Adventures in Costa Rica - Jennifer Quest Photography

Adventures in Costa Rica

Adventures in Costa Rica

First time in Costa Rica.  Wow.

You feel it, the thickness of the air.  A deeper level of oxygen then we are use to in the states, and other more developed parts of the world.  In the midst of massive clear cutting, Costa Rica still maintains deep rainforest Canopies and seemingly endless greenery, bringing a sense of both mystery and healing.

 

Aaron and I rented our own car, as we planned to cover quite a bit of distance of this small country.

There were moments along the drive to Arenal (home of the Arenal Volcano), that reminded me of my childhood. Growing up, I spent many hours on drive between my parents house, most often riding with my father.  In between my 2 homes, especially in the Spring, Oak trees scatter the deep green rolling hills, and ancient volcanic rocks decorate the way, inviting daydreams of woodland fairies and a simple life.  It made me smile to find a memory of home called forth in this foreign land, not so foreign after all.

We started our first day in Arenal (in the La Fortuna Area) with a yummy breakfast at our hotel.  We were both thoroughly enjoying traditional breakfast.  Gallo pinto, (beans and rice,) sweet fried plantains, coffee and orange juice to wet our whistle.

Our view was gorgeous from the wall-less restaurant, (common in Costa Rica).  We gazed out into a small lagoon, surrounded by beautiful tropic life of many kinds.  The Arenal Volcano was straight ahead of us, its top covered by clouds.  With thunder clapping in the distance, rain was sure to come.  The hot sticky air wet our skin as we ate.  My hair took on a natural curl in this climate, thick with humidity.  I learned this while living on the beautiful island of Okinawa back in 2003… it felt similar here.  I embraced it with a little mousse, a scrunch and a smile.

Our plan today was to head to the Skytrek adventure park.  From there, we planned to ride the tram, zip line, and go on a hike through the rainforest.

Upon arriving at the park, we were introduced to our amazing guides, who would be taking us up the tram, and back down via the zip lines.  I was excited!  I’ve zip lined before… But never at this height, and never multiple lines of such length.  I love a good adrenaline rush.  This was Aarons first time to fly high above the trees.  We were pumped!

Riding up the tram was amazing.  It went much slower than the zip lines, so I was able to take a more in depth look at what we were looking at.  The old growth of the forest was absolutely fascinating to me.  Parts of this forest has likely never been touched by humans.  At least not of this time period.  I pondered the ages of man, ancient ruins and temples, discovery and inventions of mankind.

The forest was so high and dense with life at times, I couldn’t see the bottom.  Just layer upon layer of ferns, trees, ivy and other plants, all fighting for their moment in the sun.  Hot dew dripped off the branches and leaves, moisture was thick in the air and thunder clapped in the distance.  I took a deep breath and sat in gratitude.  To have the opportunity to see with such perspective… What a gift. I thought of how powerful perspective is.  To see with the eyes of another.  To feel with the heart of connectedness.  I thought of what a profound teacher perspective (being open to and embracing it) has been on my life’s path.  I smiled at the thought.

We continued up the slope, our guide Diego, teasing us that we would be sharing his first day on the job of zipline guide.  We laughed, in full trust that we were in good hands for this adventure.

 At the top we were instructed as to the proper zipline techniques. This course included 8 zip lines, criss crossing at heights up to 650 ft and distances over a half mile.  Wow.   Today, to our delight, the onset of the rainy season was keeping its distance for our high flying adventure.  The air was clear, creating ideal space for the most tremendous views.

Talk about some perspective.   going one direction, we had an up close and personal view of the grand Arenal Volcano, with slow steam oozing from its mouth.  Going the other direction, our best view revealed the vast expanse of rainforest, leading way to the Arenal lake.  It was a breathtaking, exciting and rare treat!

We flew, back and forth, practicing our Tarzan yell and other spontaneous calls of the wild and free.  The wind lapped cascaded over our faces and bodies, and I visualized what it would be like to be a hawk or an eagle, in a constant dance with the currents and flow of the invisible force in the skies.. and with that thought, I acknowledged that we too are in a dance with the currents and flow of the energies of life.

Aaron managed to capture some of the epic ride on video, as well as a few of my landings!  Wow!  So much fun.  For the adventurous spirits out there… I highly recommend this option if you ever visit that area!

 

We wrapped up the flying part of our trek, thanked our guides and headed on to entrance of a series of trails.  We hit the trails, eager to get started as dark was falling earlier that we originally thought it would, and the thunderous clouds seemed to be on approach.

We hiked, took pictures, stood in awe of the diversity of growth in the forest.  We sat and watched giant ants climb huge trees to collect even more giant leaves for some important purpose.  We listened to the sounds of the limitless creatures in our vicinity, from beetles and crickets, to birds, monkeys and all kinds of unknowns.  We took our time at the gorgeous waterfall we found, with a beautiful rainbow illuminating its base.  It was majestic. with both the darkness of a storm and night approaching, we quickened our pace, the bellowing thunder alerting us to the storm now right above us.   When the rain started, at first we could only hear it.  With all the thick layers of canopy catching drop after drop, we we’re only getting spontaneously struck.  This lasted for a few minutes.  As we reached the top, the skies opened and it felt like the seas we’re pouring out.  It was invigorating!  We were now running and laughing our way back to the car, since we were carrying electronics we didn’t want to push our luck with rain.  We hopped in and took a moment to appreciate our day, the epic experiences and the incredible blessing of sharing those experiences with one another.

Arriving back at our hotel, we decided to check out the multiple hot spring pools, which are heated by the heat of the volcano!  I loved that thought and the proximity to such a tremendous force of nature.

The pools were gorgeous.  Hot and inviting, with a swim up bar.  We had earned a delicious happy hour to accompany our happy life.  Yay!

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