After my grand U.S. tour, I had another week back in Costa Rica before I had to return to work. I spent a few days at Rancho Mastatal, a great sustainable living ranch about three hours from San Jose. Getting there was a little tricky: I got a bit of a late start heading out there, so I wasn't sure I was going to make it there on the day I had planned originally (you have to coordinate the bus schedules just so), but I ran and just made it onto the last chicken bus from Puriscal to Mastatal. The road to Mastatal is in pretty poor condition (some parts were almost completely washed away in Hurricane Tomas and haven't been repaired yet), so that last bus ride was quite an adventure! I'm pretty sure we almost slid off the road into a ravine more than once.
Someone at work asked me how I heard about Rancho Mastatal, and it's kind of a funny story: when I was planning my trip to Costa Rica in 2008, I got an e-mail from an organization I was in during college, talking about some things other alumni have been up to. One of the featured alumni was Tim O'Hara, one of the owners of Rancho Mastatal. I decided it was fate and made plans to visit them during that trip. It was really neat to go back and see all the new things they have going on!
Very free range chickens wandering in and out of the bath house:
The beautiful surroundings are some of the greatest attractions. On my last day there, some other volunteers and I hiked to hidden waterfall.
I can't wait to go back!!