Saturday, March 14, 2009

Climbing Volcanos


A few years ago, I decided to celebrate my birthday by pushing myself (rather violently) out of my comfort zone. I travel solo all the time but I don't enjoy adventure travel by myself. What if I get hurt? What if I get killed and nobody's there to report it? I swept past these fears and headed to Costa Rica, where I zip-lined through the rain forest and climbed Central America's most active volcano, Arenal.


From a distance, I could see lava spurting. The signs warning of the danger and entering at your own risk, got bigger and bigger as I marched closer to the volcano. It was raining and the rocks were slippery. My binoculars kept fogging up but it didn't obscure the glory of Arenal. I climbed close enough to stare at the ash creeping down crevices. Arenal rises about 1633 meters above sea level. It was like gazing at Mt. Olympus.


Afterwards, I visited the hot springs at the foot of Arenal, in Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. It's one of those tourist-filled, five-star hotels that I usually avoid but I wanted to float in the hot springs. Immersing myself in the water felt like being embraced by a liquid sun. It was thick and hot and wonderful. They served a four-course meal at Tabacon that I don't remember because about three hours later, I was sick from a parasite. I was throwing up in my hotel, on the plane and at home. It lasted for weeks. It's the only time I've ever gotten that sick on a trip so of course, I'll never forget it or Arenal. Four years later, I still haven't wiped the mud and lava from the sneakers I wore to climb the volcano. When I'm in strength-training class, crumbling from the ridiculous torture my instructor dreams up, I like to look down at my shoes and remember the strength I showed when I climbed that volcano.

16 comments:

Ebony Intuition said...

Wow your good, I would have been so scared.

Wendy said...

Congrats on your new home. Climbing a Volcano is a major workout. I stayed in town while in Antigua, Guatemala while my husband went for a climb. My excuse was needing to photograph Antigua one more day :^)

Fly Girl said...

Ebony, Wendy, it really wasn't as scary as it sounds! Thanks for dropping by.

Gennaro said...

Looks like fun. Arenal is beautiful if you catch it on a clear day. We saw lots of spider monkeys on the walk to it. At night, there was some lava from that was visible too.

Catherine said...

Love the new look of the blog...plus great photos of Arenal..it is a place I would really like to visit soon...and yes like you I will push myself to do the hike...

Serena said...

I have always wanted to climb an active volcano and I'll be doing just that toward the end of the year. I'm going around South East Asia and so when I plonk myself down in Bali, that's one of the first things I'm going to do - amazing pictures!

Fly Girl said...

Gennaro, Spider monkeys! That's one sight that I missed.

Catherine, thanks, if I did it, you can too!

Serena, thanks for visiting, I'm sure scaling a Balinese volcano will be amazing!

kristine said...

First, great new blog, congrats, it looks cool.. second, happy birthday! And third, this loos amazing, and makes me want to visit CR while I am in the region!!

Fly Girl said...

Thanks Kristine, my birthday was actually in December, I took this trip 4 years ago. You should definitely check out CR while you're in Belize!

Black Women in Europe said...

I've hiked in the rainforest in Hawaii it was amazing. Love your volcano photos.

Oh, I spoke at BlogHer last year, where you there? I think you'll love it.

Fly Girl said...

Thanks for visiting Adrianne! I wasn't there last year but I think I'll love speaking at Blogher too.

Yvonne said...

Now that's what I call living!! I love your sense of adventure and ability to write in a way that I felt like I was there too. Your photo's are beautiful

Fly Girl said...

Thanks so much Yvonne!

Lynne said...

I'm loving the new look and the new adventures!! wow!!

Fly Girl said...

Thanks Lynne! I love you life's escapades too.

lynne Jordan said...

And I called you adventuress because you rode an all terrain vehicle??? Obviousl, I hadn't read this post yet!!!

The photos are gorgeous. Girl, makes me wanna get in shape!! But that's another story!!

Sorry about the sickness part.

What is your next adventure?