I woke up in La Fortuna today…I can’t exactly say I remember how I got here in the first place; becoming bus sick in the first 5 seconds of the ride tends to wipe your memory quite a bit.
I arrived last night with some volunteers from my teaching program and we immediately went to the Eco Thermal Hot Spring, not far from our hotel. Entrance fee was about $35 and it felt like we were in a natural, outdoor spa. It was pretty dark out but the entire resort was filled with tiny, twinkling lights and we made our way into the “sauna-like” water. It was a calming experience after a rather bumpy bus ride and we were able to wash up before having The Lava Lounge restaurant recommended to us by our hotel owner. The restaurant definetely had a great night vibe to it, strung with a lot of red and orange lights, meant to resemble flowing magma and had a wonderful view of the Arenal Volcano.
We stayed at the Sleeping Indian Hostel, which is currently owned by a retired man from California. Each room has a private bathroom and there is a kitchen at your disposal, as well as a huge hammock hanging in the middle of the living room (MUST HAVE!). The owner helped us book some tours and we settled on a tour with Red Lava. They have a large selection of tours for a great variety of people and we settled on all day tour…..but I didn’t realize until we actually got there as to what we would be doing all day.
We hiked up a steep mountain/volcano for the entire day. THE ENTIRE DAY! Don’t get me wrong, it was an incredible tour that gave us an opportunity to see the famous La Catarata de La Fortuna, a dip in a natural hot spring, the view of the sunset over the volcano and a sighting of some exotic animals in a secondary forest. But it was all day….the hike cost us $65 (including lunch) but this is not their primary tourist season, so prices are subject to change.
Smeared in sweat, mud, dirt and accomplishment, we waved goodbye to our fellow tourist group (there’s something about blissful torture that truly bonds people…I’ll never be able to understand it) and walked (or, more appropriately, crawled) back to our hostel. Since going out to dinner looking as we did hasn’t been an option since jumping over that 4th puddle, we decided to go to the supermarket to buy a packet of spaghetti and some tomato sauce. Once our emaculate dinner was completed, we set up plates on the floor and enjoyed a modern-day picnic in the living room.
I think that moment was something that I wanted to lock into a bottle and take home with me; sitting down after an exhausting day, sharing homemade spaghetti and stories with travel companions and newfound friends. But, desafortunadamente, they don’t make jars strong enough anymore.