Costa Rica – La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano

Well, the past few days have been quite exciting. Since my last post, we’ve
celebrated a birthday, climbed a volcano, swam in hot springs, and went
rappeling through waterfalls. Pretty amazing stuff!

Tuesday night, the gang and I went to an awesome dinner in Monteverde and
celebrated Tennessee Bo’s birthday. It wasn’t too crazy of a night, although
we did get kicked out of the hotel we were staying at…but they just sent
us down the road to the bar since we were being too noisy. We danced with
some locals for a while and then headed back to the hotel. Against their
better judgement, they still let us stay the night there. The following
morning, we took the Jeep/Boat/Jeep trip from Monteverde to Arenal. It was
more of a Van/Boat/Van trip…but really, who’s counting. The first van trip
was almost two hours along some of the most bumpy roads I’ve been on so far.
It gets really annoying after two hours of nothing but bobbing up and down
trying to stay in your seat. Then we headed across Lago Arenal (that’s Lake
in Spanish) just at the foot of the Arenal Volcano. We got into town and
after playing with a Tucan at a local tourist office, we left to go take a
hike along the Volcano followed by an awesome evening at the Tabacon Hot
Springs. The hike was ok (even though I’m not much of a hiker). Douglas from
North Carolina was our tour guide and we basically just trekked through the
jungle (looking at wildlife and plants) until we reached and cloud covered
volcano….not really good for seeing the Volcano itself or the lava you are
supposed to be able to see at night. Fortunately today it has cleared up and
I’m actually looking directly at the Volcano as I type this email.

The Tabacon Hot Springs were by far my favorite part of the day. Tabacon is
this beautiful resort situated at the foot of the Volcano and has numerous
hot rivers (as opposed to springs) flowing through it. There are about 10-15
different pools that you can go in…each with different temperatures and
waterfalls cascading into them. A lot of them are tucked away in various
areas of the rainforrest. I accidently walked past these people getting
massages in cabanas lit only by a few tea candles. I was soooo envious.

The biggest pool at the hot springs has a swim up bar and everyone lounges
around there and drinks while watching adults go down a makeshift
waterslide. Pretty funny stuff. We had a wonderful dinner at the resort as
well, and when we finally left at closing time, I was pretty much a prune.

This morning, we got up early and went on a rappeling trip through various
waterfalls. It sounds somewhat strange and at first you think “crap, are we
gonna get wet”…but eventually you find getting wet is one of the best
parts about the trip. We did 4 wet rappels (next to or through waterfalls)
and one dry rappel. The first one and the biggest one, crazily enough, was
185 feet high (pretty freaky to look down from the top of the cliff and know
you are going off the side). It was right next to the falls, but somehow,
our buddy Warren got a little squirrly and ended up going straight into the
waterfall. Soon, however, everyone was wet because the next couple of
rappels took you straight through the middle of a waterfall at one point or
another. By the end of the day, we were soaking from head to toe….but I´m
so glad we went because this was the ONE thing that I really wanted to do on
this trip and I did it with a great group of people.

The Yale boys left today, and Tennessee Bo and I are the only ones left in
our crew. We´re going to head back to San Jose tomorrow and then I´m off to
Honduras either tomorrow or Saturday night. So look for my next post to come from
Roatan, a beautiful island off the coast of Honduras!

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