Upon waking up in the morning, we grabbed a quick breakfast, and headed back to the slopes. The sights were incredible, and the skiing was great. I was able to fare much better off than yesterday, but still managed to fall a few times.
By the end of the day, my uncles told me that there was one slope left for us to ski down, in order to get back to the base of the mountain. I noticed a caution sign exclaiming that only intermediate and advanced skiers should ski down this mountain, but they told me not to worry about that. With a great deal of anxiety, I skied down the mountain alongside them (falling plenty along the way), and when we made it to the bottom, they told me that I had just skied down a double-blue mountain (which was much harder than anything I had done in the past two days).
Having a newfound level of confidence (and thankful to have been back at the mountain-base), we relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon, and went back into town later that night. As you can see from the pictures below, it began snowing at nightfall, which of course, led to throwing around snowballs (something I don’t think I have ever said while living in Florida).
Upon waking up and eating breakfast, it was time for us to board the bus and officially begin our tour of Costa Rica. We drove around San Juan are got to see the city by bus, before continuing with our drive to Arenal. On the way, we stopped in Sarchi, which is known to be an artisan town, also known as a tourist trap for travelers eager to start spending their allotted souvenir money. Sarchi is home to traditional oxcarts of all different colors, which happens to be Costa Rica’s most famous type of craft since oxcarts have been used to transport coffee beans for centuries. And if you didn’t already know, Costa Rica is home to incredible coffee (which will be discussed in a later post).
We were given snacks, drinks, and fresh fruit before leaving, because the key to any tourist’s heart is to give them free food to get them in the mood to start spending. Once we left Sarchi, we continued on our way, but stopped again thirty minutes later in the city of Zarcero. The bus parked right outside Iglesia de San Rafael, a blue and pink church with various paintings of the stations of the cross. When you exit the church, you’ll find yourself in Parque Francisco Alvarado, which is a fun and beautiful park known for its shrubs that have been trimmed in the shapes of different animals and fun pathways to walk through. We had a little bit of free time to quickly have lunch, so we did so before boarding the bus again.
We made one more stop along to way to the hotel, and that was to a local Costa Rican school. While at the school, we got a chance to meet the students and watch them perform a cultural dance for us that they put together themselves. It was truly a unique opportunity that we all really enjoyed. We boarded the bus once more and finally continued on our trip straight through to our hotel in the district of La Fortuna in San Carlos alongside the Arenal Volcano. As you can see in the pictures below, we had an incredible view of the volcano from our hotel, and once we were finished taking pictures we went out into the city for a traditional Costa Rican dinner, thus concluding our first full day in Costa Rica.