A Dreamy Day in Arenal

4 07 2010

Today was hands down the best day of my Costa Rica travel program so far.  Perhaps I should feel sheepish making that statement as our day included neither community service nor Spanish language components, but it was just a huge amount of fun.

We (me, my two staff and my eighteen teenagers) started the morning at the Arenal Sky Trek where we sped across nine ziplines overlooking the forest canopy and the volcano.  We were well over 600 feet in the air, and several of the lines spanned upwards of 2,000 feet!

I was a bit nervous, particularly because I have never been the roller coaster type.  Nevertheless, we needed a staff person at the front of the group so I volunteered to be the first to go.  During the first couple of lines I held on for dear life, gripping the handles tightly to support my body weight,  but soon realized that I was secure in the harness.

It was almost too beautiful and I found myself praising something (Ma Rabu Maasecha Hashem) as I flew across the sky wishing I could go again.  From there, we traveled a short distance to Baldi Hot Springs where we spent the afternoon lounging in thermal waters, hot tubs and stunning gardens at the base of the volcano.

Imagine reclining on a chaise lounge, lush green jungle surrounding you and a waterfall directly ahead.  Your body is surrounded by piping hot water from the pool below, the water covering the lower inches of your skin that rests on the lounge.  The sky begins to mist and then slowly turn to a cool rain.  Directly above the waterfall is a powerful volcano that begins to roar.  And as you take in all of these feelings – the powerful heat, the calming cool, the peaceful oasis, the angry volcano – you begin to close your eyes and relax contentedly.

Now I understand why the company that hired me doesn’t staff couples – there is no way my full attention would have been on the kids had Jay been with me today.  Yet traveling solo (my teenagers had free time today) does have its perks.  I enjoyed several conversations with a group of teachers, a Belgian family and a few others folks whom I likely would not have met or initiated a chat with had I been traveling with friends.

Tonight’s plans are a beach-side bonfire in Flamingo with fireworks (if I can pull it off – they seem to be illegal here!) in honor of the 4th of July.  Happy Independence Day!

posted by amybetho

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