Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Last of Arenal

Continuing journal entry from 9/01/08
I felt like I was a queen the night we went to Tabacon Hot Springs. Life of the rich and famous!

Believe it or not I sat under that waterfall... Amazing. Natural hot spring water from the volcano cascading down and massaging your back, shoulders... There were so many different pools to explore. Wandering paths through the natural jungle to hot spring pools set up amidst the natural hot spring river. Laying in the water looking up to see the stars framed by palm leaves and steam. The water slide was pretty fun too. There was a gourmet buffet for dinner. I tried all of the desserts... I didn't eat them all- I only tried them all. ( Oh, and that was the night I almost lost it because I got my key stuck and couldn't get it out... Amy was in charge of keys from then on out.)

At dinner... passion fruit juice is divine. (notice all the wrist bands... everything in La Fortuna was monitored by wrist bands)

So all my camera picked up was the steam from the hot springs. One of the guys with us was from Holland and had a sunburn. He really couldn't enjoy his night was much as we did.

I love this hostel and how traveling by hostels lends itself to meeting people from all over the world. I would rather stay at this hostel and interact with all the people I've met than stay in some pricey resort. I spent Sunday night playing cards with Leo, David and Alex outside. Although I had to place myself up wind with all their smoking. I was really excited because they were playing a game I learned in grad school and used to play with Gabriel all the time but have since forgotten. I won once, Alex 4 times, and Leo-- well, he lost every game.

Life is Grand! I think I could stay traveling for months like others I have met. But... It's only day one and who knows how I will feel at the end. And by the way... I love not wearing make-up!


Monday morning was my favorite. We didn't have to be anywhere until noon. I spend the morning writing and reading in the hammock of the hostel, talking with fellow travelers, and playing in the pool with Amy and the boys at the hostel (Alex, Fabio, Leo, and David). It was perfect. So perfect in fact... I didn't want to leave for our canyoning adventure. I wanted to stay and relax all day. But it was our last day there and we had to experience it all. Rappelling down 5 waterfalls in the rain forest was fun. I still can't get over how beautiful it is. I tried to open my eyes wide and absorb it all as much as I could. Dropping straight into rushing water is... a rush. But in all that we did... I couldn't let go of how "touristy" it was. And it was almost sickening. Once again, I am back to my superficial complaint. I felt like the tours were fun but distracting from the real magic. The forest and its miracles. I would have loved an all day guided hike in the forest. No gimmicks, just teaching and exploring. Learning more about the glories of creation. Every morning is blue skies and sun. Every afternoon/evening on and of rain. I love the daily rain. The sound of rain and the feel of it in the air is almost mesmerizing.
(I didn't want to take my camera while rappelling down waterfalls... Amy has a few pics but I haven't gotten them from her yet. So no pictures of our adventure that day.)

The last night Alonzo (one of the receptionists) took a group of us to a local restaurant and karaoke. For all the potential... It wasn't as fun as I had hoped. I can't get used to the slow Tico service at meal time. And I just wished there was dancing on Monday nights... I know, one track mind.
Alonzo in sepia...
Karaoke Bar
The next morning we boarded a shuttle for Manuel Antonio- the pacific coast -and left Arenal. If I only knew I was leaving my favorite place...

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