Going on an excursion with Costa Ricans involves a lot of logistical planning. You can’t just leave like that, spontaneously. Preparation already begins days before. It all starts with getting together enough people for the excursion. Every seat in the bus needs to be occupied. Bus? Yes, of course. When going on excursion in Costa Rica you rent a whole mini bus with driver – what else? When there are enough people together, fine tuning starts one day before the excursion.
You definitely do not want your excursionists to starve during the trip. So, the afternoon before the excursion, food preparation starts. The first is making sweet buns. At least 100 of them, even though there are only twenty people coming to the excursion. Sweet buns sell like hot cakes. So, take enough with you. Next step is to bake a „pan borracho“ (drunken bread/cake). This is basically a huge, huge cake with cinnamon, coffee and fruits soaked in an alcohol mix (red wine, Tequila, Vodka, Rum and everything else you can find in your closet). It also sells like hot cakes (obviously), so just make sure that it is giant. Enough for everyone.
After that, lunch preparation starts (the food above is just for the second breakfast). Lunch is rice with chicken and fine cut vegetables. It is easy and fast to cook, plus everybody loves it. Take a pan in the size of a car tire and start frying everything together. Remember, it is for twenty people that might eat for fifty. You never know how hungry your buddies are. Last but not least, the black beans. You better do not miss out on these. Sweet buns, cake, chicken and rice and black beans – you have everything together for the picnic and you are ready for the next day.
With tons of food and gallons of drinks we went to La Fortuna and visited the hot springs Los Laureles. It was not really like you might imagine hot springs to be. However, I guess the whole excursion wasn’t actually about the hot springs but more about the food. Early morning we arrived at something which seemed to be a huge, American style outdoor pool area. There was one hot water stream, though. When arriving at the hot springs, you get assigned a kind of picnic hut. This has a table and benches, lockers, light and – most important – electricity. It is definitely not possible to go on excursion with Costa Ricans without having electricity. It is needed to boil water (coffee), to heat up the rice in an electric pan and to charge all the cell phones.
While one of the moms is still in the process of preparing the third can of coffee, another mommy is already heating up some rice and beans. There is a seamless transition from breakfast to lunch and from lunch to the afternoon coffee. When you are out of food, it is time to go home. Of course, in between eating you can have a dip in one of the various pools or the hot stream. One advice here: Do not wait 20 minutes for food digestion, because this anyway will never happen.