Costa Rica Post 3: Wild Water Raftin’ & stuffff (April 22nd, 2014)

Our new hotel is vastly different from the last. It’s a resort and spa, and it has about nine pool/spa’s of water that have waterfalls flowing into each other, and it’s beautiful. It’s got a peaceful ambiance and you can constantly hear birds and insects buzzing and chirping. Once again it’s like living one with nature. But unlike our other super green eco-friendly one towel per person hotel, this one has Jacuzzi’s in the hotel rooms. Yes you read that correctly. Currently I am sitting on my bed looking face on at the giant Jacuzzi in my hotel room; it is pretty ridiculous. They are supposedly trying to be green as well, but they aren’t as convincing as Si Como No when this magical bathtub of bubbling warm water is radiating energy and warmth by the second.
Yesterday was our first full day here by the Arenal Volcano in Fortuna and it was eventful to say the least. We woke up at six, ate at the breakfast buffet and headed off to zip lines. This zip line company did not seem quite as professional as the other one and was lacking a big staff, but the amazing zip lining and surprises at the end made up for it. I tried to go pro the whole thing, but the camera ended up not catching it, but oh well. It felt incredible to zip through the tangled trees and feel the cool rainy air brush my face. I had less trouble getting my body to keep straight during this zip lining, but the oil from our zip lining gloves splashed us in our faces. My mom had the most trouble slowing her down at the end and would always finish a zip line with the oil residue scattered across her entire face. I’m pretty sure she enjoyed the zip lining in Manuel Antonio better anyways considering there was total beef/tension between her and our girl instructor and my mom was so done with her by the end. Lol. We got to repel after our zip lining because the group had extra time, and this was very fun and a workout for my arms. I always get a bit nervous doing this. It took a lot of arm strength to control how fast you wanted your rope to slide through which determined whether you moved down or not. It was a short, quick repel and afterwards Will (my younger brother) and I began catching tiny little brown frogs that were hopping around in the grass and playing with them. My family and I were then surprised with a guest presentation in which we walked into a native tent hunt and were greeted by a half naked native man. was a little fire burning and he told us about these art creations his native people made and what each animal represented in the tribe. These Costa Rican groups always leave in a nice surprise for every activity.
Next was the white water rafting! This was probably my favorite activity. We took an extremely bumpy 45-minute ride up to the rivers and walked to where we met our guides. Our guide was named Stephen and he was a tall, active, informative, and outgoing guy. He knew everything about everything surrounding us and made it super fun. Plus he was pretty cute and funny. And it’s quite possible that he hit on me when we tipped him and said goodbye considering I went for the handshake and he went for the hug and then did one of those European side cheek kiss things. Oh and then he winked at me. ☺ I somewhat imagined myself tumbling outside of my raft like the Pillsbury dough boy in my puffy life jacket and hitting my head on a razor sharp river rock and thus tragically dying as my Jack from titanic aka Stephen said “he’d never let me go” but turns out it was extremely safe and a worry-free situation. Oh except for the overweight lady in a different raft who fell into the water. And then her raft pushed her into a rock wall and then OUR raft crashed into their raft so it was a double whammy of her getting crushed into this wall. Yikes, poor gal. Also unfortunate that all the river guides made fun of the guide of that lady for the duration of the trip and calling him “gordo” which means fat. Tragically humorous. Anyways, we glided down the water and hit rocks sending our tube bouncing and being pushed by the water towards other routes in order to keep going downstream. They said there were about 6 different currents of water that caused tension in the river but it all ends up going downstream in the end, its very cool. We even got to see a couple of sloths, monkeys, and birds down the path! It was about a 2 hour and 30 minute rafting adventure that included a fruit snackin’ break (of watermelon and pineapple, SURPRISE jk not really considering that’s all they eat in Costa Rica), jumping off a rock into the water, floating in the river downstream, and even me getting the chance to sit on the front of the raft facing head on towards all of the rapids and bumps as we glided down. The water was actually quite warm after a while and it was nice to transition from smooth peaceful streams to bouncy crazy ones where we screamed and laughed in fear and excitement as our raft tilted and twirled. We were then surprised to be fed delicious homemade rice, beans, chicken, and other foods at a local farm where we were presented with how they make their fresh coffee and all the different uses of sugar cane. We took sugar cane shots! Pretty crazy, I KNOW. The coffee was some of the best coffee I have ever had, and it could kick Starbucks in the butt. Everything is better when it’s organically ground and all natural with no chemicals and artificial sugary syrups cough cough Starbucks caramel macchiatos. Overall, a pretty rad day in Costa Rica. As they all say, PURA VIDA!
~ xoxo Ali ~
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