Well, one of many. As a major perk to my airline job, I get to travel. For free. Hey, it's the whole reason I signed up for the gig. I started working for the airline when I was 23 and spent the next thirteen years traveling everywhere and anywhere I could get to. Needless to say, I've had many adventures, but the one that sticks out as my most favorite goes a little something like this.....
Four of us, two guys and two girls, who had never traveled anywhere together before, hopped on a plane and went to San Jose, Costa Rica. No reservations. No plans. Just to get there and start having fun. One night in San Jose was all we needed before moving on up country. We took a bus to La Fortuna near the Volcano Arenal and by chance, met a local named Hugo. Hugo offered to be our guide for the day for a small charge, and since we had no car, no plans, and no idea what to do next, we eagerly agreed.
Let's just say Hugo hooked us up real nice. Now, I was only 24 at the time--still an unplucked chicken in the travel world--so I was wide-eyed and loving every minute. I'd always dreamed of visiting Costa Rica. It did not disappoint. That day, we rode horseback through the lush tropical forest to the valley of a gorgeous waterfall. It took us an hour to hike down to it, but well worth it, as we dipped in the pristine pool and refreshed our tired limbs.
After hiking back up the mountainside, we re-mounted our horses and headed back. It began to rain. A good, strong rain. No lightening. Just a hearty rainstorm. Mind you, it was just us in the forest and nothing else but the wildlife. No convenient stores or anything like that. We found shelter in an old shed, where we sat on our horses and waited out the heavy rainfall. It was beautiful watching the swirling gray skies and the rain blowing. We were all giddy.
Once it let up, we rode the remainder of the way back in the drizzle. It was terribly romantic, though no romantic notions were happening between any of the friends. It was romance between man and nature, alone in the elements and soaking it all in. We were in need of a good meal after all that hiking and riding, so Hugo set us up with a meal at the Tabacon resort nearby, and we were in for a treat.
If you've never heard of Tabacon (like I hadn't at the time) let me just tell you, it is amazing. It's acres of verdant emerald vegetation grown up over hot springs at the base of the Volcano Arenal. You move along the pathway of green arcades and dip into the natural springs. One spring will cascade over into the next and keep going. Oh. My. Gosh. It was heaven.
Now add in the bubbling volcano in the distance, with neon pink lava flowing down in the night; More stars than you've ever seen in your life twinkling overhead--even the purplish galaxy dust was visible. All while you rest your limbs in the hot springs, maybe rinse your hair in the waterfalls, let the warm water transfix you into a state of total relaxation. The swim up bar at the far end of the springs was nice too... nothing like a fruity cocktail to cap off the experience. Drink while lying on the chaise lounge chair, listening to the roaring falls while watching the lava trickle down the side of the volcano. I didn't even need a drink. I was intoxicated on life.
This whole day was an adventure. But I think it was so memorable because it was all natural. I'm your quintessential granola girl (hippie at heart) and back then at age 24, this had to be the best day of my entire life. I've had many adventures since then, most wonderful in their own way, but this one just stands out for me. Just two months ago I took my husband to Tabacon to share it with him (his first time to CR). He was spellbound for sure. And it was wonderful being there again, although not quite the same as when I went back in 98. It will always be one of my fave adventures.
You can enter Beth Revis' Adventure Contest right here, just click on her name for the link. And be sure to check out her new book Across the Universe... you can read about it on her blog.
Now, to leave you with something totally funny. I ripped this off N.R. Williams' blog. Seriously, I almost spit coffee out my nose I laughed so hard.