Hola from Santo Domingo de Heredia. We’re chillaxin at a fancy pants hotel (the one the Costa Rican futbol team stays at, apparently) and then tomorrow we head to La Selva! Supposedly this is the one site with snakes so I’m hoping that the next 4 days go by quickly….haha.

Today was the final day of our independent travel… despite the pictures above (which are all Cabo Blanco: Sunset, Plumeria, friends jumping kind of), we didn’t go to the beach. We headed to Volcan Arenal and relaxed. It was glorious. I got a facial, lots of jugo de cas (yummy fruit in the guava family) and free wifi. We didn’t actually get to the volcano…or the hot springs… but we did make it to Burger King. 🙂

I wasn’t expecting much of a cultural revelation during independent travel seeing as how I spent 4 weeks living and traveling independently, but these past couple of days I have just seen so many unwarranted acts of kindness on behalf of random Costa Ricans. I know that making cultural generalizations and stereotypes is frowned upon but I’m going to make a generalization now: Costa Ricans are the nicest people in the world.

It started with our bus driver who drove us from San Ramon to Arenal. He was sweet and conversational the whole way there and then we we got there he went with us to the front desk to make sure our reservation was set before he left.

Unfortunately one of our girls scratched her cornea (ouch!) and had to have emergency medical care. The people at the hotel were AWESOME. They called the doctor for us and after she left to go to San Jose, they were so sweet and kept asking me if she was okay. They were such a great resource and provided us with so much help…. (sidenote: friend is fine. She has a sweet eye patch and will be joining us a day or two late in La Selva just to make sure there is no infection.)

After the cornea adventure, we went to La Fortuna just to wander around and then we went to Burger King. After we ate we asked the lady who worked there where we could get a taxi and she called one for us!

These are just a few examples, but inbetween I had so many little conversations with just genuinely nice people…the majority of them Ticos. Southern hospitality doesn’t have anything on the pura vida lifestyle of Costa Rica.

And here’s a volcano picture for good measure.
I only got like 10…it was significantly cloudy. This morning we couldn’t even see it because of all the clouds…

Pretty impressive, huh?
All the taxi drivers we met, I asked them two question:
Are you from La Fortuna? and Are you scared of the Volcano?
surprisingly, none of the ones from there fear it.
Just two days of watching it smoke scares me plenty.

1 more week til home.
I’ll be sad to leave, but I’m ready to see people I love.

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