Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pura Vida (Hike in the Rain Forest, Shower in a Waterfall & Boatride at the base of the Volcano

Pura Vida

(Amazon 6, you are welcome to add to my attempts to describe our hike!!  Words don’t do it justice!!)



That is the expression that they say all of the time here and the best I can tell it means, “The pure life”.  All of the workers at this resort say it all of the time.  You also see it on billboards and t-shirts.  I equate the phrase with my experience here…..chill, go with the flow, enjoy.

small part of the breakfast buffet


Last night, I had really planned on going on a horseback riding tour, as well as a canopy tour.  As always I was up by 5 am and walked down to the lobby to work on posting my blog. (That’s really the only place with a good Wi-Fi signal.)  I went on up for breakfast way before anyone in my group was up.  The meals are always huge, all-you-can-eat buffets with many choices.  I’m glad to see all of the fruit and vegetables.  We haven’t really had that the last few days.


I didn't have to twist too many arms to go with me shopping for shoes.

As I was finishing, some of my group said that the horse backing riding was canceled because of the rain.  Steve Johnson, one of our leaders from Tampa, had checked into hiking trails and he found one for us.  I had already decided that flip-flops and Toms wouldn’t really work for any of the tours, so our friendly bus driver Jose, took a few of us down the road to some shops and I found some reasonably priced hiking boots.  We had a quick Spanish/English lesson with Jose.  (Hoy = Today, Ayer = Yesterday, and Manana = Tomorrow)  Also…. (Aqui=Here, Ayi=There, Aya=over there.



Steve had found out that the first part of the hike was down and it was the worst part.  Let’s just say I was glad I had my hiking boots on!!  There were 6 of us and I’m pretty sure I was the oldest one there.  We climbed over slippery stones, branches, mud, mossy rocks and everything else.  It was often necessary to hold onto small trees, and I was hoping I didn’t grab anything else.  It was steep enough that some of us kind of crab walked down.  We got to one point and it seemed as if we had lost the trail or had gone the wrong way.  We thought we saw it below us, so Steve ventured down.  He said he didn’t recommend that way because he slid down a steep hill.  Rachel, the daredevil, insisted on going that way and slid far enough that she was afraid she wasn’t going to stop.  I think she earned a raspberry on her bottom.

Most of the way was steep with wet leaves, rocks, roots, etc.  I was not too proud to crab crawl all of the way down.



Steve found the trail below and the rest of us went another way that was completely over grown with vines, which we had to push our way through.  We finally made it to the bottom were we found the river and that is where we named ourselves “Amazon 6”, a little ways further we found the waterfall.  Rachel, always the daredevil says, “I’m going in” and then, everyone one else took their shoes off and waded through rushing water, and climbed over slippery rocks to the waterfall.  They all convinced me it wasn’t too hard of a climb, so I joined them.  Steve went back and took a great picture of us doing posing.  I did the yoga tree pose and believe it or not, I had better balance in rushing water than I do at the yoga studio.


We were rewarded with this at the bottom of the mountain.

Here is some of our group touring the canopy.  They were finishing just as we got to the end of our hike.


Boat selfie

I had also planned on doing the canopy tour, but after my hike I decided I had seen it all from the ground and I would  just get in the hot springs pool and treat myself with a massage.  Now, it seems some of us are going to go on a boat ride….I will let you know!!  Pura Vida!!




I can’t remember if I told you that the preacher and his family from Purral came with us.  They are Costa Rican, but had never been to this area.  He and his wife have two daughters and they seem to be enjoying this mini-vacation.  At lunch, he and some others were discussing a boat tour on a lake at the base of the volcano.  It just so happens that Jose, our bus driver, knew Anthony, the owner of the boat.  So, at 3:30 about 10 of us got on the bus and headed down the road to the boat tour. 



The boat ride was very pleasant.  The area was very secluded, beautiful and peaceful.  Even though, the temperature has been mild, of course there was a nice breeze on the boat ride.  The tour gave beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.  As far as we can tell, the area is either a national park or is protected.  We did see the location of a village that was destroyed by an eruption in 1968.  Needless to say, it was desolate, but beautiful.  At one point, the pilot of the boat stopped and we were able to get out and look around.  Right before we got back on the boat, someone was saw a small snake. 

This is the Arenal volcano, the top is almost always covered with clouds.



Volcano selfie & yes, the sun is out!!

In this picture, you see the bus driver, Jose, with gray hair, Christian, the preacher in green, his wife, Gendry in hot pink, and his two daughters.


The guys immediately ran over to take pictures and the snake was too happy.  It was small, but it was striking like a rattlesnake.  I didn’t get a picture, but I’m sure I’ll be able to grab one from somebody. (No one has posted a picture yet.)  All of us who went enjoyed our trip and thought it was well worth the $15 we paid.


Since I had saved money on all of the tours I didn’t do, I was bound and determined to get a massage.  I decided I would even if I had to forgo dinner.  (Lunch was huge and delicious!)  I had just enough time to get in the hottest hot spring pool for a while and then I had an hour massage and a facial.  It didn’t disappoint!!

Riding along on the boat, you could see the layers of the rainforest. ( the canopy and the emergent layers).


I’m early writing this blogpost and we had a major storm last night and it seems like it may rain hard all day.  God blessed us with a great day to be here yesterday because I think many activities will be rained out today.  The plan today is to head back to San Jose and stop and tour a coffee plantation (A young guy from Tampa and his wife are living and working there.) and eat lunch there.  Then we were supposed to do some souvenir shopping before we headed back up to our B&B for the night,  Sunday we all head home.



Depending on how things work out with Wi-Fi___33 and the weather, I may not have a post tomorrow.  So…..


Hasta luega!!


PJ  xoxo


PJ  xoxo


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