Stacy's Post: Day 3
The amount of things Michael and I packed packed into this day is almost unbelievedable.
Our third day in Costa Rica starts off early as well and after a much quieter breakfast, we gather our gear to head back into La Fortuna for the Sky Trek Zip Line Tour. It rained most of the evening and was pretty overcast... we were concerned if we would be able to (1) make it out of the lodge due to the washed out roads and (2) even get to do the zip line tours due to the inclement weather.
Our day starts with being thankful for a 4WD vehicle that we have so lovingly named "Little Gringo"... between the cars ability and Michael's driving - we made it off the dirt road and started our 1 hour drive to Sky Trek. We were quite apprehensive upon arrival about paying for the trip because part of the "sell" of this adventure were the scenic views of Lake Arenal and the Arenal Volcano which were well disguised by the low crowd cover. After asking a few more questions - we realize this is the NORM (we are in a rain forest for goodness sake) and decide to go for the thrill.
After a 10 minute Gondola ride to the top of the zip line area - stopping briefly to site a Howler Monkey -we got our safety talk and two small practice zip lines. The small zip lines weren't really a preparation for the plunge that we were about to take. Our tour starts with the highest Zip Line of 5 - 600 feet over the rain forest and oh my gosh- did it look scary.
I have to admit - butterflies were in my tummy - but I stepped right up and got hooked onto the line and let her rip. I can not even find the words to explain the thrill that you experienced as you were zooming down a steel wire to another platform thousands of yards away. The winds are howling through forest and you were ever concerned about getting stuck in the middle of the zip line if you do not have good form and having to turn around and pull yourself in...Have you ever seen CliffHanger....
The adrenaline rush that was experienced on this excursion beats the craziest thing you have ever done - I am sure and I would say - don't let another day of your life pass by before you get to experience this.
After about 2 hours - we were done with the tour and it was everything and more we had hoped it would be. So - we hopped back into Little Gringo and thought we would explore a small mountain town not far away that was known for a new Hostel and amazing vegetarian cuisine. The views on the drive were breathtaking, and we arrived at Essence Arenal to meet an amazing guy named Christian...He gave us the overview and tour of the hostel (we didn't end up enjoying lunch as dinner is what they are known for), but he was nice enough to direct us on a great hike of the rain forest where we were able to get some great pictures.
We headed back down the mountain - STARVING - and decided to stop at this little mountain restaurant - conveniently located next to Snake zoo.....REALLY!!!! I am not a fan of snakes so as Michael decided to check it out - I thought it would be a good idea to hang outside and enjoy the breathtaking views.
It didn't take long for an overbearing family from San Diego to head my way and start chatting it up... then - before you know it - the owner of the Snake Zoo decides to bring out "baby" pythons and Boa Constrictors.... as I try not to loose it.... Michael returns and thinks it will be a great idea to get me to hold the snakes. Trying not to be upstaged by the small children - I decide to sit motionless and let the snakes slither all over my body while Michael proceeds to laugh so hard he starts to cry.
Finally - the snakes have to take a nap (thank goodness) and we eat a delicious Costa Rican Lunch. As we start our trek back to La Fortuna - we decide to take a quick detour at the FREE hot springs that Christian told us about...but of course - I forgot my bathing suit. I am not going to let such a little thing as no bathing suit to stop this experience...so down we go. This is a river of hot steamy water that is heated by the Arenal Volcano. Tons of Costa Ricans are with their families and enjoying the healing minerals of the water. So - after a small consultation with Michael - I decide to go in sans shorts and white tank top to enjoy it as well. Wow - it was so warm.... and the water was such a rush...What a cool stop.
Then - we decided we did not need a big dinner, but definitely wanted some snacks so our next adventure was to hit the Costa Rican super market and see what we could find. Amazingly enough - it was not too difficult to figure out the food and we got some yummy snacks and headed home.
Not sure how the rain affected San Isidro - which is where our lodge is located - we made the right hand turn to our dirt road. At first it didn't seem so bad....but we were terribly mistaken as we tried to head up a large - muddy hill and didn't get the traction we needed - so....into the ditch we go. Luckily - Michael keeps his low key attitude, hops out of the car and says "baby - I'll push - you drive". I hopped into the seat - said a little prayer and as soon as we were in the ditch - we were back out. YEAH! He nicely asked (as he was so proud of me) if I wanted to continue the drive - "yeah right!"
We finally made it back into our lodge with our goodies - right before the ceiling of sky opened up and it rained for the rest of the night.
Zip lines, snakes, hot springs, and your car in a ditch...who could ask for more.