Day 6: Friday, August 7th
So, change of plans. I switched my rafting and zipling plans to next Saturday so over the weekend I went with 9 other girls to the Arenal Volcano! I'm so happy I went because it's definitely something I wanted to do and something I wouldn't be doing in my last week of travel. It was the best weekend I've ever had! Literally.
We took a 4 hour bus ride North towards La Fortuna. It was the most gorgeous scenary I have ever seen. It was so green and misty. I would have no problemos living in a place like Costa Rica. Once we arrived, we walked a few blocks up the street to our hostel. This is definitely the coolest hostel made. It cost me $27 for two nights. Two nights! There are 4 bunk beds to a room, so it fits 8 people and has one bathroom. Everything was really nice. The beds, the shower, the flooring. It all looked brand new. There was also a pool, a bar that constantly played music (perfect for my constant need to dance), hammocks hanging everywhere and the grounds were just absolutely beautiful. I was in shock how cheap it was to stay here!
As soon as we arrived, we quickly booked a tour to the Arenal Volcano that was leaving in 30 minutes. None of us had eaten lunch yet so we had to haul our butts down to Burger King and run back up the street to make the bus. It was hilarious! 10 white girls all running out of Burger King carrying their own brown paper bag of fast food. Typical Americans.
We had a super awesome tour guide! He was so nice. On the hike to the volcano, he showed us really interesting things along the trail. He pulled a hatchet out of nowhere and sliced a bamboo tree in half. He peeled off the skin and revealed very beautiful, crystal white sugar cane. He gave all of us slices! It tatsted amazing. The rainforest was incredibly beautiful and I have never seen so many interesting looking plants in my life. Once of the plants you could pull off the leaves, place it on your skin and slap it and it would make a leaf shaped tattoo. They were really pretty. There were also plants that you could make go to sleep by touching them. It was freakin cool! Another plants would ooze poinous acid when you slice it open. It was very settling when our tour guide said it could kill you if you touch it. lol.
The volcano itself was covered at the top by low fog. That was kinda sad because I really would have liked to see the volcano in whole. However, it was still really beautiful and we hiked up a mountain right next to the volcano so we could see all the rainforests, lakes and mountains. No pictures could have done justice.
We spent the rest of the night at the hostel, meeting other travelers and playing games like "never have I ever." It was a BLAST. For dinner we went to a little local restarant called Soda Mia. It sells really delicious food for no mucho dinero. I had such a great time with all the girls!
Day 7: Saturday, August 8th
All 10 of us got up super early this morning to catch a bus that was leaving at 7, but we found out our activities for the day had been swtiched to 9. Pura Vida! We now had plenty of time to go to breakfast so we went back to Soda Mia. I've had fruit for every breakfast and I cannot complain. It is so fresh and delicious. I could live here. I could seriously live here.
The plan for the day was to go repelling, zipling and then to the famous Baldi hot springs. I was super excited but at the same time I was thinking, eh, I've already done all the repelling I need to do in my life. I found that was very untrue once I got there. The repelling was INCREDIBLE. Beyond incredible. We went with the coolest staff. They were freakin sweet. The rainforest was so beautiful. We repelled off cliffs, through waterfalls, and upside down! The whole thing was so thrilling and being with so many other girls who were also having the time of their lives just made it that much better. I can hardly believe this day. There was only one zipline platform, I was expecting a lot more, but the repelling was so much more fun!
After the repelling, we went to a fancy restaurant for lunch that was included in the price of the activities for the day. And after that it was time for the hot springs! It was so nice to relax my muscles in the hot water. I can't really describe the hot springs. I thought they'd be natural, but the pools were man made, I can't really decribe it so here are the descriptions from their website:
"Complete with over 30 pools, Baldi Hot Springs is a friendly and affordable alternative to some of the area's more upscale options. There are three swim-up bars and two waterslides, a restaurant, spa, and changing rooms."
Oftentimes, a cold pool lies adjacent to a warm pool, allowing visitors to cool down or heat up as they please. Indeed, your core temperature will rise after nearly twenty minutes in the hot springs, so it's advised to spend some time in the colder pools throughout one's visit.
Although the Baldi Hot Springs are safely outside the risk zone of the Arenal Volcano (as established by the National Prevention of Risks and Emergency Commission in a 2001 law), they offer spectacular views of the volcano itself.
A visit to the Baldi Hot Springs will provide guests with an experience that is at once relaxing and energizing, soothing and stimulating."
So they're heated somehow through the volcano. OH! I forgot one thing! After we went to the Arenal Volcano on Friday, we went to a river that flows HOT water! it was INSANE. we had the best time. The water flows from the volcano and the closer you get, the hotter the water. It was the probably the coolest thing I've experienced. Tbh.
We ended the night by going to a little hotel that had an upstairs for dancing a karoke. WE HAD SOOO MUCH FUN! At first we were playing all our dumb America music and I took the floor with Watch me Whip, Watch me Nae Nae and everybody was DYING laughing. I was having the best time.
After that we let the Latin dancers get up and do some salsa. They were so fun to watch. After a couple danced, 3 of us girls were taken by handsome Latin guys to learn how to Salsa. I was having such a good time. My guy was a really good dancer and just laughed along with me when I made mistakes like stepping on his feet. All in all I think I did really well! I used to Latin dance with all mis amigos in high school so I felt like I really picked it up quickly. What a night! This was by far the most fun I've ever had in one day.
Day 8: Sunday, August 9th
It was so nice to sleep in today. We didn't make plans since we had to catch our bus at noon to head back to San Jose. I must admit I was super sad about going home. I had the best weekend in La Fortuna. I would definitely want to come back to Costa Rica and visit Arenal again.
It was nice coming home to Mama Tica, I missed her! She's so cute. I don't mean to sound full of myself, but I'm the best Spanish speaker in the house! Her and I have full on convos and I can't express how excited I get understanding and speaking Spanish. I'm everybody else's translator and to me that's super cool. This morning Mama Tica was having a hard time talking with one of the volunteers and from the other room I heard her yell "DONDE ESTA LA CHICA QUE HABLA ESPANOL." Which means "Where is the girl that speaks Spanish" as she came running into my room. It was the so funny. Things that like make me want to just stay here and become fluent in Spanish. Like literally, I probably couldn't live in San Jose, but I could live in Costa Rica fo shoooo. I could definitely live with Mama Tica. I love her. Right now we have 8 volunteers living in our house! I think that's crazy! 5 of them are leaving so we'll only have 3, but 8 is a whole lot for one little woman to feed. I appreciate her so much.
Day 9: Monday, August 10th
There is not much to share about today. I was excited to see that kids at my project since I hadn't seen them since Thursday. I get a major headache everytime I'm there. Last week I talked to a staff member about getting me another volunteer on the project so she said there will be another girl with me starting tomorrow! I'm happy about that because taking the buses and walking by myself really just isn't fun. I feel it'd be easier with the kids to have an extra person with me. I mean, I'm the only one taking care of 10 plus kids per day. I recognize what a HUGE service I'm doing though and it really makes me feel so good. I am a little sad that I only have 4 more days left on the project. But at the same time I can't wait to get my traveling started this weekend! I hate to think that I'll be back home next saturday. I've really loved it here.
Well, I'd better run! I've got a date with a hot Costa Rican. We're going to do a conversational language exchange. And then it'll be time to Salsa!