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Published: December 16th 2010
We have been at The Springs for 3 days now. Day 2 we got up for our first excursion - White Water Rafting. The kids were quite excited and nervous all at the same time. Paola greeted us and drove us to the main city of La Fortune where we met some other people taking the tour. We then drove about an hour to the Rio Balsa or Balsa River! Balsa is a tree and this river has level 2 and 3 rapids.
Along the drive our tour guide Jacoba explained the first half of the rapids would be to much for Sarah and Hayden and that they would only be able to participate in the second leg of the trip. There were a few tears but in the end it was a good decision.
So we arrived at our destination, got our safety instructions and headed out to the rapids, while Sarah and Hayden stayed with Paola for the first portion and were going to meet us at the pit stop.
The rapids were fun and sometimes scary. We had to row hard at times and drop into the boat when there was a hazard or we may be in
danger. It seemed we did this alot and Sean thinks it was a sign of bad rafters.
We stopped half way and met up with Sarah and Hayden *or as Paola called them- Mickey and Minnie*. We enjoyed some pineapple and watermelon before starting the second half of the trip. The kids enjoyed the ride and there were still some big rapids for Hayden to feel the rush from.
After the trip we drove to our lunch destination for some typical Costa Rican fair...rice, beans, chicken and Yuca. A couple cervezas and we were all set. Back to the hotel in time for a late dinner and bed. Sean and I went to the fine dining restaurant and orderer room service for the kids.
Day 3 we started early again- our first adventure was ziplining through the rainforest high above the trees. Sarah and Hayden were excited that there wasn't any age restrictions here. We started the trek about 600m above sea level I think our guide said and we had 12 lines to complete as well as a Tarzan Swing - optional. Sarah braved out the first 3 but on the last one she attempted alone - which
was super fast and she was the second one on....she hit her head on the stopper at the end. She was quite scared by the speed of this one and the head butt discouraged her from wanting to go on. However at this height it wasn't an option to quit! So we took a picture of her noggin, gave her some hugs and had her do the remaining runs with the guide. She was a trooper and finished all 12 runs- with the longest being 430m long! The tarzan swing was another story. We forced Sean out to the ledge first- he pummeted down from a tall cliff and swung through the trees....then Julia, then Lindsay and then ...let's just say chickens for the rest of us! There was no way I was going to leave that cliff on my own...so we walked to the next spot and waited for the brave ones! They all loved it.
Even with a head wound I think we had a fun adventure.
Then back to the resort for some hot springs and monkey slides, a quick lunch and then back out for our final tour of the Arenal Volcano.
We took a
hike with Joseph up the trails of the rainforest and saw some spider monkeys, ants working really hard, birds, and lots of trees and vegetation. He was very informative on the guide and we learned a lot about Costa Rica's ecological systems, animals, plants and the Volcano. Such as Arenal stands for "sand", the Volcano errupted in July of 1968 and no one realized it was a volcano at the time, so the explosion threw large rocks about 5km widespread and emmited toxic gases killing 87 people and destroying the town of Tabacon at the base. It has since erupted several times but never to the extent. The eruptions are small and only come down the side of the volcano. No one is allowed within 1 mile of the base for this reason.
However we hoped to see some type of eruption but they said for the last few days nothing has been happening at the Volcano and they are starting to wonder why. So I am not to upset we didn't see any action. We ended the tour with our own Lava Juice - a tasty sweet cane sugar rum and juice before heading back to the resort for
our last dinner before we embark on our final destination tomorrow.
Off to get my massage before bed...they gave us both a massage as part of the room credit- sweet!
Tomorrow we head to the Gulf side and to our last resort the Hilton Papygayo for 5 nights at the beach. Kids are looking forward to unlimited food, drinks and desserts!
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