Gweithgar wrote:I'd love to hear your own recollections of this trip, if you've got time to share.
Well you asked for it. I tried to keep it down but it's long
Yes, he was there the year we were.
Heâ€™s right that the group was a mixture of people. Some were long time McDougallers, some where people who had no idea what the program was all about and most somewhere in between. His description of the long timers is inaccurate. There were many trim and healthy looking people. I meet some people who were in their 80s and could run circles around most people half their age.
All of the meals where held in a common dining area with open seating and the buffets around the perimeter. The dining room was open air and looked out over the ocean. It was a beautiful setting. There were literally tables full of food. There were starches (potatoes, rice, beans), veggies, fruits and a whole table of salad stuff. I honestly donâ€™t remember what the dressings where but if they didnâ€™t have any I think I would remember it. Or at least remember Kev complaining
. They made different things like waffles, pancakes, lasagna, pizza. There was also a woman making fresh corn tortillas. And yes, they did have a dessert table. It usually consisted of 3 or 4 different types of cakes. All cut into small serving sizing.
For beverages there was fruit juice served with each meal. They were made from freshly squeeze local fruits. Also available were tea and coffee. If you wanted a glass of wine or beer there was a bar which you can buy it from. Of course, water was also served.
For the adventures they spilt us up into smaller groups. We went hiking, horseback riding, snorkeling, rafting, zip lining. The adventures were planned so that people of all fitness levels could take part. Nothing was overly exerting but you werenâ€™t sitting around a pool all day either. Or you could if you wanted to.
In the evening before dinner Dr. McDougall gave a lecture each evening. He tailors his lectures to the level of the group. As we had so many beginners that trip, the lectures were mostly at that level. He said to me, â€śyouâ€™ve probably heard all this beforeâ€ť and most of it I did. Still it was interesting to hear him in person and I did learn a few things I didnâ€™t know. Also he and Mary were available each day for general conversation. The very first day we got there, he and Mary were at our table for lunch. I was so thrilled.
After dinner each evening, one of our guides gave a lecture. We had three guides and each had their own specialty. One talked about plants of Costa Rica, one talk of the indigenous peoples and artifacts, and the third took us up on a hill to do star gazing. His father or grandfather (I canâ€™t remember which) was an astronomer and his knowledge was amazing. Then on another evening, Dr. McDougall arranged for a local dance and music group to come and perform for us. They were in authentic costumes and it was beautiful.
I really enjoyed everything but my favorite part had to be just meeting so many like minded people to share the experience with. Thatâ€™s the part that is so hard to put into words. Even Kev, who as I said is not a McDougaller, still wants to go back again someday.