Blue Mountain Waterfall Walk

Bridge over a creek on Blue Mountain walkI got up early this morning and did a run before breakfast. I feel like I am acclimatized now to the altitude here at the Rio Chirripo Retreat (about 4000 feet in elevation). This makes the area cooler and less humid than lower lying areas in Costa Rica. The weather is quite variable, since sometimes clouds come in and cool things off quite a bit.

Breakfast was all watermelon. I made a particular effort to eat slowly, taking a new piece only when Phillip did. That worked well until he was done, after which I had no crutch, and had to pay attention to my own eating speed. It seems if I eat the melon slowly enough and chew it well enough, I don’t get “melon belly”, that uncomfortable feeling of being overfull. Fortunately melon belly seems to pass in about 15 minutes.

Swimming Hole at Blue MountainThe walk today was to the Blue Mountain waterfall. A long walk up past the village of Los Angeles. It was a pleasant swim there, the water was cold again, like yesterday’s swim at the “Ol’ Swimming Hole”, but very refreshing after such a long hike. It seemed to take ages to get back, and so bananas at lunch were highly welcomed.

When you “earn your fruit” by doing a lot of exercise, such as walking, it makes it that much more satisfying to eat meals. Certainly it makes it easier to enjoy plain foods. I noticed myself eating a lot of greens today, after previously wondering whether I even wanted them at lunch or not.

Ping Pong with Dr. DougAt Karen’s request (thanks for your comment, two posts ago), I’ve included a pictures of Dr. Graham playing ping pong with Stephanie (Faychesca is watching), and one of his wife Roz, with their daughter Faychesca at the table. Ironically, Stephanie is in both pictures (nice work Stef!) Faychesca is 3 years old and when she talks she’s absolutely adorable.

At dinner time, the papaya orange juice smoothie combination didn’t do much for me, but the soup was excellent. It was tomato, celery, and mango, garnished with a few half slices of tomato and small stalks of celery. Phillip found it particularly satisfying, because he’s been craving salty things rather than so much sweet fruit, and has been finding sweet fruit a little difficult to eat in large quantities.

The third course was spiralized cucumber, covered in a delicious sauce made from sun-dried tomatoes and red pepper. Time had been taken to creatively decorate it with slices of cucumber.

We discussed at the table for a while whether such a thing should be called “pasta”, since although that is what it reminds you of, it certainly isn’t going to weigh you down like a big pasta meal.

Robbie, Stephanie, Roz, and FaychescaThe only disadvantage to a delicious meal of tomatoes and celery, is that although these vegetables have a lot of minerals and vitamins, they are low on calories. Thus I find myself not getting enough calories from the meals. It helped a lot to add some mangos (I think I ate 4 of them), and at the end of the meal I felt satisfied.

After dinner a couple of folks decided to watch the movie “Chariots of Fire” in the common area, but Phillip and I opted to return to our room, read a while, and get to sleep early (8:30pm) in preparation for a full day tomorrow. We have a trip to the beach planned.

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