Saturday, April 11, 2009

La Fortuna Waterfall, Lake Arenal and Baldi Hot Springs

Today was a water sports day so for the majority of the time I didn't have my camera. We've had an action packed day so I will relay as much as possible. My internet connection is pretty flaky so I will try to get photos uploaded to the website. If not I'll try to get them uploaded at the next hotel. Thanks for your comments on the blog. The primary comment from parents is that you want more group photos and photos of students. I would be happy to oblige, but the fact is that some of your sons and daughters are somewhat uncooperative when it comes to having their picture taken. We've done a couple of group shots so hopefully this will suffice for now.

This morning I got up at 6:30 to a clear view of the Arenal volcano. The top was clearly visible and part way down was a perfect halo cloud surrounding the cone. It was spectacular. After taking some pictures we headed down to the dining room for a breakfast of scrambled eggs with ham, toast, fruit, coffee and juice. After breakfast we loaded up the bus and headed to La Fortuna waterfall.

La Fortuna waterfall is very beautiful with a nice lookout platform at the top. To get down to the river at the base of the falls we had to climb about half a kilometer down a very steep set of stairs. The water falls into a large pool and then flows down a small set of rapids into a series of pools which are great for swimming. The water was quite cool but very refreshing. We played in the water for about an hour before it was time to climb back up the stairs and to the bus. The climb up was pretty tough but all of the students managed it without too much trouble.

From La Fortuna we had about a half hour bus ride to Arenal Lake which is the largest man-made lake in Central America. It was created during the late 60's in order to create hydro power for the country. Currently the power from Lake Arenal provides 40% of Costa Rica's electricity. At Lake Arenal we got off the bus, paired off and prepared to go kayaking. The kayaks were open on the top, very stable and easy to paddle. We started by paddling across the lake and then along the shoreline. At one point we stopped and the students had an opportunity to go swimming in the lake. Our guide told us that if you swam down to the bottom of the lake, there are houses which were flooded during the creation of the lake. After paddling back to the dock, we got back on the bus and headed back to the hotel for lunch.

Lunch was rice with a chicken sauce, salad, fried plantain and juice. After lunch we had about an hour to relax before we headed to the Baldi Hot Springs. These hot springs have 26 different pools, getting progressively hotter as you climb up the hillside. It is a beautiful resort-type setting with beautiful gardens. We had about two hours to enjoy the hot springs before heading back to the hotel for supper and then free time in the evening.

It was an action packed day and everyone was ready for bed at 9:30 pm.

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