You know it is an unusual day on the water when you have an audience watching you paddle down the river….and that audience happens to be a tree full of howler monkeys.  Welcome to paddling in Costa Rica! And our Nov 08 – Nov 15 Class III-IV trip.

Howler Monkeys Watching Us Paddle the Upper Sarapiqui

Howler Monkeys Watching Us Paddle the Upper Sarapiqui

This week was not just about monkeys in trees or awesome days on the river, eating homemade snickerdoodles in the van or mastering wall shots.  We cannot forget birthdays!  Advantage of being out of the country on your birthday is….no one will know, right?!?  Not!  If you knew you were going to be given a piñata for your birthday, wouldn’t you want to celebrate it here?  That is what Carin decided once she found the target and beat the purple piñata to a candy pulp! With the makeup of this week’s groups: from California, the northeast and two southerners thrown in for character, we are not sure who really claimed credit for the piñata celebration!

Brithday Celebration-ERA Costa Rica Style!

Brithday Celebration-ERA Costa Rica Style!

Upper Pacuare, Lower Pacuare, Pejbaye, Lower Sarapiqui….our hot shot Class III-IV paddlers finished up an awesome week of paddling on the Class IV Upper Sarapiqui. It was not part of the itinerary but they earned being on the Upper with the paddling they did throughout the week.  While focused on the steep rapids that seemed to come from one end of the river to the other, it was amazing that there were still moments to pause and notice the monkeys handing out in the trees above us on several occasions.

Paddling the Upper Sarapiqui

Paddling the Upper Sarapiqui

Headed back to San Jose after a memorable week, we rounded the corner and stumbled into a whole group of cotomundis. No sooner had we hopped out to check them out than yet another group of howler monkeys started singing to us. It was a nice way to finish off the week!

Checking out the Cotomundis on the way home

Checking out the Cotomundis on the way home