Monday, April 21, 2014

La Semana Santa / Spring Break


This past week was La Semana Santa, which is Holy week. Everyone in Costa Rica and much of Latin America have the entire week leading up to Easter off, including me! So, thank you Jesus, for giving me a week off of Spanish class. It could have not come at a better time.

My plans for La Semana Santa changed more times than I could count, we would plan something and something else would come up or all the hostels would already be booked, or we would find out there are only expensive hotels where we wanted to go. But in the end, we ended up having a great spring break.

The first four days Harley and I went to Manuel Antonio, where we first visited at the beginning of our study aboard experience. I was so amazingly beautiful we just had to go again. We spent an entire day doing nothing but lying on the beach and swimming, enjoying the rare chance to relax.

The next day we went to Manuel Antonio National Park. The day was filled with monkeys, raccoons trying to steal our food, sloths hanging out in the trees above us, and one of the nicest beaches in Costa Rica. I even managed to avoid getting a sun burn, which is a miracle with this creamy skin tone.

After the national park I was able to cross yet another thing off of my Bucket List: Parasailing. We booked the sunset tour and after some brief instructions we were high in the air dangling over the ocean with the sunset surrounding us. It was breath taking and completely worth the cost. I would do it again in a heartbeat.



The second half of spring break or La Semana Santa was spent in Nicaragua where I had some unfinished business. The first time I went to Nicaragua, I loved it.

We spent our time in León at the Bigfoot Hostel. The first day was just to relax and recuperate after the ever so long drive to Nicaragua from San Jose. We headed to the beach house that our hostel owns and swam all day. It was incredibly hot so the swimming was the perfect way to spend our time.


The next day had much more excitement in store. I went volcano boarding! It was the sole reason why I wanted to return to Nicaragua. After the large earthquake in Managua, the national park where the volcano is, had to close for a couple days because they feared it may erupt. Luckily, the park opened the day before we booked our boarding tour.


Before we could board down the very active volcano, we had to hike up it. The sun beat down on us and the strong winds pushed everyone around but we all made it to the top and were ready to ride down! Unexpectedly, there were a ton of bees at the top of the volcano and before I knew it, I was stung in the throat. The sting hurt so much that all my anxiety about boarding down a volcano flew away and I got to the front of the line.



We were told that we could control our speed and I fully intended to go a medium speed but without my consent I ended up flying down the volcano and before long I was flying in the air, falling. I remember getting up after rolling a couple times thinking “Okay, I fell once, I’ll just go a little slower this time and I’ll be able to avoid another accident.” But as fate had it, I ended up picking my speed up almost instantly and found myself once again crashing, but this time it was a little uglier. I rolled head over foot five or six times before I could force my body out of that position and slow down to a stop. I searched for my board and it was a good couple yards above me. All I was thinking was “I fell all that way?”


Once I managed to get back on my board my I was determined not to fall again, and I didn’t! I made it to the bottom of the volcano safe and sound, with only a couple bruises and scrapes. Not too shabby!

As I coughed the lava rock out of my throat I stared up at the volcano that I just rode down and enjoyed the view of my fellow volcano boarders biting it. It was defiantly a day I will never forget.

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