La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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July 4, 2015 by kimberlyfenton

[Sally Fenton] White Water Rafting!! Being the adrenaline junkies we are, it was something we have always wanted to do, so we were both very excited for this adventure! We set off on the bus up to the mountains and it was hard to concentrate on our safety briefing as the views were just amazing! Kim, aka LONDON LONDON, was picked on by the guide right from the beginning which was highly amusing with her awkward laughs and trying to catch my eye contact haha!

Twins ReadyLoving life

Once we arrived, were given our safety helments/life jackets and put into groups of 6. We were all set and off we went, starting with Class 1 rapids and reaching Class 4! It was SO much fun, highly recommend it to anyone… already planning to go again! It was pretty much a full body work out adhering to commands from the guide such as “back paddle, back paddle” “left forward, right back paddle”… my left and rights were definitely tested at this point…

One of the waterfalls

After every decent rapid we would give a paddle high five and shout ‘Pura Vidaaaa’ – love it. We were able to get out of the raft and swim during the calm parts of the river before quickly jumping back in ready for some more crazy rapids. We were surrounded by such pretty scenery with beautiful waterfalls in the background… truly amazing!

The highlight was definitely going down the Class 4 rapids using only our legs to support ourselves as we were going crazy with our arms and body paddling over the side. At one rapid we went flying straight up a huge rock…a bit like titanic if you will… one side was up and the other side was right by the current, we all had to go ‘low side, low side’ to force the raft back down. Very fun but definitely thought we were going to flip!

At the end, the guide insisted that we try the “high side” command, which we were all up for doing. This involves one side of the boat quickly moving to the other side of the boat. Obviously it was my side [Sal] that he wanted everyone to go to and with Kim being opposite me, it meant that she would have to run to sit by my side and sit nicely, shifting all the weight to one side…..but no, Kimberly Anne Fenton decides to LAUNCH herself at me forcing the whole raft to capsize/flip upside down in the strong current, and she managed to punch me in the nose at the same time! The guide then made a scene thinking I had broken it, which then made me think I was bleeding haha such a palava but nope, just sisterly love!

[Kim] Oops… sorry Sal! My bad! It was a really great day and we had an awesome group, two Irish men and a mother and daughter double act from Texas. Each time we had to paddle hard, we all went for it screaming “COME OOONN!!” as we came crashing down into the rapids- awesome!

Lazy RiverLazy River through the Canyon

[Sal] After a very active day my whole body was aching but no rest for the wicked, especially not in La Fortuna! Our alarm was set for 6:30am for our next activity: Canyoneering. Morning comes, and I get woken up by Kim shouting “SAL WHAT’S THE TIME” … and there’s me in my lazy state with no care in the world turning on my tablet to see it was 7am. Kim’s phone had died so our alarm didn’t go off. Oh man. 7.02am our phone rings to let us know our bus has arrived. Never dressed so quickly in my life, hard enough with my eyes still half shut, I chucked everything in my bag and we legged it downstairs to which the guide found hilarious.

RappellingThe Washing Machine

The guides were awesome, they all had great banter and were similar in age to us, so we all gelled really quickly. They didn’t hang about either, off we went to the first rappel with no practice. I was first out of the group to launch myself off the cliff. It was scary peering off at first but once you jump it’s amazing, you are totally in control, lowering yourself down, going as quick or slow as you like. However, on the tallest rappels of them all Kim took his instructions quite literally. The guide insisted that we went as fast as we could, and told us to try and make it down without braking and just go for it…so that’s exactly what she did! She just let go and BOMBED it down. So, so, so quick it was mental! Imagine not having any ropes and just jumping from a huge cliff (it was called the pirates plank) haha that’s how quickly she went down, with the ropes actually making it faster. She even scared the guides who were at the top, they couldn’t believe it! Although once they saw she had landed safely they loved her for it, screaming, laughing and hifive-ing ‘OMG, OMG, WOW, WOW, no wayyy’ hilarious! Haha… only Kim!

Hanging Bridge Bombing it down

The whole tour through the canyon was so beautiful and it was so much fun making our way down in every way possible: jumping down the waterfalls, rappeling off cliffs, ziplining from the highest points up in the trees, tarzan swinging and all sorts. It was incredible! One jump was called ‘The Washing Machine’ and after the jump I knew why, I got SOAKED. My lovely, kind and caring sister shouted at the guides in Spanish to keep me in the water for ages, as you can see in this picture the water was fr-ee-ee-ee-zing!!!!! But don’t worry folks I got my revenge 😉

Waterfall jiveZiplining
Volcano Arenal from our Hotel RoomMirador, Volcano Arenal

[Kim] I absolutely loved both canyoneering and white water rafting and it would be hard to choose a favourite… definitely want to do both again asap! During our stay at La Fortuna we stayed downtown and had a great view of Volcano Arenal from our hotel which was pretty spectacular!

One afternoon we did the Arenal Volcano Hike and visit to the Hot Springs which took us to the base of the Volcano with an amazing guide and his binocular. We managed to see another type of monkey, the spider monkey, in a big group jumping between the trees. We also watched a mother feeding its baby- National Geographic stuff! We also saw two species of toucans and about 6 of them sitting on the branches or flying over us, it was incredible! On the hike, our guide almost stepped on an extremely long, black, docile snake-the bird eating snake! We were very lucky with all the different species we saw through the rainforest hike, and we also managed to spot a camouflaged toad which looked so much like a leaf it was crazy.

Spider MonkeyBird Eating Snake

 Baldi Hot SpringsBaldi Hot Springs

After the hike it was time for a visit to the Baldi Hot Springs! I was so excited to return, and Sal loved it! The 25 different pools with beautiful waterfalls, palm trees and lights all have different features and different temperatures. It was so relaxing and we just kept thinking that mum would’ve loved it. Sorry mum, next time? Haha.

In some of the pools, the waterfalls were just as hot as water coming straight from a kettle. The springs are naturally heated thanks to the Volcano Arenal which can be seen in the background, making the thermal pools even more beautiful. There was one pool with sun loungers built in, a swim up bar, and Latin American music playing- bliss. Other pools included the giant Jacuzzi, a man made cave which created a steam room, and one with freezing cold water pools. Amazing! We were there from 5-8pm and we had the pools too ourselves most of the time, with only 3 other groups scattered around! During peak season this place is absolutely packed! In the thousands they say…

In one of the fountainsOne of the pools with a lounger

LoungerHot Springs, Volcano Arenal in the background

Good way to end our stay in La Fortuna. Onto Monteverde now, with the longest/highest ziplines in the world!

Pura Vida, Kim & Sal x

Hot SpringsHot Springs

 

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