La Fortuna and Arenal

La Fortuna and Arenal

This being the final week of the session, nothing new/noteworthy has been going on. Classes came to a close, just as they seem to have started. Four people will be going home, just as we have gotten to know them. It seems weird that already our Summer I group will be disbanded in a way–no longer will we have the weekend trips with Jessenia and Sylvia–instead we will be thrown out into Costa Rica on our own.

Our small Advanced I class. Arturo is in the center top row

Our small Advanced I class. Arturo is in the center top row

Despite the lingering nostalgia of the week, we did have a pretty awesome weekend. We drove into the Alajuela province to see La Fortuna waterfall, the Arenal volcano hot springs and went zip-lining.

I have been to waterfalls before, but La Fortuna had a different vibe about it. Deep in the rainforest we walked, down over 400 steps, to find a waterfall that dropped buckets of water like nobody’s business. So much fell so fast, you felt like gravity had a stronger force there. A fine mist covered the surrounding area, and when we tried to swim towards the falls we were quickly pushed away.

After La Fortuna we continued on to Baldi Hot Springs in the Arenal area. The Arenal volcano is an active volcano, but hasn’t caused any significant damage since 1968. In the surrounding area, several people drill down to reach the hot spring water to pipe it up into different pools and water slides. Baldi Hot Springs in particular has 16 different pools of different temperatures and a water park. We stayed for hours, lounging in the hot water and steam pools.

Zip-lining the next day was the best part. I will reiterate that before this trip I was not an adventurer, but alas, I surprised myself again. Hooking up to the line, I felt only an ounce of fear, and I enjoyed gliding through the tree tops hundreds of feet in the air. The only tough part for me was the final line—a superman cable across a canyon. Superman cables are designed so that you can lay flat on your stomach with your arms in front of you (hence the name) and fly across. This was the longest cable, taking a mere 40 seconds to cross 5km. I went first, flying head-first into a giant cloud, where I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to be able to see looking directly ahead. Looking down was the best option to keep my eyeballs from burning, and I was in awe of the view. There was a river and a bunch of trees—I may have made that sound much less appealing—there was a river surrounded by a blanket of trees. So many that were so lush they formed what seemed to be a new level of earth, covered with a blanket of grass. About halfway across, I became slightly terrified, not because of the height, but because of the experience. I never would have dreamed that I would be doing this: choosing to fly across such a beautiful place. I was amazed it even existed, that it had been created, and that I was fortunate enough to see it in such a manner. I believe I will never forget the appreciation for life I felt in that moment, halfway across that random canyon in Costa Rica.

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