Sorry kids, but lately my blog has been so boring that I don't even want to read it. So I'll stick to mostly pictures for the wrap up.
Iguanas are being hunted for food... but unfortunately take a good 10 years to make a good meal. Soooo an indigenous couple are running this farm to raise iguanas to release back into the wild.
After looking at iguanas we ate lunch from a leaf shaped like Peter Pan's hat. Lots of roasted root veggies (typical indigenous fare) and chicken... yummers!
Then we tromped off into the rain forest again.
The guide told us that when the conquistadors showed up a lot of them started dying from mosquito bourne diseases. His people never had a problem, because they'd drink a tea brewed from these leaves.
Introducing - quinine!
Another magical rain-forest tree. They boil down the bark and soak bandages in it - it has antiseptic and healing properties. It's good for treating machete wounds apparently.
Thus ends the last official activity of the tour group. Finally a couple days to relax on my own!
This 'casado' (married man's lunch) was the single most glorious meal I had in Costa Rica (and half the price of any of the places on the main street). The chicken was roasted in some kind of jerk sauce. The beans were amazing. The salad had the perfect amount of crisp tanginess, the rice was cooked in chicken broth and was a mellow compliment to the spiciness of the chicken. The cooked banana was such a perfectly sweet note to finish on. AMAZING. I couldn't stop dancing in my seat and attempting to compliment the chef in my ridiculously broken Spanish. So when she asked "What part did you like so much?" I had no choice but to answer her in English "Everything!"
All told, it was a good vacation. I definitely would have enjoyed a bit more time on my own. Next time I go abroad I might consider going with a group - because it is nice to have someone doing all the planning and looking out for everyone's safety - but only if I can have an equal amount of time to explore the country on my own. Traveling independently is where all the adventure lies.