Side note here: So far, my mode of transportation in Costa Rica has been interbus or taxi so basically, I say..."I am going to XXX" and I end up there! I haven´t paid attention to street signs (or lack thereof), land markers, etc. Dave and Rachel rented a car and have been navigating the country...brave souls!
On Thursay, Dave, Rachel, Karen and I drove from Manuel Antonio (Goodbye Manuel Antonio...for now!) to Arenal. This was my 2nd time visiting the volcano but I wanted to go again with my peeps! We hiked to a vista of the volcano...the hike was great but the view...not so great. The clouds just wouldn´t clear up enough to see the volcano...boo!
The next day, Karen and I went to Baldi Hot Springs. The hot springs are a big hit here because of the natural heated springs from the volcano. At 1st, I wasn´t that impressed. It was like Vegas...lots of pools with swim up bars and music. I was looking for more relaxing experience. I asked about "pisinas mas tranquilas" and they directed up further up the property. There we found really cool waterfalls with super hot water and a chill atmosphere. I like it!
Over the entire weekend, there was a ferria in La Fortuna. The ferria was to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the volcano´s erruption. The erruption/volcano basically supports the town and the people in the area because of tourism. There was a parade with local marching bands and floats. It wasn´t the rose bowl parade but it was fun to watch for sure!
Karen left back to MA on Sunday. My partner in crime is no longer with me. I am sad...boo. But we are hoping to hook up again in Panama later in August! I met some people at Las Cascadas that night for salsa dancing...Karen - it just wasn´t the same without you!
One very sad note: we think, and definitely don´t want to wrongfully accuse, that someone took money out of Karren´s backpack. Her backpack was in our hotel in Arenal and she had about $200 in colones with her blackberry in a pocket of her backpack. The cash went missing. I had money in my bag too but mine wasn´t taken. I felt terrible and definitely learned a lesson. Most hotels have a safe for your valuables. This one did not. Better to keep the cash with you, at least that way, it´s with you.
On Monday...more hot springs! Dave, Rachel and I went to Echo Tamales Hot Springs for more relaxing before our long right to San Jose. Echo Tameles is much more low key that Baldi...less people and quieter! After the hot springs, we got in the car and started toward San Jose. On the way, we planed to stop at another volcano...Poas. We drove for hours and ended up getting there after they closed so we didn´t make it to the volcano. The drive through Alahuela (sp??) and finally to the hotel in San Jose was hilarious! My respect and admiration goes to Rachel for great navigating with virtually no signs or you´ll come to an intersection with 2 different signs, both to the same place...one with 27km and if you go the other direction, it´s 40km. We stopped to ask for directions a few times and everything is by landmarks or by blocks. It was a miracle...we found the hotel! Dave was quite a driver too! Only a few near misses!
Next...Mexico City...here we come!