Costa Rica – Day 17

Posted by Aaron Watters - June 17, 2009 - Costa Rica - No Comments

This morning I awoke to Tup tapping me on the shoulder, after I picked my head up he said something like, “Good morning honey, look at the volcano, isn’t it romantic?” and well, it was…romantic. I then told him to leave me alone and went back to sleep.

Around 10:30 we all woke up and started getting our stuff together to get checked out of the hotel. The only item on the agenda for today (outside of getting home) was to drop off Tup somewhere near Montaverde. It was a very sad day for our group because it marked the last day of the Reign of Tup. The tentative plan was to drive halfway to Montaverde and leave Tup somewhere close to Montaverde so he wouldn’t have to pay $100 for a taxi. We also wanted to find some waterfalls somewhere within the area so that we could…uh…play in the waterfalls. We ended up leaving La Fortuna around 12:20 (we had to eat at Burger King) and started off on the long windy road around the Arenal Lake.

My main source of entertainment for the first hour and a half was watching Karl (French Canadian that snorts beer) stick the upper half of his body out the window because he was trying to catch leaves. I kept telling him that he’s going to come back in the van with 3 less fingers, but he wouldn’t listen. I also enjoyed watching him miss “Photo Opportunity” after “Photo Opportunity” because his head was stuck out the window. It also helped that he doesn’t have a strap for his camera, so everytime he took it out the window I was waited for a disaster.

We stopped at a fork in the road and had a group vote on whether to leave Tup off in this small town or to take him further and look for some waterfalls. Our vote was 6-5 in favor of going farther and looking for waterfalls. The only problem was, once we got back in the car we couldn’t find the main road again. We took a good 10-15 minutes driving around the small town and after about 4 or 5 back seat drivers had “helped” out our driver and navigator we eventually found a sign pointing in the right direction. It’s probably not wise, but I’m gonna expand on the situation anyway. Have you ever been in a car where you trust the driver, yet you are ALL lost? Everyone swears it was this way or that, but no one really knows? Do you know how awkward that is with 11 people in a 15 passenger van??? It’s not really possible for everyone to be right, when everyone’s direction is different. Anyway, we found it, and Mike was totally patient with everyone (I think)…baller status.

So it took us approximately 30 minutes to get to the first set of waterfalls (which was like 12 km), it took forever because not only were the roads insanely windy, but they were pure gravel as well. Again, my main source of entertainment was the French Canadian beer snorter. Fun stuff.

When we arrived at the waterfalls we quickly realized that they were going to be a lot more expensive than we were hoping to pay. It was here that the majority of the group became more skeptical and began talking about just dropping our beloved Tup off and driving back (The NBA Finals had NOTHING to do with this decision…). Sadly, we headed home without seeing any of the waterfalls, funny thing is, there were probably multiple areas with cheap waterfalls after this place, but we decided to go home anyway. Sorry Katie. So, the saddest part of our stay was at hand, we had to say goodbye to the coolest Asian in our group (you see that’s funny because he’s the only Asian in the group, thus making him the coolest yet also the least cool at the same time…get it?). In all seriousness Tup is definitely in my top 20 people I’ve ever met (I know 22 people). We will all miss the random statements and candid camera shots, I’ve said this a hundred times before, but Tup…you’re a stud. I’ll see you when you ride a horse down to Texas from Canada…ok? I did get down on one knee and proposed the idea that Tup should stay an extra two weeks, but he impolitely declined and called me something that rhymes with “day”.

So we left Tup at a restaurant and went our separate ways. Almost immediately everyone put on their iPods and listened to the saddest songs in honor of the beloved Tup. I put in the new Me Without You and the new Silverstein. Both albums have a lot of emotion in them and it was much appreciated.

Everyone was pretty quiet until we hit up McDonald’s again in Liberia. I do have to say this, over one weekend we ate 2x at McDonald’s and 2x at Burger King…is that sad or what??? I mean it could be because we have had our fill of local food for every meal for the last 2 weeks, but I felt really unhealthy this weekend. Maybe it’s because I was killing myself with grease. Dina, please don’t get mad at me for calling McDonald’s unhealthy, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.

We got home just in time for tip-off and watched the Lakers-Magic game, big mistake, I hate the Lakers. The trip was great, everyone had a good time, and I also found out that Tup made it safely to a hostel.

Some notable life lessons or interesting facts learned from the trip to Arenal:
1. Don’t put a wet swimsuit in a plastic bag for three days.
2. Don’t wear a swimsuit that has been growing fungi because it’s been in a plastic bag for three days.
3. OFF doesn’t completely cover up the smell of death.
4. Don’t make jokes when a tour guide points out where a town USED TO BE.
5. When hiking in a rain forest it’s a good idea to bring a pancho or umbrella…t-shirts don’t work as well.
6. Don’t eat fast food.
7. Don’t snort beer.
8. Don’t obliterate cool flowers in the middle of a preserved rain forest.
9. 130 Degree water is really really hot.
10. Tup is a good cuddler.

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