Tuesday, December 18, 2012
It was a spiritual homecoming; the mountain and forest filled my heart and my mind with peace. I awakened to the buzz of a hummingbird in the flowering tree just a few meters from my feet, and the day just got better from there. The grind of the ride to Arenal, a 24 km ride mostly uphill, was offset by purple blossoms along the road with hummingbirds flitting to them.
At the park, the trail varied in altitude, changing between dense rain forest, more arid mid-level forest, and the amazing hardscrabble colonizers of the recent lava flows. I alternated between taking scores of photos and just being.
As the late afternoon sun splashed on the mountain's flank it was time to ride home - but not without one parting gift from Arenal. At Tabicon hot spring I lounged in the churning hot mineral water and rejuvenated muscles tired from biking and hiking. (Hint: the well marked Tabicon hot spring resort charges US$60 for admittance to the same warm water which can be enjoyed for free by walking down the unmarked path to the north of the highway bridge!)