Friday, February 13, 2009
Day 7! Touring Costa Rica
We took the day off to travel and see beautiful Costa Rica. We got up early to catch our van ride and traveled about 1 1/2 hours north of San Jose into the North Western portion of Costa Rica. Once off the International Highway -- it actually extends as far north as Alaska -- we were again on the "normal" roads we seem to find here. They are filled with large pot holes created mostly by the heavy rains that come in the rainy season.
We make our first stop to zip line in what is known a the Cloud Forest (like the rain forest, but filled with low lying clouds). If you have never done this, zip lining consists of putting on special gear that allows you to hook to cables and fly across deep, long spaces. Some of the cables spanned across jungle areas where you we could look down and see the river far below. Others were very high and crossed 500 yard spans across deep gorges. Each guy in the group zipped from one platform to the next and then clipped on to the next cable and continued. Don't worry, we had 4 guides who did all the technical equipment aspects for us! At one of the stops, the guides announced that we would be using the "Tarzan Swing". This as a cable that we were each attached to and then SWUNG out over the edge of a cliff ... multiple times! Paul wins for gaining the most "air" on his swings! This is not an activity for the faint of heart. If you plan to come to Costa Rica, be sure to practice doing things that scare you to death first!!!
After an amazing lunch called Cosado -- traditional Costa Rica food, we traveled another hour (remember those roads?) to the Arenal Volcano, one of the 10 most active volcanoes in the world. OK, so this next section makes it sounds like a vacation, but we went to the Baldi Hot Springs at the foot of the Volcano. This Resort Spa consists of 25 pools of water ranging in temperatures from cool to 152 degrees! These are geothermally heated naturally by the volcano. Let's just leave the next 3 hours to this: 7 pale guys with worker tans from Ohio are quite the site while lounging in hot water pools. The gardens of The Baldi Spa were amazing. And seeing them at the foot of this imposing mountain gave a sense of the both the massiveness and sensitivity of God's creation.
Next we traveled up some more "roads" to the foot of the mountain, passing by Lake Arenal. We waited till after dark to see if the mountain spewed any lava and gave us a show. But alas, the volcano was quiet and we head back down the mountain in utter defeat! (This blog needs some drama.) After dinner, we have a 3 hour drive back to San Jose. A couple of the guys are still a little queezy today after the wild ride home.
Today, we will work in Los Anonos and head into the city to check out the artisan's market.