Thursday, April 21, 2016

Costa Rica Diary - Volcanos and Waterfalls

Hey there, hope you all had a great week so far! I'm studying and organizing all the photos I took in Costa Rica which is a whole lotta work because I took about a million pics, haha. So here's a new post for you about one of the most adventurous days of our trip.
We decided to hike to the Cerro Chato Volcano, which is a 'dead' volcano in La Fortuna with a green lagoon in its crater. From there we went to a waterfall and finally to the still active but sleeping Arenal Volcano which you can see in the first picture of this post. You can do the entire tour with a guide who leads you to all the places we've been to and later to some hot springs, it's about $50-60 per person. However, we decided to do the whole trip by ourselves without any guide or bigger group since we're the curious adventurers you'll see getting lost in the rainforest and experiencing the greatest stuff, haha!
We got up early in the morning to start our hike with Timo and Kathrin, a German couple we met two days before in Monteverde and who stayed with us in La Fortuna. We took a cab to the starting point of our tour and from there did the rest walking, like eleven hours! Not kidding, we started at 8am and got back to our hotel about 9pm. Getting up the Cerro Chato Volcano was rough. I was really struggling, the path was surely not the easiest one. We had to lift up our legs really high all the time and sometimes even slip down some parts of the track on our butts because it was so muddy! Even though it was a whole lotta hard work to get up that first volcano it was also a very fulfilling experience. I was beyond proud of us when we finally reached the green lagoon after an almost four-hour hike. I was also super happy to have Timo and Kathrin with us cause without them it would've been even harder, we helped each other overcome a lot of difficulties. So finally we went to swim in the lagoon in the Cerro Chato Volcano's crater. The water was freezing but actually felt pretty good after the challenging hike. And hey, how many persons can actually say 'I went for a swim in a volcano's crater'? Pretty cool thing I'd say!
After a while more and more people arrived so we decided to keep walking. At the lagoon we met Ethan and Courtnee, a lovely Canadian couple, who continued their trip with us. We had such a great laugh, three Germans, one Spanish guy and two Canadians exploring the volcanos and waterfalls of Costa Rica, what a unique experience! When we arrived at the waterfall in the national park I was simply stunned! I had seen a waterfall in Germany before but the tropical surroundings, the force of the water and the fact that it was just us six and the waterfall made this whole experience so unique and unforgettable for me! We couldn't wait to take of our clothes and jump into the freezing water. And there it was, my PURA VIDA MOMENT! The pure life in all its beauty, what a magical place The roaring water left me breathless. I remember I was just standing there on a rock screaming 'pura vida' all the time like a crazy person that has just fallen in love with mother nature. The force of the water pushing us back was incredible. Timo helped us get up a rock so we could stand under the water falling down. It was so powerful and felt kinda healing and cleansing, you know like as if you were just reborn. The water was so strong that my head actually started hurting after a while, haha. So we left our oasis and kept walking.
Our last stop was the Arenal Volcano, one of Costa Rica's biggest ones. Like I said in the other post, it was the first volcano I had ever seen. We had to cross a hotel property to get to a deck from where we had a stunning and close view of the volcano. Could the end of our excursion have been any more perfect?
As soon as it got dark we took a shuttle back to the village of La Fortuna to have some dinner together at a typical Costa Rican place. I had some very yummy traditional food, rice and beans with chicken and salad. It was such a great treat after hiking, jumping and swimming the entire day without any breaks. Now that I'm sitting here in Germany writing this blog post I'm thinking of how close you can get with people you've just met when you spent hours walking, exploring things and having wow moments together like the one I had in the waterfall. I loved meeting Timo and Kathrin, Ethan and Courtnee and of course having my boyfriend with me on that adventure. I just wish we could all sit together now, exhausted as we were, having 'tico' food at the end of an amazing day, laughing and just enjoying life <3

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