So call it a difficult decision to leave the hot tubs Thursday night to make it in time for a delicious dinner.  But not as difficult as leaving the Sarapiqui that afternoon—when there was still a chance at seeing another toucan flying overhead. 

Then there was the difficulty of Wednesday–which was such a good day on the Pacuare with the kind of sunshine and optimum water levels that we had to tear ourselves away (of course, the cold cervezas at the takeout made it a little easier). 

And it was certainly a bit difficult to refrain from laughing the day Peter nearly jumped out of his skin after being surprised by a couple of iguanas at the iguana bridge. Sure we were laughing with him at that moment!!  It was also difficult to believe what a good eye Laura had for seeing sloths in the trees (she shamed our drivers). 

Such is what we are talking about in Costa Rica when the week is difficult!!
 
Of course, finishing up the week and Friday evening presented the difficulty of dealing with 5PM rush hour traffic on the way back into San Jose after a week of being away from all the traffic (the cows and the slow going pace are more of an issue where we spend our paddling time!). And it sure was difficult leaving Turrialba knowing it was our last trip for the 2006 year.
 
But then call it a week of contradictions.  Not everything about the week was “difficult.â€?  It was easy to enjoy the great weather all week: starting out a bit rainy (good for water levels) and then finishing up warm with gorgeous blue skies. 

Easy was the wave we hung out at the Balsa until everyone was surfed out—over an hour later!! And it was easy to see the iguanas hanging out above us with their bright orange color (no worries about camouflage on a nice day). 

The best was how easy it was enjoying the group we had this week: a custom group from the west coast who traveled with Phil and Mary DeReimer to share Costa Rica with us.  And quite the variety: from high school to retired, seldom-seen kayakers to committed boaters; a good mix of characters for the week. And while the Salmon and the Grand Canyon might have been manys’ home turf, it seemed easy for everyone to swing into Costa Rica gear and make the most of a memorable week of paddling.
 
We had slipped so easily into the pura vida pace that the greatest difficulty was facing the fact that the week—and our season in Costa Rica was coming to an end.