Today I experienced another very full-on day packed with almost as much adrenaline as the bungee jump day, but this time with added water which I am now thoroughly sick of!
I got up this morning and had breakfast at the hotel, which was a traditional rice and beans Costa Rican breakfast. It wasn’t fantastic but it filled a hole! We then went on our first adventure of the day, which was a kayak tour across Lake Arenal. We got a lesson on how to use our oars (we were in kayaks in pairs) and then we were off! Anna and I paired up and I have to say, we definitely weren’t the best at it. We spent a lot of time drifting off to the side, or just getting tired and floating! It is quite hard to coordinate yourselves when you’ve both never tried kayaking before. The views however were amazing, and the water was totally calm – we stopped off for fruit on a small beach, which was great, and we also saw wildlife like vultures. The tour guide was pretty cool too and let me have a go in his single kayak, which I found a lot easier!
A quick stop off to grab lunch and then we went on the next trip, which was something I had really been looking forward to: waterfall rappelling and canyoneering! We hadn’t been told much about it, except that it was basically abseiling down waterfalls, so I honestly did not know what to expect. I was ready for a mental challenge, like the courage it took to do the bungee jump, but actually a totally different type of courage was required; one of the physical kind. We did a couple of small rappells to begin with to break us in, and it was clear that we (me especially) needed practise to refine the technique of leaning backwards with a rope and bouncing down the rock face with your feet apart.
To get to the next abseil, we were also required to climb though lots of crevices and rocks, and once even jump straight into a deep pool! The scenery along the way, especially the waterfalls themselves, felt like a fairytale. The first big rappell was thrown at us far too soon and I didn’t feel ready at all – we were required to abseil to the top of the waterfall, bounce off rock on the way down and then let go in order to ‘fly’ the rest of the way! I found it very tough, and although I was slower than most of the others I still managed it with no major problems. The second and final big rappell was at a height of about 250ft and looked very daunting, although luckily there was less bouncing and more flying so I found it much easier! I was over the moon at completing something so challenging, and it certainly fits with the Spanish philosophy of Costa Rica:
This means “pure life”, i.e. Go out and enjoy life for what it is! Rappelling was great fun and I’d love to try it again someday. I also can’t wait to see the photos, which I have bought on a disc.
Almost as soon as our canyoneering experience was over, La Fortuna was hit with a massive storm, and it has been raining madly ever since. Costa Rican storms make Britain’s look pathetic though, as the lightning is beautiful but also very close and the thunder is loud – there was a lightning strike and a huge bang right near our hotel, and we think a house got hit. Unfortunately the weather meant that we couldn’t visit the local hot springs as they would have overflowed, so instead we went to the Lava Bar for dinner, which was very tasty (I had grilled steak) and beautifully decorated with orange lights and artwork.
I was going to get an early night as I am exhausted after a busy day and a late one yesterday, but I got distracted having fun helping Natasha, who is travelling across the world with her daughter Teresa, set up her very first travel blog. Make sure you check it out, as she is going to be visiting some amazing countries over the coming months.
Anyway, I am about to fall asleep to the sound of the heavy rain, in preparation for tomorrow’s new adventure of white water rafting! Wish me luck.