Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 1: The Begining

Our first view of Costa Rica came from the window of our American Airlines Flight. From the air it was easy to see we were entering a foreign place. We looked down to see small, tin-roofed buildings that are way different than the buildings you would see in Kentucky. However, the terrain was absolutely breathtaking!

Touch Down! After leaving Bowling Green at 3am, we arrived in Alajuela at 12:15pm local time (1:15 BG time). All of us were anxious to get off the plane and figure out exactly what we signed ourselves up for.

All of us along for the journey. From L to R: Kassie Mitchell, Rachael Reinstedler, Allie Bogard, Laura Looper, Dylan Ruffra, Ryan Vennell, Jakob Bertram, Scott Vennell, and Ethan Mefford. We killed some time waiting while Dr. Ron Ramsing and Luke Bartlett (the WKU Faculty leaders) secured the vans from the rental company.

We travelled in these two vans throughout the entire experience. Halfway through our first trip, we stopped in this typical Costa Rican town for a pit stop. This town looks way different than a US town, with the smaller buildings and hundreds of power lines running right over the streets, just to name a few differences.

A beautiful Catholic Church in center of town. The church was by far the biggest and most impressive building in the town, which says a lot about the Costa Rican culture.

An impressive bridge we crossed while heading to La Fortuna. An interesting fact about most Costa Rican bridges. They are only one lane wide. Since it is cheaper to make a one-lane bridge than a two-lane bridge, most Costa Rican bridges are only one lane. Costa Rican drivers yield to traffic already on the bridge.

As we neared La Fortuna, the sun began to set. Here, the sun peaks around Volcan Arenal. This volcano dominates the surrounding area and I would estimate only 1/3 of the volcano is below the cloud line in this picture.

Arenal Backpakers Hostel. This is our home for the next two nights. All of us were excited for the hammocks and swimming pool. After checking in, we went and explored the town.

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