Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baldi Hot Springs at Volcano Arenal!

We had to get up at 6am to leave by 7. It takes 4 hours to get to the Baldi hot springs (Google it!!!). To get there, we have to wind our way high through a bunch of lush mountains, and we were driving right through the clouds!!! It was kind of scary because you couldn't see the headlights or the turns in the road until like 50-100 ft in front of the bus. I took a couple videos! We stopped at a rest stop and we were still in the cloud! Standing in it you felt all tingly, like you could feel tiny droplets but you couldn't see them because they were just there, they weren't falling. It was so awesome! Now we can say we have been in a cloud!

BALDI HOT SPRINGS!!!! Oh. My. God. This place was drop-dead gorgeous!!!! I mean it was quite literally heaven on Earth!!!!! It was so perfect and serene and precious and tropical and luxurious!!! The pictures really speak for themselves. At the top, there was a gigantic waterfall, and the water flowed down from it to various pools and jacuzzis all around below. The place was HUGE! The water was warmest at the higher pools and cooled down the lower the pools got down the side of the volcano. The water is heated naturally from the active Volcano Arenal. It is monsoon season, so you couldn't see the peak of the volcano, but we were at the base of it. It was funny to think that in theory the volcano could erupt at any moment and we would all die. We decided it might not be such a bad way to go since we were in such a beautiful place. Just joking! Luis said you can hear the volcano spew and roar from the hot springs when it isn't monsoon season. I wish! I spent much time in each pool area and the sauna caves--omg everything was so beautiful I can't even put it in words. All if the pools you just walk right into--there's no steps. There are these water slides--one of which is ridiculously intense! We all went on it thinking it wouldn't be that bad--I'm tellin' you this water slide is probably illegal in the US. But when we were at the top, Luis said, "This one over here is really really boring, and this one one right here is a little bit too intense." So which one are you gonna go on?! The little bit too intense one right?! Maaaan, you whip around in that slide so fast and then it makes a sharp turn and you shoot into the ceiling of the slide and then basically free fall a good 15 ft until you hit the bottom of the slide and shoot out upwards in an arc! It was so scary! But it was very fun, I'll give it that! It sure makes for a funny story. I wasn't going on the other slides even if they weren't as intense. I was one and done. It didn't help that I tripped into the slide, like I wasn't sitting at the top waiting to go, I literally fell into it--I was just not prepared for the whole thing. Other than that, we relaxed like mermaids on the rocks of the hot springs all day :D. Luis, Rachel and I chatted for a long time at the big waterfall. We chatted about Red Hot Chili Peppers and tattoos and the things I did in Costa Rica the last time I was here. Somehow we got to talking about celebrities who go to Costa Rica. I told him about how the last time I was here, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were at a beach a couple hours up the coastline from the where were at the time. He said that's funny because his friend was sitting in the airport around that time 5-6 years ago and Brad Pitt came up to him and asked to use his laptop so he could talk to Angelina Jolie!!! Imagine that! It's a small world. The hot springs was such an amazing place, I'll have to go back someday. It was only $15 to get in, with lunch and dinner included--and they were serving steak! It was such a great price. We were there from about 10:30am-6:15pm. It went by way too fast! Before we ate dinner, I found this perfect little nook of a pool secluded in a bunch of tropical vegetation. It was the perfect size and temperature, and it had a waterfall and I had it all to myself! I just floated on my back for a long 15 minutes or so, looking up at the palm trees and the misty, tropical sky. My phone died right before I could take a picture of my view, but I figured that's ok--if I'm sharing everything else, I'll keep that one super serene moment for myself. My camera was a trooper today anyways and I'm glad it lasted as long as it did. The power at the hotel was briefly out this morning and I think it must have gone out last night too, because my iPhone didn't charge 100%. At dinner we all gave Luis and Jenny the thank you card we signed. They were very happy and almost teared up. I will miss them so much! We were driving through the same thick clouds on the way back, too. It was so scary because we were on the cliffs of these mountains, and it was dark, and we couldn't see anything around us whatsoever from the clouds. I couldn't even watch. Even if my camera/iPhone hadn't died I don't think I would have been up for catching a video of it. I stayed huddled in my sweater with my face in the seat. There was also lightning in the clouds that were in the near distance, so it kept lighting up the clouds we were in. The whole bus was just surrounded by solid white nothingness. It was very twilight zone. But the Costa Ricans are used to driving in the cloudy mountains, just like we're used to driving when it's snowing. Plus, our bus driver Kenneth was a very good driver, so I knew in my heart of hearts that we would be fine. When we finally got back to the hotel, we said our official goodbyes to Jenny. We also said goodbye to Christina and Emily since they were leaving for a 1am flight. We said our goodbyes to Cecily and Tessa too, in case we don't see them in the morning since they have a 7am flight. As for now, I have a long day of flying back tomorrow, so I need to get some sleep! Buenos noches!

Driving through a cloud!

Standing in a cloud!

To find the misty sauna cave, you had to explore for a small opening in the rocks that turned into a tunnel and opened up into this! 

The hot springs are in the middle of a misty rainforest, and on the edge of an active volcano. So awesome!


...Baldi Hot Springs. You have to go there!!!!!!! There are many ziplining spots in Costa Rica, but there is only one Baldi Hot Springs!


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