Tag Archives: Family

Cynthia: It’s crazy to me that I am standing in front of a volcano that is erupting…..

I know Costa Rica has most people coming to enjoy the beautiful beaches, and they are really really beautiful. But, almost every backpacker I talked to has told me that La Fortuna and the surrounding area has been their favorite or at least the funnest spot.

I completely agree.

Hikes, Jungle Tours, Canopy tours, Hot Springs, White-Water Rafting and so many more activities that you can do in that town. I loved it.

Speaking of walking the Jungle, yesterday I was walking in a national park with my sister and this weird branch rubbed up against me. Well, it seems like this branch BURNED my skin. It kinda looked like I was handling something too hot and it fell on my arm. When I went into the ocean, it stung like 10 bees were fighting over one little area on my skin. Lots of cussing occurred.

Jungles are funny…..and scary.

So I have been white water rafting before. I even did Class IV rapids in freezing water. So, I figured that doing a three hour tour of Class III and IV rapids in Costa Rica with my sister would be no biggie. Piece of cake. La di da.

I. Was. Wrong.

Where to start? Cynthia’s mind is elsewhere recently, so I have been working extra (and spending extra) hard at trying to get her mind of things. I figured traumatizing Cynthia by putting her on a small boat with huge ass rapids coming at you would do the trick. Little did I know that I would be the one who ended up being traumatized. Like I said, I have done this before so I thought I was set. Nope. Last time you would do one huge rapid, then have a little break. Then another one would come up, then you would have another little break.

Not in the Rica of Costa.

It was rapid after rapid, non stop pure adrenaline for three straight hours. THREE. Im surprised I am able to write with my hands at the moment since tomorrow I am sure they will be incapacitated. Apparently the day before, out of seven boats, five had flipped over on a certain rapid.

Long story short. I was thrown off the raft on a Class III rapid. I don’t exactly know what happened, but I know that we hit a rock and as soon as I hit the water, in less than two seconds I had already swallowed like half a gallon. Also, those rivers all filled with huge ass rocks that hit your body all over the place as if you were some punching bag. It hurt; a lot, but not at the moment since your adrenaline kicks in. I thought everyone in the boat had fallen in, so I was literally looking around for Cynthia while rocks were hitting my back, legs and arms. In case you fall off, you are supposed to lean back, put your legs up and let yourself float down the stream. But those rapids almost fight against you when you try to do that.

Cuts and bruises all over my body. I also thought I had smashed my finger to pieces. Just bruised though.

Turns out that Cynthia did not fall in. She was actually the only one to stay in the boat while the rest of us were massacred by the Toro river. Ironic, how the girl that was the most terrified during the whole thing, was the only one not to fall off. She was definitely scared though because she saw how white my face had gotten and apparently I “looked like I had died”.

That was one hour in.

Only two more to go after that little accident.

Also, about 5 minutes into the trip, Cynthia’s paddle got tangled in a vine and was lost. Hilarious.

No words or pictures could explain how amazingly beautiful it was white water rafting down this river in Costa Rica. I suggest you watch Jurassic Park again, and you will get some clue. The rainforest, Waterfalls, river; everything was beyond incredibly beautiful. I mean, you are paddling down this river and you look up at the cliffs and see huge waterfalls coming down from the top of the rainforest. It was so breathtaking that I am going to use breathtaking at least three times in this sentence……breathtaking.

Tomorrow? Bruised and battered 5 hour ride to Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.

Our view from the hostel.

Getting to Costa Rica was definitely a bitch and a half. Here is how it went. We drove three hours to Phoenix and got there early, so we had to wait two hours at the airport before we left to Los Angeles. Once we got to Los Angeles we had to go through the hell and lines that is LAX to get to the international terminal. The layover wait there was about three hours. Our flight finally left to Costa Rica at 1:30 in the morning, but not before stopping in Guatemala first.

When we finally got to San Jose, we learned that our shuttle driver was in a car accident, so his friend and fellow shuttle driver was awesome enough to offer to take us to La Fortuna. Which was three hours away, but this guy got there in two.

If you have ever been on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, that is EXACTLY how this car ride felt.

Even though we were exhausted and near collapse, we signed up for a Jungle hike, Volcano tour and hot spring visit.

It was incredible. You can actually see lava come down.

Also, our hostel is incredibly nice except for the fact that I am sharing an 8-bedroom dorm with 7 girls.

Girls are dirty.


My little sister has graduated from High School. What else can be said?

I am. So Old. BUT I didn’t cry. IN YOUR FACE EMOTION!

Anyway……super proud. And she knows it, so I am not going to go into a long paragraph on exactly how proud. Lets just say I almost cartwheeled toward her, but didn’t at the risk of murdering little children and old ladies in the field.

Also, glad the Gastelum family kept the huge banner tradition alive.

Another thing,  I am positive that the guys cried more than the girls this year. Weird. Click below for more pictures

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