January 18, 2015

I swear on our walk back I can’t believe I haven’t written in four days! This weekend was so crazy and I was always so exhausted before bed that I forgot to write. Ok, let’s see…Thursday night we walked a few blocks to a stadium to watch the professional Costa Rican men’s soccer team play. The atmosphere was so energetic and fun! There were fireworks, loud music and even though everyone in the stands were screaming in Spanish, being apart of the crowd of screaming fans was so exciting! We ended up winning the game 2-0. There were three stray dogs that followed us all the way back to the house and Riordan started crying because we couldn’t let them inside. It was hysterical.

I haven’t seen Celeste in 2 days now. We didn’t even see her house door open once. Once volunteering was over we got back to the home base and it was a mad dash to pack for our weekend trip. The car ride was 4 hours long but it went by pretty quickly. Russell and Colin played the playlist they made which made the drive a lot of fun with everyone singing together. Once we got to the hostel we all went out to dinner. The area we were staying in was really touristy so the restaurant food was more Americanized. It was nice to take a break from rice and beans with every meal.

We were up early Saturday morning and left our hostel for the day at 7:30am. Our first stop of the day was a Canopy Tour of a rainforest walking across bridges suspended 30 meters above ground level. We then had to walk down 460 steps (and then later had to climb back up them) which led us to this huge waterfall. The water was pretty cold but the guys still went in. They looked like they had a lot of fun but they said it was pretty scary climbing through the rocks with the currents.

For lunch we went to this family owned restaurant where they served us food that was all grown and raised in the fields that we could see right outside. I am not much of a coffee drinker but the Costa Rican coffee was amazing! Before we left we all got poured a shot of their homemade rum and a stick of sugar cane to chase it with. We all had to repeat a traditional prayer before drinking it.

After lunch we hiked up a volcano that was 7,000 years old! We learned about all of its past eruptions and got to climb on lava rocks that were 4,000 years old. The view at the top was absolutely breathtaking. We were lucky that the fog cleared right as we got to the top so we could look out and see a huge man made lake and all of the greenery breaking through the fog. Finally after a long day of hiking (7 miles of it!) we got dropped off at this gorgeous resort for dinner and to swim in the hot springs. There were half a dozen hot pools with swim up bars with flashing lights and loud music playing. Floating on my back in the hot water and looking up at the palm trees, there was absolutely no place I would have rather been. After an amazing dinner we finally got back to the hostel at about 10 at night and all hung out at the pool for a little while. It started raining but we were all having such a good time we stayed outside dancing until we were exhausted. I could not have hoped for anything more from this weekend. It was truly unforgettable.

But still, that is not all…this morning we woke up early again but this time to go zip lining. There are no words or photographs taken to show how beautiful the view was. It was the most nerve wracking, exhilarating, amazing experience. We got to go on 12 different cables, one of which was a half a mile long! We were flying over the trees canopies and looking out at this surreal mountainous skyline. We got back and packed up our bags and dragged our overtired selves to grab some breakfast before hitting the road again.

I have to say, even after an amazing weekend, the highlight of it all was Skyping with my sister while she was in the hospital after having hip surgery. Tonight was difficult for me because I was feeling pretty emotional and homesick but I am just so proud of how strong and brave my baby sister is.  It was so weird, when we were leaving the hostel I kept thinking that I just wanted to be home in my bed but I wasn’t thinking of my bed at home in Marblehead, I was thinking about my bed in Cartago! It’s crazy to think this is my halfway point in my trip, but I can’t wait for the next two weeks!

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