Thursday, April 25, 2013

Samara Trails

Our last hurrah with the Hiltons was a "nature walk" with Alvero!  By the amount of sweat on our shirts, you can see it was much more of a hike than a walk :)  Alvero is the Hilton's neighbor and we had such a fun time and learned SO MUCH about the land and history of Costa Rica this afternoon.  The mountainside was/is his grandpa's property, and Alvero has become a master of all the plants, animals and history of the land.

The hike culminated at the peak of this mountain where we got a perfect view of Playa Samara!

Scott climbed this tree at one of our waterbreaks... then he kind of got stuck up there.  I'm surprised this photo actually does capture how steep it was coming down.  Thank goodness for Chacos and Angelo's help!

Alvero calls this the monkey brush because it is pokey enough to comb hair but soft enough not to scratch you.

And we ate termites.  No big deal.  They were crunchy and had a sort of woody flavor.

These long roots are hollow and have running water through them.  Depending on the size, you could get 15-45 seconds worth of water if you chop one down.

Here is a pokey tree that grows these spikes to protect itself from the animals that would destroy it.
We learned that the Nicoya peninsula in Costa Rica is famous for hosting people with long life spans.  Alvero said it is not uncommon at all to meet abuelas in town who are 100-105 years old.  They attribute this longevity to:
1.  Waking up early (4am) to work hard hard HARD until 11am.  Lots of physical exercise!
2.  Then, they relax and visit with friends and family the rest of the day.  This is a stress free life.
3.  The water has a lot of calcium in it which makes their bones strong.

This large tree is surrounded by all these little roots which eventually choke the bigger tree and kill it.  

Alvero showed us this gummy root which can be used as a sweetener for coffee or tea.  I am always impressed by how much the land has to offer and how anything you REALLY need can be derived from a plant 
Scott was a "translator" for 2 french women in our group.  By translate, I mean he would restate what Alvero taught in slower English with hand motions :)

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