To go with the National Geographic morning.
After the amazing waterfall, we piled back into the rental SUV, and headed to La Fortuna. Buds tracked down a pizza place on the main street for us. It has been interesting to see holiday decorations all over in this tropical paradise, but the adults were a little disconcerted, and the children tickled to find a blow-up Frosty the Snowman at a store next to the pizza place. What concept do people have of snow here, let alone Frosty?!
From here we drove to Baldi Hot Springs–which John and Mary had recommended. You walk into what looks like the lobby of a fancy hotel, except it is outdoors. You plunk down a boatload of money, and the gal tells you there are a boatload of hot springs for you to plunk your butt in, in return for the money. Mom and I were both feeling a little apprehensive. How far down or up were we going to have to walk to enjoy these hot springs? As much as we were glad and grateful we had done the waterfall, we weren’t sure we wanted two such adventures in one day.
But, being the hearty adventurers we are, we dived right in. We walked up the path, rented a locker for stowing our stuff, and then headed up the hill to see what awaited. Well, it was as different from our morning as could be, but filled with a joy of a totally different type. We didn’t take any pictures here, but this website has a plethora that showcase the beauty of Baldi. If you click on the photo in the middle of the second row, the one with the Flintstones looking giant rock in the center, that is where we spent most of our afternoon. The thing I love about this picture is that the whole time we were there, it was overcast, so it was not until I saw this picture that I realized the volcano was JUST RIGHT THERE! Stupid volcanoes, always hiding.
Anyway, this was a place of physical luxury. We could have stayed here for days and days. There were really, really hot pools, or warm pools, or even cool ones, but they were all just beautiful.
By the time we finished here, the children were just about melting. When the Buster gets hungry, you have approx 2.7 minutes to get food, of his choosing, into his mouth, or he is done. I pulled into the first pizza/Italian place I saw, and we hustled inside for a meal in a restaraunt we had all to ourselves.
Then, as the children fell asleep in the back, we bagan the 2 1/2 hour drive back over the mountain and through the Cloud Forest back to San Jose. I didn’t mind driving in Costa Rica at all. It is actually my sort of driving. People are polite, but assertive. You pass when you get a chance, and you zoom-zoom whenever you have the chance. We frequently saw police cars, but never had any trouble.
But, this drive through the Cloud Forest. Good grief, what an appropriate name. It isn’t just that I was driving on twisty, mountain roads. It wasn’t just that they were only two lane roads. It wasn’t even that it was dark, and foggy…well, cloudy, I guess. It’s that the people walk right in the freakin’ road, even in the dark of night. Or bike in the road, or just stand on the side of the road visiting. Heck, we even had cows walking themselves home on the side of the road on the drive in the morning. Add to that, being within 2 miles from home, and having to make a left turn across the busiest road in the whole country, where there are no lights to indicate turn offs. I got to do my Dukes of Hazard impression that night.
Still and all, thanks to the GPS and my fantastic naviguesser husband, I’m so glad we rented a car. Public buses aren’t always willing to stop immediately when the youngest informs you she needs to poop.