Volcan Arenal, a sweet waterfall, and La Fortuna

Trip Start Dec 12, 2006
Trip End Mar 09, 2007

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Classes ended on friday at noon and by 1pm we were on the bus to our first weekend trip.  The students that came down had these planned weekend excursions, which if I wanted to do, I would have to pay extra.  I forked over the cash, took over the back of the bus with Craig, Brett, Chelsea, and Liz, and off we were.  

We headed into the mountains north of San Jose into the cloud forrest area.  Really pretty drive.  We sat in the back of the bus soaking in the view while sipping some coke and Guaro that Brett brought along.  Mental note: drinking on a bus without a bathroom is a bad idea, I'm pretty sure that holding it in causes bladder cancer.  

Our first night we stayed in La Fortuna which is the town underneath Volcan Arenal.  Arenal was totally in the clouds, so we didn't get to see it unfortunately.  A nice bi-product of Volanos is thermal water, so we headed off to one of the hot springs, called Baldi.  Kind of touristy, costs $25 to get in, has various pools of various temps, has a wet bar, some waterfalls and cool jungle surroundings.  The hottest pool they had was 152 degrees F, which wasn't deeper than mid-calf.  After getting in ankle high in the 152 deg water, I decided that I was probably now incapable of fathering children, and promptly got out.

Chelsea and I ended up hanging out and talking the whole time next to one of the waterfalls in one of the pools.  Turns out that Chelsea isn't just cool, she in actuality is really fucking cool.  Turns out we have a ton in common and as a side benefit she is really pretty.  The hot springs were quite relaxing.  It rained pretty hard a couple of times which added to the atmosphere.

After marinating ourselves in hot spring water for a couple of hours, we went and got food in La Fortuna, and retreated to the hotel.  In a group of 32 people on the trip, there are only 5 of us dudes (yes, thats a 6 to 1 ratio, fellas quit your job and come learn spanish in Costa Rica).  Brett, Craig and I had a sweet room to ourselves.  We invited people to come over for a few beers before heading out to the bar up the street.  Chelsea and I hung out at the bar and talked and were one of the last ones to leave.

Saturday morning brought more clouds, still no visual on the volcano that is supposedly towering over us.  I mentioned it in one of the earlier posts, but here it is again.  Volcan Arenal is one of the top ten most active volcanos in the world.  If you get a clear night, you can see the lava spewing and firing out.  It is forbidden to go close or hike around the volcano due to its high activity.

We went to check out this sweet waterfall in La Fortuna.  It was probably about a 200ft waterfall and had quite a bit of power.  We went swimming in the cold pool that it formed.  It was impossible to swim towards the area where the waterfall hit the pool because there was so much power in the fall that there was an incredibly strong current that pushed you a way.  The other problem was all the water that you swallow from the turbulent water, made it really tough to breath.  We had a bunch of time to swim, hike around, take pictures, and dick around.  It was really really pretty.

This afternoon, we will be taking a boat across lake Arenal and then take a van ride up to the town of Monteverde.  Theoretically we should have been able to see Volcan Arenal from the lake that it towards over, but alas the clouds defeated us again.

Monteverde is a sweet mountain town in the middle of the cloud forrest.  We are gonna be doing the canopy tour tomorrow.  The canopy tour is basically really long zip lines that go over cloud forrest.  It should be pretty damn sweet.

The plan is to grab some food and then hit up the nightlife, should be a pretty sweet night.
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