So I'm back from Costa Rica!
It was simply amazing, there was MORE than enough food--I barely ate any of the luna bars. There were one or two restaurants that were lacking, but for the most part it was all you can eat buffets that were costa rican/american fusion so I loaded up on salads, (often fresh) bread, veggies, and lots of wonderful fresh fruit!!! :D Mmmmm... And of course, rice and beans!!! (Gallo Pinto!) (I also ate non-vegan things like scrambled eggs, oatmeal (which was always made with milk), and a lot of cheese sandwiches as my prepared bag lunch, so if you're a vegan travelling on a trip like this, DO bring those luna bars--they'd have been much more essential were I vegan!)
I wish I knew how to put these photos behind a link, but I'm afraid I'll have to just share them all with you whether you like it or not... hope no one has dialup... PS Throughout the photos notice I am NEVER without my field book. I sometimes left it when I went to the loo. Sometimes.
Frist day there I was starving, bought a fruit I'd never tried before. It was green with purple flesh and white milky sap. Strange, but definately good.
The fruit was, in general, AMAZING. Every day we had fresh papaya, watermelon, and pineapple--without fail. Cantaloupe made a few appearances, and banana one or two (which was strange, because they served them to the workers, just often not us.) Mangos were not in season. *BIG ANGRY FACE* But I guess I shouldn't complain. :P
The most amazing quesadillas of my life. Fresh salsa and refried black beans to accompany. The quesadillas were filled with lots of fresh veggies and there was a vegan option, because they gave the same dish to the girl with a milk allergy travelling with us. (I'm pretty sure mine had cheese, from the photo at least. While eating all I could taste was amazing. She agreed it was very good.)
The pineapple-guava jam was AMAZING. If you ever see it in the supermarket (I actually saw some today) I HIGHLY recommend trying it.
sometimes they were less creative with their vegetarian options, but that was ok...
Sometimes they were VERY creative... this was actually an awesome sandwich. The bread was home baked, not just factory whitebread (though not much more nutritionally valuable, a bit tastier) and the veggies were just ground up steamed veggies I recognized from the buffet the night before. But I think they added some garlic and spices. It was rather tasty. Maybe 4 hours of hiking does that to anything, i dont know... but I remember I wasnt starving when I ate it and liked it anyway.
One of the things I always have loved is Bananas. Especially the idea of finding wild bananas. On one of our hikes through a national park I spotted some banana trees that I recognized couldn't be cultivated bananas (there are some differences). No one believed me so they all got to see the short asian girl jump. and jump. and jump. And finally knock a banana down. It was ridiculously hard to peel, I ended up having to use a knife, and it got sticky sap all over my hands. Those are two reasons we don't eat wile bananas, and this is the third;
SEEDS. That, and they taste like crap pretty much. NOTHING at all like the sweet bananas we're used to, or even the starchy-savory/sweet plantanes.
Oh, and by the way, that hike was through the rainforest. Let me just say, your state of being in the rainforest is "sweaty"... I used to want to work in the Amazons. No. Just no. Dry heat for me. PS notice the sunburn. It was horrid. ><
Saw some volcanoes.
Hiked through the cloudforest.
Hit up a beach or two.
And a swamp. and dry forests. and transition forests. and mountains. and hot springs.
So I'll leave it at that. I had a great time! (There are some photos I left out on flickr, if you want to see STILL more.)
Now, on a slightly different topic, I just wanted to say. CCV (aka CCK, now) is having a jocolate giveaway. Talk about YUM. ^__^ Run over before March 19th to get in on the action! Best of luck!
OH WAIT. One more thing. The truth about shade-grown coffee.
Its bollox. The trees that provide the 'shade' really just take up room where coffee plants could be planted, meaning that the fields need to be even LARGER to get the same amount of coffee. This was one of the BEST shade grown coffee plantations we saw, BY FAR. So imagine what the average, or even the worst, was like...