24 June 2011

slushy streets and sulfur springs

Hello folks! Hope you are having a wonderful day because we did! Today our group got up a little early - 5:30 - so we could leave for Rincon de la Vieja, a mountain in Guanacaste. And in case you thought rice and beans were only reserved for lunch and dinner, they're not - rice and beans for breakfast too!
So we started off on our trip, which is about two hours, and we just barely made it out of Playa Copal when the van stopped and a bunch of kids said "woah!" Another bus, about 100 feet in front of us, was completely stuck and almost cemented in the mud. It rained really heavily the night before, and in Costa Rica, like Georgia, when it rains it pours. The dirt road was now a mud road, and it was barely able to be used. So I sat in the van, waiting for someone to come and pull the bus out. But we waited, and we waited. No one came. And then our bus driver, Arnaldo, told us to get out. It would be a while.
So we were standing outside in the middle of nowhere, going nowhere, at 7 in the morning. But we started to play some group games to pass the time.
After about a half an hour, the bus was still stuck and some of the locals flocked to see what was going on. Probably since there was a slew of tourist-like beings in their quaint town. So they told us that help was coming, but that we couldn't move the bus that was stuck, and there was no way around the bus. So we had to walk a mile to get to our new bus, which meant walking in the mud and quicksand-like goo to get to the new bus. Needless to say I was going to need some new shoes.
So we walked to the spot past the bus where we were supposed to wait for a new bus. By now it was about 8:30, and we were all tired - and the hike hadn't even begun! It was hot and sticky, and everyone was annoyed. But it just made me think about something. When we have a problem with traffic in America, we just call the tow truck and they are there in less than 10 minutes. We later found out that the bus was removed several hours later. They have little ways of getting that kind of help, and it happens to them a lot more often - and more severely - than it does to us.
When our replacement bus came, everyone erupted in cheerful joy. And then we were off to Rincon de la Vieja.
Once there, we embarked on our 3-hour hike through the mountains. And we stopped at different natural hot springs throughout. The mountain was a volcano that stopped erupting in the 1990s and we got to see the sulfuric springs that were there. Some of them reached temperatures of 248 degrees F - enough to sufficiently burn yourself - and they smelled nasty. But I got some amazing pictures of the interesting trees, the wildlife - iguanas, monkeys, the works - and later we got to go to some hot springs of our own.
We drove a few minutes down the mountain to get to the other hot springs where people can go in. It is made of natural water from the real springs, but filtered into the man-manipulated nature (it's not really man-made). There were three pools - one was hot tub temperature, the other was hotter than a hot tub, and the man made river was ice cold. Which was nice when you wanted a break from the heat. So we got to relax in the beautiful hot springs and enjoy the quaint beauty of a place that tourists don't really get to see. Untouched nature.
After that, we went home and the Wifi stopped working at the tree house. So I was going to call home, but my SIM card died and there was no way to fix it. So I'm phoneless and Wifi-less. It's going to be an even more interesting time.
But tomorrow morning we have another before-the-sun-comes-up wake-up time, so I better go. And if you thought today was crazy, wait until tomorrow. Pura vida!

1 comment:

  1. Meg,

    Interesting day. Great perspective to have about the stuck bus. Swimming in the spring must have been awesome.