Sunday, January 15, 2017

Charcos de Los Militares, the hidden falls

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After a surprisingly great night's sleep (we all turned in around 8:30pm and got out of bed after 7am!) we lounged around our porch enjoying the view before heading up to the eating hall for breakfast. We had no idea what to expect and were pleasantly surprised. There were scrambled eggs, homestyle potatoes, bacon, toast, fruit, juice and granola...all of us were thrilled except Addie who is strangely particular about what she eats for breakfast (and doesn't love eggs).
We were able to get some more details about our stay at Tubagua from Tim which was nice and we arranged to go on a hike with Juanin, a nice local guide who grew up near the hotel, to some hidden waterfalls called Charcos de Los Militares. It was a pretty long hike to get there but so gorgeous! We walked through hilly pastures that had amazing views over the valley and out to the ocean before entering the jungle where we climbed up rocks and through water to get to where the series of falls and pretty blue pools began.
The water was chilly but not freezing and we all had a blast climbing, swimming and jumping into the different pools. The kids did not want to stop and it was so fun to watch them enjoying themselves to much! The hike back definitely had a little complaining by the end, but they did it which was impressive! I was even a bit sore from it the next morning. One of the things I had been planning to do while here was Damajagua for the 27 waterfalls, which sounded a lot like the falls and pools we climbed and jumped in while in Jamaica (and that we all LOVED), but after the experience today I doubt we will go. Once you have a beautiful place like that all to yourself it is hard to go to one that is full of tourists and have the same experience, even if there are more falls, but we will see.
Juanin was seriously one of the sweetest guys we met on our trip, although really everyone was so friendly. Mike got complimented quite often on his Spanish during our stay, which is pretty awesome since it's been 20 years since his mission. We had taxi drivers call him "practically Dominican" and more than once people assumed we lived here based on Mike's Spanish, Juanin included. Juanin also told us more than once how strong Preston was for his age and that it seemed he had been raised here because of that...and also said he had mucha energia :-).
The rest of the afternoon was spent mostly relaxing on our porch, which was heavenly. Mike and Preston went on a little adventure walk to the nearest colmado for some sodas, the kids had lunch at the hotel (spaghetti and garlic bread was being served which they were thrilled about), we used our outdoor shower for the first time and it was actually amazing, I journaled on the couch on the porch while Ella read, Addie did origami and Preston played Uno by himself ;-) (we all joined him for some rounds too!). The littles also did plenty of lizard and bug catching, as well as all 3 loving on the pets of the lodge. It was just nice to enjoy the view, the breeze and the butterflies while we waited for dinner. Initially we were a little put off by the prices for dinner but with no other restaurants around eating here was the only option really, and it actually turned out to be amazing. It was served family style and was definitely later than we would have eaten on our own, but we just headed back to our cottage and went straight to bed after, relieved to know we would be happy here for the rest of the time.
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can you spot Addie exploring?
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It was a sheer drop off on the other side of this little rock bridge they are standing on, which is why in the videos everyone is being so careful...
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catching moths, a favorite activity while here :-). They also found a praying mantis in this corner
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