Definition for Kayak :-)

Kayak [] n. 1. an oblong banana shaped boat with a hole in the bottom from which the occupant dangles. Can be propelled the wrong way up by experts. (definition courtesy of Pete Knowles)
(And I've got this one from Chris' Kayak Lexicon)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ice Out!!!

Everybody was desperate to get water under their hulls! Unfortunately the day a couple of canoers got trapped and eventually capsised and were immersed for quite a while until being rescued and restored to their warmer selves. All's well that ends well!

But for us kayakers it was all fun and games :-) The sea kayakers are some colleagues from ISK who came out to do a TV piece on how to boat safely at this time of the year.

Now, I had never really thought about it, until my colleague warned me that drifting ice is actually quite dangerous: Give it a wide birth, make sure you're dressed for immersion in ice cold water and make sure, that your wearing your pfd and otherwise, HAVE FUN! :-)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How Much Longer Until Ice Out???

Villa Rosa for my layover in San Jose - not too shabby!

I've been checking my lakes for open water, but even with lots of imagination, there isn't enough to put a kayak in yet :-(

On the bright side, I was watching an elusive beaver play in one of the open pools for quite a while. Always fun - they are just too cute. It looked pretty skinny for a beaver, I bet it’s looking forward to some better weather too!

But since the weather can't be helped, we might as well look at some pictures from my Costa Rica vacation 2 years and 2 weeks ago now and keep our hopes up! :-)

Cherrie blossoms while waiting for the bus to the yoga retreat on the East coast only a hop skip and a jump away from Panama.

At Samasati.

Bananas! What would PB be without them?

Name that funny fruit!

Porto Viejo. Lots of hippies calling their kids "Buddha" and Rastas napping in wheel barrows. Lots of cute little cafes and restaurants for the tourists, so you don't have to miss your cappuccino and your bacon and eggs...

Views from my porch.

Looking down to the ocean from the hot tub on one of the many rainy days. They weren't exaggerating, when they called it the rain forest :-)

Walking trees! No seriously they move up to a foot or so each year by putting roots out in front of them and slowly uprooting at the back, always moving towards the sun.

Guavas just lying around left for the monkeys to nosh on.


LOOK SHARP!!! In the foto above, what may look like a bit of dust on your screen are hundreds and hundreds of large birds sailing on the thermos screwing themselves up higher and higher. I was watching that for a long time. I was positively mesmerized. I wished I had a better camera but you'll just have to use your imagination a little here. It was like a tornado funnel of birds, which corkscrewed higher and higher without a single beat of their wings!

More views from the retreat.

Is that a white egret?

An old pontoon with a tree taking it for a big plant pot.

Porto Viejo.
Aren't those houses fun? Why aren't we using more color?

My little treehouse in the rain forest! I absolutly loved it! It came with a little gecko to keep me company. Also there were little bats hanging off the eaves so I could watch them lying in bed. My favorite sound to wake up to is definitely the song of the howler monkeys! It's somewhere between a roar and a belch and echos through the forest as they are swinging from tree to tree. (Least favorite companion under the shower - scorpion!)

But how's that for a refreshing shower!?! I went on a waterfall tour, a highlight of my vacation! We were guided by a local hunter who obviously knows the forest and showed us medicinal plants. He also showed us little berries the Tucans adore for their intoxicating nature. They sing a lot, when they are "stoned" or should I say "berried". And we could tell the difference in areas with lots of those berries :-) Tucans are just so funny to watch flying. It just looks like the swing their little wings like crazy nuts in order to propell that HUGE beak through the air!

Ah now, this little not very exciting looking tree is the source of one of the most coveted substances on the planet: Chocolate!!! This is one of the trees of a Bri Bri Indian woman who makes chocolate by hand and sells it to the tourists. So from growing the beans to the tourist's mouth she does everything herself, apart from the cane sugar. A buddy makes that for her but also himself. She showed us all the many different steps in her dirt floor manufacturing facility :-) . She also let us try the raw beans, which don't taste like much, apart from bitter and astringent. Now THAT did make me wonder, if there wasn't an interventionist God involved, but then again, they didn't have much else to entertain themselves with back in the olden days other than what the forest provided. That's a lot of time on your hand to try all sorts of stuff and see if something good comes of it.

Oh and yes, the chocolate she makes is delicious. My personal favorite was her ginger chocolate!

On my way home after a few days of particularly torrential rain. It nearly looked like we wouldn't be able to leave Limon. But our driver tried various routes and eventually one led us savely out. I was starting to get a little worried, when an acutal log swam past our mini bus...

Bye bye Costa Rica. I had been a good trip and my first time in a developing country. Quite an eye opener. We are just taking so many things for granted! Also I was really disgusted by the behavior of some of my fellow tourists. But that's no way of ending a post!

Back to the lack of open water. I am going to end on a high note and predict a first lake kayaking session for next weekend! Next week we are supposed to hit 70 and no temp below 57. That's gotta mean some good melting by Saturday!