Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weekend wandering

This week - I saw the sun! It was here for a full morning and part of an afternoon! Oh rainy season - I have confidence that you will end! It was SO nice. Some of my classmates are concerned about it getting too warm... but so far - I am not worried about that. :)

Last weekend, I went on an adventure! Many of my classmates have been going on trips at each and every break, but this was my first. Sara (also a peace ed-er) and I headed off north to La Fortuna and Arenal. Arenal is a large and very active volcano. After being dormant for a good chunk of time - she spit off her top in '68, totally changing the region. A few years ago there was another really active phase - which you can see, anytime you look at a postcard or ad from the area. Sara and I had planned to go to the hot springs and do some hiking.

We didn't actually get to see Arenal as the clouds were thick, apart from a glimpse our second day there, but it might just mean I need to go back!

Saturday morning we got on a bus at 6:30 (for those who know my morning skills - be impressed!!) to San Jose, wandered for a bit before we found the terminal for the next bus, waited in line for a ticket, then waited in line to get on the bus - and we were off! We arrived in La Fortuna (a town near to the volcano) around 1 and found a hostel on our way to find lunch!

I am beginning to wonder if my desire for budget is eventually going to get squashed by my desire for comfort. We saw the hostel sign and wandered in. I am not sure, after being welcomed and taught a theology lesson (Did you know that all people around the world are the same, we look different and some "talk funny" but we are all the same and will unite in Israel? If you stay at this hostel - you can get the full how to lesson! Go unity!) - how you can see a room and decide that the musty smell might be more than you can take and go somewhere else. Apparently my assertive tendencies fear seeming rude in a culture that I am still navigating with caution... so we dropped off our bags and went for lunch.

Our first day we decided hots were the entirety of the goal. We went to Baldi Hot Springs on the recommendation of our hostel and some friends from school. This place is huge. There are apparently 25 different pools of different temperatures, a water slide and more. We were on plan lazy and certainly didn't see them all. Some of the pictures look a bit out of focus - but that is from the steam off the water. These springs are HOT. We found one - that I couldn't even stick a toe into. We spent the day moving from pool to pool, reading, chatting and playing banagrams! Near the end of the day - we discovered that 9 of our schoolmates were there too! It was a great day.

While we were waiting for our taxi home, we noticed the sculpture in the front of the hotel ...

We also noticed her back...

The next morning we planned to go on a hike. However, the hiking didn't work out so well. When we got up - the sky had opened up and it was POURING. When it rains - it certainly rains. We had planned to hike to a waterfall. While those tend to be extra spectacular with a lot of rain - getting there seemed beyond daunting. Alas - we must return to the hot water (hee hee). Our second day the hostel recommended a different hot spring.

Baldi is fancy, it's a spa and you could spend a fortune on fancy drinks, beautiful food, and all other spa kinds of treatment. Our second day however, we headed to Termales Los Laureles. Sara and I were certainly the only non-ticos there. Again there are a variety of pools at different temperatures, but this time the pools are all surrounded by picnic tables with little shelters over them. Families were set up! They had rice cookers, coffee pots, little TVs, grills... you name it! Part of the reason we had gone on the trip was it was a long weekend in Costa Rica - and we found out where they all went.

The sun sets early here - and then all sorts of beautiful lights came on and you could hang out listening to bugs, birds and people - still surrounded by great warm water!

So while it rained we sat in lovely pools my highlight however was the sign...

hee hee.

Transitioning from lovely holiday back into school has felt a bit trying. I keep thinking of pools of warm water and fiction. Sigh. I got a treat today though - a package in the mail! I LOVE post. My mother at times teases me about my love of post... anyway - in it was some a "little box of peace word magnets" so I thought I would send you some peace...

Peace to you

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