Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 3 June 15 Sarapiqui- Selva Verde Lodge

Breakfast this morning was filled with excitement since the first activity of the day was a zip line tour down the road at Hacienda La Linda.  Since I have zip lined in the past and learned it was not for me, I decided to be the acting photographer.  Hey, someone had to do it.  As people put on their harnesses and helmets I could see excitement and nervousness in their eyes.  After everyone was suited up we were given a safety and procedure talk.  They learned how to slow down and break and how to hold on as they zipped across the cables from platform to platform.  One by one they set off, a few with tears but they all kept going, including super grandma Herlinda. At the end of the tour the tears were gone and everyone was filled with a sense of accomplishment and they were ready for their whitewater rafting trip later in the day.

After lunch most of the group set off for whitewater trip and several of us opted to do a local organic pineapple tour instead.  Don’t get me wrong, I love rafting but I’ve done it many times and never done the pineapple tour so I wanted to see first hand what all the good reviews were about.  In addition there were others who didn’t want to raft so I invited them to accompany me. We now know more about pineapple growing then the average person.  Our tour started when we boarded a covered trailer with comfy seats and our guide.  As our big John Deere tractor pulled us we traveled past fields and fields of pineapple until we reached the field that was ready for picking.  Along the way our guide explained the growing process and how they keep the farm organic.  When we arrived at the field that was in the process of being harvested we watched as workers picked the pineapples and load them into carts.  Then our guide got out and picked us several ripe pineapples and sliced them up.  In less then a minute and with a good side knife, he peeled and decoratively sliced up the pineapples and passed out samples.  I have to say that it was definitely the best pineapple I have ever eaten.  Our next stop was the processing plant where they separate the perfect looking fruit from the not so perfect looking.  The ones that are deemed not pretty enough are used for juice, candy and dried fruit.  The nice looking ones are sent to supermarkets for immediate sale.  As we entered the processing rooms we were instructed that we had to wear hair nets.  Nothing is more stylish then a black hair net so that was exciting.  Inside we learned about all the processes to prep, tag and ship the pineapple.  At the end of the tour we were treated to pineapple cake, fresh juice in pineapples and more fresh pineapple slices.  Back at the lodge we met up with the rafters and they told me that I missed out on a great time on the river.  I was sorry but too hyped up on pineapple to care.

This was our last night at Selva Verde and also a special birthday day.  One of our group members, Kelly, was celebrating her 30th birthday.  The trip was a gift to herself and I wanted to make sure she marked it in a special way.  Since Friday would be John Earl’s birthday I thought we could do a combined celebration after dinner so I requested a birthday cake be made for them and served at dinner.  Of course the staff at Selva Verde went above and beyond with the surprise.  As we got Kelly and John Earl to sit still for a minute all the dining room lights went out and a big cake covered with candles was brought out.  It was a very nice surprise and a delicious cake. 

Our Fearless Leaders

Pineapple Tour

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