Hot Lava, Hot Springs and Hot Girls

Trip Start Jul 25, 2007
Trip End Aug 09, 2007

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Sunday, August 5, 2007

Day One on the Volcano.

we awoke early for our zipline tour. We ate fruit platters and drank delicious coffee and a bus picked us up. We drove to a ranch-type place where we put on helments and borded a tractor. The tractor pulled us up the volcano.

at the top, we got harnasses strapped on and double checked. after a few demos, i volunteered to go first. They hooked me onto a metal wire than ran through the jungle, and pushed me off a platform. i went soaring over top of the canopy, screaming my lungs out.

There were 10 lines in total, the longest ride being a minute (and almost a kilometer long). We had fantastic guides who helped us along with ease. the feeling of flying over the jungle is surreal. looking down on all the trees, the rivers, the fields - it's spectacular.

the best was when we went overtop of a massive waterfall with people swimming at the bottom. overtop a waterfall! it was magnificant. looking down...oh man there was just nothing parallel to that.

although there was this funny thing. the guides really took a liking to me for some reason (they were all ticos) and were having fun with me. i got tripped, pushed, tickled, pranked all day long. probably because i jumped up and demanded to go first while the other girls squirmed. who knows.

regardless, i landed on a platform, got unhooked, and walked up to the lead guide and headbutted his helmet with mine. He laughed really hard, said something to the other guide, grabbed something black, and took my hand. we ran into the forest. actually, we skipped.

along the way i figured it should be filmed so i holler back and team money came running. the filmed the whole thing. (its in the middle of the video i posted in this blog). The guide's name was Caylor. He started hooking me up to this strange black harnass. we laughed and made jokes and i really had no idea what was going on. suzi realized it was a chest  harnass. Caylor hauled me up to a wire and hooked me on, from my back. i realized i was about to go face-first over the jungle. then i realized i wasn't going alone.

i discovered Caylor was coming with me when he grabbed my legs, spread them, and made me wrap them around his waist. it makes sense, i couldn't stop myself if i went face-first, someone has to ride behind you. but it felt particularily violating in many senses. too late now, Caylor pushed off and there i was : face first, superman-style, soaring over the jungle. i screamed and shouted the whole way, but i loved every second (excluding the spanish man between my legs...). he landed us safely and i thanked him a  million times.

meanwhile, suzi bet nicole $20 i was being raped at that point.

The rest of the team caught up and i was beaming from my superman experience. we finished in time for lunch and i bid adieu to my tico guides.

after lunch and a swim at the hostel, we got picked up for our hike up the volcano. Our guide was the friendliest man alive. we were driven to the base, and he walked us for an hour or two thru the jungle, naming anything and everything along the way. "Friends!" he would call out, "Come see!". and then he would tell us in detail why this nut was particularily amazing to the ecology of the white-face monkey and how the jungle would die without it. "Friends!" he would whisper, "did you hear that?". silence. "I am pretty sure i heard a toucan". And then he would tell us why he thought it was a toucan, probably a rainbow-faced-polka-dotted one, probably a young male, probably six months old, with a birthmark on its foot. All this from one noise. The man was amazing. Sure enough, there was a baby techno-coloured toucan, 10 miles away on a branch. It would be so far away, we had to take pictures through his teloscope (which he carried everywhere) just to get a look at it.

Then he took us to a look out to see lava. Seeing lava is always hit and miss. No one can promise lava. The three of us sat and waited. Suzi and Nicole had fancy rainjackets, while i brought my trusty garbage bag. sure enough, a low rumble, and LAVA! it went spewing up into the air and scattered around the top of the volcano. a few minutes later, LAVA! a big pour came running down the side, burning red and orange streaks through the night sky.

finally, we were dropped off at Baldi Hot Springs. There were over a hundred hot springs to choose from, with a variety of themes. First, nicole and i tapped the swim up bar for pina coladas. then we spent 3 hours roaming from pool to pool, enjoying the temperatures. Personally, it was really commerical and probably not natural (any more). but it was the cheaper hot springs so there were no complaints. except suzi's sunburn got angry.

as you can imagine, sleep wasn't hard after 3 hours at the hot springs.
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