Stories about New Zealand and Costa Rica by Piper

I wrote this when I was in Costa Rica last year.IMG_4525

Hi my name is Piper. I go around the world with my family.  My dad runs a boarding school called T G S. It is a good school. Finn and Charlotte are my  siblings. Charlotte is 12 I’m 7 Finn is 10. We are too young to go to TGS. We are homeschooled.

IMG_4522We went to New Zealand at the beginning of the year.  You can walk anywhere there.  We lived in a city called Auckland.  We went to Hobbiton.  We got to see all of their houses and drink Ginger Beer. It was so good.

We went on a road trip for three weeks in New Zealand.  We were in a IMG_5017Jucy Lucy campervan.  I rode in the front seat and I slept on the floor in the kitchen. We saw Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings (you should watch it, it’s a great movie).  We went to make knives but I was too young to make knives so I went horseback riding with mom. But I couldn’t run on the horse.  Mom’s horse was named Finn and my horse was named Prince.  The person who took us on the ride, her horse was named Jade.  

IMG_5649My favorite campground had a petting zoo.  There were hamsters and rabbits and the peacocks weren’t in a cage.  They wandered around the campsite and at night they would make a lot of noise and I couldn’t sleep.  

Now we are in Costa Rica. It is very buggy here and I don’t like that. I got eaten alive by sand fleas.  Especially on my arm. We went on a four week trip.  We went to a place called Punta Mona.  We got there by a boat.  There were no cars whatsoever. There were people living there. They were Hippies.  They grow their own food to live.  

I met this really nice lady at Punta Mona.  Her name was Christina. She wasn’t a Hippie.  I helped her alot.   I helped her clean the floors of the houses. I also helped her clean the kitchen. She was very nice to me.  She helped me with my bug bites. She put her cream on me.  It helped my bug bites to not be itchy.

IMG_6935At Punta Mona we we made chocolate and I was so excited about it. The first step was roasting the cocoa beans. Next we peeled them  and ground them. We mixed the cocoa with ingredients then we rolled them into balls. I just wanted to eat some chocolate.  But mom said no, you have to come to the ceremony.  It is a thing that they used to do and these ladies made all these chocolates a long time ago.  It would take them five days to make chocolate for IMG_6855the whole village.  We did the same ceremony they did.  First they would take the trays of cocoa and pass it around to everybody.  Then you had to hold it in your hand and we had to look at it and  think about this chocolate.  How long it took you to make it. I said to my chocolate, “Sorry but I’m going to eat you in one second.” And then I put a bite into my mouth. I thought in my head “this is crappy.”  I swallowed it and I went to my mom and I said to her, “This is the worst chocolate I’ve ever had mom.” And I gave it to her.  It felt like I tossed my cookies in my mind. It was horrible. It was the worst chocolate I ever had.

Soaring Through The Clouds

It was an opportunity not to be passed up. We spent two days in the
“Cloud Forest” of Monteverde. Believe me, there is no better place to experience a zip line than up in the clouds!!! 100% Aventura has the longest zip line in Latin America measuring 1.5 Kilometers. Just take my advice. If you ever make it to this region of Costa Rica, no matter your age, you must do this.

Let me first start by saying, this place is a well oiled machine. They have a schedule of four times a day to choose from. Our group was about 40 people and we experienced the entire course of 12 different zip lines in three hours. Are they safe? You bet. These guys know what they are doing. Their safety gear is heavy duty bomb-proof and they do a demonstration of exactly what you need to do in order to survive. Hey, when my 7 year old (Piper) heard a 5 year old did it the same day, she was not going to be outdone. “I can do it mom!”

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I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures because having an iPhone without a strap is a dangerous thing. Let’s face it. You won’t see it ever again – gobbled up by the cloud forest below. Plus, I just wanted to be in the moment.

We started out with some really short and easy zips, including a rapel from a tree. Walking across a hanging bridge? No problem. This was the easy part. Charlotte and Piper were paired up for some of the longer zips because of Piper’s weight. Some are so long that had she not been paired up, she’d zip out to the middle and get stuck which would require a rescue.

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In the next two pictures I am waiting my turn to do the Superman zip. This is where you can really feel like you are flying. Charlotte and Piper wait their turn, and Finn is just behind me. Notice the cows in the background. I think they want a turn too!

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Here we go. A student is just in front of me getting hooked up. She’s ready to fly into the mist!

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It’s pretty cool to enter a wall of mist while flying through the air. I wasn’t quite sure if I would see anything at all. But once the trees parted open, I could see just how high up I was, soaring high above the tree line. My train of thought went something like this: “Wow is this cool! I’m pretty high up here! This is reeeeally long. What would happen if that cable were to… Stop it! Stop that now! Enjoy the view. Look at that farm over there. Look at those cows! What would it be like to be a cow living under a zip line? Do they get used to humans flying above them screaming, hooting and hollering? They must think we’re nuts. Am I nuts? Is this crazy, or what? No, this is pretty great!”

Charlotte, Finn and Piper were all too small to do the Superman Zip but experienced it sitting up with partners. They did take the challenge of the Tarzan Swing at the end of the course. A giant step off the edge and you’re plunging, then swinging with all your friends cheering you on below. It’s quite a rush. It’s already been suggested that my kids need to skydive next.

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