We Climbed a Volcano and Danced, Danced, Danced (and Sang)

Spring Break was nothing but pure bliss. I now understand why Costa Ricans say ‘pure vida’ all the time, because that is exactly how I felt during my 9 days in Costa Rica with my two lovely travel companions, Thecla and Ruthie. It was the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation, trekking and lounging. 

We arrived in our destination on a Thursday evening, having left almost straight from school to the airport, washing our hands clean of another round of 9-weeks grades for our students. It was time to put our teaching life on pause and bask in the sun-kissed lands of Central America. We had decided that we would couch surf, to save money and also meet new people. And we could not have made a better decision nor have had better hosts between Lance in the San Jose/Heredia area and Larry in Monteverde. 

Our first night in Costa Rica greeted us with Dirty Girl Scouts and other drinks from our host of very many talents (including a PhD in human genetics) Lance. Lance introduced us to a joy we do not have the luxury of enjoying during the school weeks: video games. Namely, we focused on dancing our bottoms off with his kinect dance games and singing in our fictitious rock band. Ruthie and I even endured blood blisters from playing the drums. That’s dedication to your band. 

On the second day, we got up early to begin our journey to the Volcano Poas that was supposed to be an hour and a half away from the city. We did not realize that only ONE bus goes directly to the volcano a day, and so we got on a series of buses that eventually got us to the base of the volcano. At this point it was getting late, so we needed to make it up to the trails as fast as possible, and luckily we met a woman who helped us find a local ride up to the national park. From there it was a rather easy trek to the top of volcano, where we could look down into the crater lake. When we first got there, however, we could not see anything but thick white clouds. Needless to say we were disappointed after we had journeyed for hours to get there. A woman told us to wait for a few minutes, as the wind sometimes blew the clouds away enough to make for clear shots of the crater. So we waited, and sure enough, we were blessed with an incredible site that was well worth the journey. 

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On the way back, we thought our share of bus transfers had been filled for the day, but it was nothing compared to what we experienced on the return. No bus was going directly where we needed to be, and we ended up on the completely different side of a nearby city, forcing us to take several more buses to find our way back to Lance’s apartment in Heredia. Luckily, Lance knew the cure for a long days journey and took us out that night to a nearby lounge/bar where Costa Rica met our Miami style nightlife in a flurry of drinks, dancing, and once more, getting lost on the journey home. 

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