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Published: January 18th 2016
Wake up in the morning, feelin' like P. Diddy. Lol, just kidding. I woke up early because my stomach was hurting 😞 All the girls were still asleep. It's fine though. It felt so peaceful standing outside our cabin, taking in that fresh air, listening to the hummingbirds sing, and staring at the clouds passing by the volcano. Something so beautiful about nature, something the city will never have. I love it. I felt so immersed in that moment. I wanted to get closer to the hummingbirds. I wanted to touch the volcano. I wanted to run across the field of green grass in front of me. In this area, it periodically rains on and off. It was still humid here, but a little cooler than Puntarenas.
Soon enough, everyone was up. We headed on over to the front area to grab breakfast. There was fruits, scrambled eggs, bread, fruit juice, and coffee. Simple and healthy breakfast. After food, we went back to our cabin to pack all our things up. The cloudy skies cleared up and my god, it was gorgeous. It looked like a portrait you saw from somewhere. The skies were blue, the mountain was like a
one of the many species here
lackluster gray from afar, and the grass and trees were green. I am so glad I changed to a new phone so I was able to take amazing quality photos 😊
After we were ready, we headed to front area, turned in our keys, and got on the buses. Arenal Volcano, here we come!! I'm super excited. We're going to hike in the area of Arenal Volcano, called Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park. My first actual hike! But it's with a tour guide but that's okay 😊 It seems more fun like that in such a biodiverse forest.
The whole hike was about 2 hours. We were grouped up with some of the kids from Pace so it was nice that I had a chance to talk to some of them. They're always in their own class so it's hard to get to know them. One of them is very friendly. He's one of the few that responded back to my email when I reached out to the Pace kids haha. It was so pretty hiking through all the luscious green trees and plants. We heard so many sounds from different species hiding among the trees. There were
hike hike hike
monkeys and wild 'pigs' hiding around here. Our tour guide was awesome. He was not supposed to 'find' an animal for us because that would be disturbing nature but with his expert knowledge, he knew where to look. He knew we wanted to see some animals lol. So he found and gently brought out a strawberry poison arrow frog on a big green leaf (named that because it has a red body. It's also known as 'blue jeans frog' LOL because it has blue legs). He had us line up and he would quietly walk down the line so that each of us can take pictures of the frog.
How sweet of him. People that go out of their way to make their customers happy, is really something. And the thing that he said to us will always stick with me: "First off I want to thank you guys so much for visiting my country. It means a lot. Costa Rica is a beautiful country." I can just feel his genuine gratitude. And for something so simple like this, can mean so much to the locals -- it really warms my heart. And they have every reason to feel
proud of their country because it is an amazing one.
So throughout the tour, we crossed through many different bridges and saw a waterfall. Of course the highlights were the hanging bridges across the tall forests. It was hella scary. The bridge sways left and right and it rocks. You see the open air and trees from under your feet and on the sides. The student in front of me was also very scared LOL. But I was guiding him, telling him to stay in the middle and just walk calmly; that it'll be alright. After going through the first two, the other two weren't as scary anymore. I was able to appreciate the beauty of the views more when I was no longer scared. The hanging bridges were fun! definitely my second experience of conquering my fear over heights (first one being zip-lining). We were snapping lotta pics and videos on the bridge, it was great 😊
After we finished the hike, our tour guide thanked us and then left us. We made it to the top where we can see Arenal Volcano from a higher altitude. It was absolutely breath-taking seeing the green grass and mountains
Conquer your fears.
after mountains touching the clouds. We took our individual pictures for the USAC Winter Class of 2016 wall haha. Afterwards, we ate lunch there. It was included. Many of us ordered vegetarian pasta and it came with a tropical fruit smoothie. The whole meal was bomb! Especially the creamy refreshing smoothie :D.
After lunch, I went to look around in the souvenir shop. Didn't buy anything though because it was quite over-priced. Instead I bought some Costa Rican dark chocolate as souvenirs at the snack counter. Soon enough, it was time to go. The bus ride back was another 2-3 hours again. But I actually really enjoy these long rides. I get to see more of Costa Rica for free hehe (: What a day it has been!! I'm so glad I got to explore and see this Arenal Volcano area. Definitely worth the time and sweat here haha.
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