A.C. captured a quick group photo in front of a giant, traditionally-painted oxcart wheel.

Katie and Kate back once again reporting from scenic San Jose, Costa Rica. Today, after relishing in the opportunity to sleep in for the first time since we started, we boarded our new bus (with working air conditioning – hallelujah!) for a grueling five hour bus ride back to San Jose, the origin of the trip. To break up the monotony, we stopped halfway for a shopping/lunch break in Sarchi. While some roamed the streets purchasing ice cream and other local delights from makeshift corner stores, others chose to see various landmarks such as churches and The World’s Largest Ox Cart (painted in traditional vivid colors).

Having finally arrived in San Jose, we all were able to relax in our rooms for a mere hour before we loaded the buses once again for an elaborate, authentic Costa Rican dinner and dance extravaganza. Having wiped the grime off from previous days of adventuring, the group assembled in the hotel lobby looking quite classy: the girls in floral, ruffled dresses purchased in local stores and the boys in button-up shirts and slacks.

San Jose city lights captured by Seth.

Sitting down to a buffet-style dinner featuring rich local cuisine (plantains, rice & beans, beef in tomato sauce) in front of a breathtaking backdrop of San Jose’s city lights far below us in the valley, we gorged ourselves until we could no longer waddle back to the buffet line.

After dinner, the dancing began with a flourish of bright skirts and handkerchiefs and the audience was engrossed by the gyrating performers. Cassie, Seth, and Katie were brought on stage and held their own during solos in the middle of the dance circle.

Cassie was chosen to dance with a performer while Ms. Palmer snapped the photo.

(Katie here, I had a great time getting up to dance with the performers. I was definitely intimidated by their skills but I tried my best to keep up with the other dancers.)

As the performance came to a close, the students took the stage whooping and swaying to the beat of the Macarena. It was the perfect way to end a day of lounging on the bus by using our bottled-up energy to bust some moves on the dance floor.

We’re looking forward to whitewater rafting tomorrow on the last day of our journey with our excellent guide Antonio and our new friend Helmetcam.