By Ryan Felix
The day began early with the usual breakfast at the Tilajari Resort, consisting of rice, beans, potatoes, French toast, and an assortment of fruit. We boarded the bus around 8 A.M. and took off to go zip lining near the Arenal Volcano. Upon arriving, we hiked up to the main area and were quickly in our gear. A gondola took us up near the top of the mountain that we would soon be zip lining across. The view from the top was incredible. Looking down from the mountain we could see a huge lake which, using a hydroelectric dam, generates roughly 60 percent of the electricity in Costa Rica. We could also see the volcano, which was very steep, but the most shocking scenery for most of us was the view of the third zip line across a huge valley, over a thousand feet up in the air. Although most of us were very excited about the zip lining, there was an overlying feeling of nervousness and anxiety among the group, especially upon the viewing of this third zip line. Nevertheless, we all strapped up (everyone except Vince), and began our descent down the mountain on the zip lines. The first two were very short and helped us become accustomed to the technique of breaking when we arrived at the platform at the end of the line. Then, it was time to take on the third zip line. I was extremely excited to go and see the amazing view of the lake, the volcano, and the canopy of the rainforest below me while flying through the air. The journey across the valley was exhilarating to say the least. Flying through the air, getting whipped in the face with raindrops and getting to see such an amazing view was an unbelievable experience. We continued down a few more zip lines and eventually traveled down a zip line roughly a third of a mile long. When we all finished, we ate lunch at the main area again and then took off for La Fortuna Waterfall. Although it was not my first time zip lining, it was an amazing experience that I will never forget.
Looking Good Erush
By John McFarlin
After our adrenaline filled morning, it was time to head for our last adventure in the Costa Rican Rainforest. I, like many of my teammates, took advantage of the one hour bus ride by taking a quick nap. We eventually arrived at the foot of a trail that would lead to the La Fortuna Waterfall. It was a tricky hike as we descended countless stairs, but the pay off was well worth it. We were all amazed at the massive size of this fall and the power of the water. Everyone got in and took turns trying to swim towards the waterfall as it pushed us back, with Jack McCracken, Mark Dotseth, Craig Nitti and Dylan Seedman giving the most valiant attempts. There was also a cool river running down where I enjoyed trying to catch fish with Cameron Krumpe as Coach Paul Krumpe watched on with amusement at our numerous failures. We found the climb back up the stairs to be quite the workout after last night's game, but experiencing this natural wonder was awesome.
Paul Blanchette in front of La Fortuna Waterfall
Alex Lam and Bryce Bacic exploring the river
Vince Paldino and Peter Velazquez taking in the sights
After dinner it was time for a soccer tennis tournament on an indoor court at our hotel. As always, competition heated up right from the first game. As teams got eliminated, the crowd grew and the atmosphere became more of a factor. In the end, Mackenzie Kim, Sebastian De Rada, Cameron Krumpe and Craig Nitti were left standing as the championship team.