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Friday, March 20, 2009

Pura Vida!

From Pacific…. to Atlantic!

The sweet taste of success, in this case in the form of champagne, was enjoyed in the surf on Wednesday when we arrived at the Caribbean coast by way of sea kayak where the Pacuare River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Having never kayaked together before it took some time, some patience, and one exercise in how-to-flip a kayak to get the hang of it… Lucky for us we had lots of time to practice as the 40km journey, which had us pushing off from the shore before 6am to beat the heat, took us a respectable five and a half hours.

The week leading up to this finale involved more biking, trekking, and three days of white water rafting. After one last itty bitty crossing on foot, we traded in hiking boots and creeks for paddles and rivers and set out white water rafting on the Pejibaye River.

Following one last mountain bike ride (and just when my butt was nicely worn in too) and having passed the test on the Class 2-3 rapids of the Pejibaye River, we were cleared to tackle the class 3-4 rapids of the ’mighty’ Pacuare River.

The Pacuare River journey took us through rainforest spotted with waterfalls and swimming holes where we stopped to take advantage of our surroundings!

We spent two nights and one full day exploring the banks of the Pacuare River at a riverside camp nestled between the sounds of the rainforest and the hum of the river. It was a beautiful, peaceful setting which could accommodate sixty people but we had the place to ourselves! Lots of quality hammock time was spent here… some quality thinking time… and some quality exploring!

From here, we headed back into the Pacuare and made it through the remaining rapids with only one rescue from a class 4 rapid required… If you ask Troy, he’ll say I pushed him but I didn’t, honest!

Sea kayaking was the final leg of our journey and our shoulders and backs, which had been largely ignored up to this point, were tested. I took the front seat and Troy took the back. I was reminded more than a few times that the person in the backseat possesses all of the control in a kayak so………..while Troy labored to keep the kayak going straight, I took the opportunity to take photographs of him, us, and my favorite, the monkeys!

It was extremely exciting and satisfying to first hear the sounds of, and then see the ocean! More than happy to beach our kayak, we celebrated our almost 300km traveled and relished the sense of accomplishment :).

It is extremely satisfying to have completed this physical challenge with Troy. It was great knowing that Troy had my back, even if sometimes that meant he was pushing me up a hill... Turns out that the mountains, hills, dirt trails, creeks and rivers of Costa Rica have nothing on us and we leave here asking one question, “Hey Costa Rica, is that all you got?!”

Post Script:
Hey guys this is Troy and I just wanted to add a few of my own words to this blog about our amazing coast to coast trip in Costa Rica. Just a word of advice, if anyone wants to find out how strong their relationship with their spouse and/or loved one really is, I suggest you kayak with said person for 40km together. Because let me tell you if one of you doesn’t end up dead by the end of it you have nothing to worry about, you gonna make it.

Post Script2:
This is Nicole and I suddenly feel the need to defend myself. I would liken kayaking to hooking up a trailer with your spouse, or backing into a boat launch. It usually starts out ugly but eventually, once the kinks are worked out, it turns out just fine. In this case working out the kinks just meant that I should sit and be quiet while we weaved from side to side across the river. Best not to offer advice...



  2. Hurraaaaaaay! You made it!!! Congrats! We will have a celebratory drink for ya here in the great Midwest!!!!!!!!

  3. glad you had an awesome adventure. we all know that hooking up the trailer is best done with one person sitting in the house!! I'll save the drink until you come home

  4. Hey guys, I'm so proud of you two kids! I got all teary eyed when I read that last line. You guys are so awesome, we miss you something fierce!

  5. Hey Guys, Its the great Lambino here. Ive been following you now for a couple weeks. Good to hear you guys are having a blast. We miss you and look forward to following you in your journey! Take Care, Mike.....and Jaime

  6. nic & troy! What can I say? I wish I were with you and seeing incredible places and testing more than your bodies. Amazing to read and learn from you!

  7. Hey you two! Yet another adventure under your belts!!! We are all so proud of you!! Your relationship will last through anything I'm sure especially after being away for a whole year without people close to fall back on. We admire you and Love You.

  8. What an experience you both are having. Can't wait to read the next blog. You make them sound like we are all their experiening the adventure with you. Be safe as usual and take care. Love Always Dad & Mom