to another hotel where we could bathe in hot springs. It was pretty nice, but it was already dark, and sometimes it would have been better to see a bit more. It got boring after some time, but we only had two hours anyway. After that we ate and went back to our hotel. Today it has been raining almost all day (that’s why I have time to write so much). This morning, the weather was still pretty good. So we drove through the rainforest with the “Sky Tram”. It was really good. A guide explained everything to us and we saw some howler monkeys. And we got to talk some Spanish. I like talking in Spanish, and it seems like it’s easier than I thought. I understand almost everything, at least when the people speak slowly. For the afternoon we had booked a horseback riding tour around the hotel. By then it was raining pretty hard, but that wasn’t a problem and we went anyway. It was really nice. Once you are wet, you don’t even feel the rain. We rode through the park and then a little bit through the forest. We also crossed a little river. All the other horses just walked through it, but mine decided that it didn’t want wet feet and jumped. I didn’t expect that at all, but it was pretty fun. I never went horseback riding before, at least not for longer than a few minutes and I always wanted to. It was really good. Now we are sitting in our room and waiting for the rain to stop and our clothes to dry. Actually the rain is nice, but it rained so much today and I hope it stops before we have to leave this hotel because if it weren’t that cloudy we would have a really nice view of the volcano. We are leaving here tomorrow and are going to a place called Monteverde. Somewhere in the rainforest.
July 10 2006
We are now in Santa Elena near Monteverde. Our hotel is in the same house as a restaurant with bad food and service and a terribly expensive internet cafe. But it is really nice because the whole house is built around a tree that now grows half outside and half inside. It looks really cool. Driving here took a pretty long time because the roads were so bad and we had to drive real slow. But it wasn´t too bad because w got to see a lot. We drove through the mountains. There aren´t a lot of houses up there, just a few along the street and sometimes a little village with five to ten houses. But even the smallest village has a tiny school and at least one little church. Some of them even have a small grocery store. It must be really hard to buy something when you live there, because the nearest town is often two or three hours away. But the landscape is really beautiful so I understand why some people really like living there. The landscape in the mountains is very different from where we were before. There isn´t a lot of forest there. But now we are near the rainforest again. Today we went walking through the rainforst again. But it was different this time. We walked along the "Sky Walk". There we walked on several big hanging bridges and it was really nice because you got a good view of the treetops there. Walking wasn´t hard because even when we weren´t on the bridges there was a really good trail. Tomorrow we are going on another tour to the rainforest if the weather is nice and I think then we have seen enough forest for a while. The rainforest is really beautiful and interesting, but if you go there every day it can get kind of boring. Oh, last night we saw the lava flowing down the volcana. It was pretty cool but not too spectacular. But it´s kind of fascinating. We still don´t know exactly where we will go when we leave here. Somewhere to the Pacific. We found one town that sounds pretty nice. And I hope we can put some more pictures on here soon. I think I took at least 100 today. And I saw some hummingbirds and got really close to one of them. I want to try putting that photo on here too.
July 11 2006
Today we walked through the national park Monteverde for four or five ours. This rainforest is a cloud forest, which means that when you walk there, you walk through the clouds at some points along the way because the forest is high up in the mountains. It's pretty cool top walk through the clouds up there and when you are on the top you see all the hills with the forest and the clouds. We also saw some animals. We saw some birds, two spider monkeys, a small snake, a huge caterpillar and a hummingbird. We also heard some howler monkeys. I think today we won't do anything else exept for walking through the town. Tomorrow we are leaving for Samara and are looking for a hotel right now. I hope I will be able to put some pictures on here before we leave.
July 15 2006
I'm sorry that I haven't written for so long, but these are the slowest computers I've ever seen and it never works. So usually by the time I checked my e-mails I'm already so annoyed by these computers that I just want to get off. But today it is a little bit faster so I finally get to write a bit. We have now been here in Samara at the Pacific coast for several days. It is really different from the caribbean. It's not as humid so it doesn't feal as hot. I'm really happy about that. Also, it doesn't rain much less but always pretty much at the same time so it is really predictable and you can plan on going to the beach in the morning and spending the afternoon in the hotel or in town. Our hotel is right at the beach so we can see the sea from our porch. But it is not really nice for swimming there, because the waves are too high and there are so many stones. We found a pretty nice beach where we can go by car, so we usually go there. We wee planning on going on some trips while we are here, like kayaking or snorkeling, but because it rained so much all thet is pretty dangerous at the moment and they don't offer those tours. But we drove to another national park and walked for about four hours. The forest was different there, and it was a pretty nice walk. We even saw a howler monkey. But it was really exhausting because we walked up the mountain most of the time. But when we reached the top we had a really good view. Tomorrow morning we are going horseback riding. The second time now and I think this time it will be a longer tour that last time. And hopefully it won't rain. We now have only less than a week left in Costa Rica. It's really nice here, but I think if we would stay longer than three weeks it would get pretty boring after some time.
July 19 2006
Sunday morning we went horseback riding. It was really nice, better than last time. We rode through the woods for some time and up a hill so we got a really good view of the sea. Then we had to cross a pretty big river. That was fun. the guide said that there are even alligators in that river. At the beach we saw a place where people who protect turtles work. If they find eggs of turtles they dig them out and then dig them in again at a safer place and when the young turtles hatch they carry them to the water. It was pretty interesting to see that because I saw it on TV so often, but there wasn't really much to see. We could let the horses run along the beach and that was really good. All in all we had a really good day and I was so lucky with the horse I got. It did everything I told him to do whereas my mom said that she always got the lazy evil horses.The next day was our last day at the coast so we went to the beach one last time. it was really cloudy that morning when we arrived at the beach so I said:"I think by the time we get back out of the water it will start raining and we will have to leave and won't even have time to wait for our clothes to dry". Sometimes I hate being right... It happened exactly that way which was a little disappointing because that day the water was really good for swimming, the waves were high, but not so high that they were dangerous. So we went back to the hotel and swam in the pool for some time. Then on Tuesday we left that hotel and drove to San Jose. It was realy nice. I like going by car around here because the landscape is so incredible beautiful and you see so much. And I like looking at all those little villages in the mountains. But driving to San Jose took us much longer than we thought it would so it was good we went there a couple of days before we have to fly back home and catch our plane. First we could go pretty fast, but the traffic kept getting worse and finally we were stuck in a traffic jam. After we had been standing there for a pretty long time we saw a lot of taxis driving the other way. I was the first to say that they were probably protesting for something and blocked the road. I wasn't actually serious about that, but the taxis got more and more and we later heard that they actualy had blocked the road... When we finally arrived in the city, we had to give back ou rental car and got a taxi. When we told the driver where the hotel was he warned us that it was a really bad area, but a nice hotel. We had heard that it wasn't the nicest area, but the taxi driver seemed pretty concerned and told us not to leave the hotel by foot and to always take a taxi when we wanted to go anywhere. And it really looks like he's right, so we always go by taxi. And the hotel offers a free shuttle service, so it's really no problem to safely get to better areas of the city. Normally I really like big cities, but San Jose is different. I don't think I would like to stay here longer than a few days, but I'm glad I got to see it. There seem to be a lot of homeless and really poor people around here and you can hardly go anywhere without somebody asking you for money. And there are a lot of people on the streets seling sunglasses, umbrellas or lottery tickets. They are shouting most of the time so when there are a lot of them, they can get pretty annoying. But I don't thik they make a lot of money by selling a few sunglasses so I also feel kind of sorry for them. Yesterday evening and today we walked through the city and went in a few stores. Today we also went into the national museum because it started raining. it is still raining now so we are back in the hotel. Our flight is tomorrow evening some time around 8.00. I can't write any more now, because the hotel has only one computer and somebody else is wanting to get on.
July 22 2006
We are back home now. The flight was long, but not too bad because it was at night so I slept most of the time. After 14 hours flight we landed in Frankfurt and went home by train. The train was really full because of some kind of event in Franfurt, but we got seats so it was okay. It is so hot here in Germany, I think its even hotter than in Costa Rica. I think it's supposed to be the hottest summer ever recorded. But after Costa Rica we are at least used to the heat. I'm happy to be back home now. I will finally get to spend some time here. But Costa Rica was wonderful. It is the perfect country to go on vacation if you want a lot of nature, beautiful beaches and not a lot of tourists.