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After getting my first passport in 2006 and traveling to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania my life changed. I began the process of getting rid of all my possessions and traveling the world. Traveling to over 110 countries and all 7 continents, hostels have been my home. This "new life" has taught me what is important and it was NOT accumulating money or possessions. Traveling is the best education. I hope my blog will encourage others to travel. My World Tattoo was a way for me to express my PASSION FOR TRAVEL.

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COSTA RICA, La Fortuna, Baldi Hot Springs, Arenal Volcano

Friday June 7th

I went on a lava flow tour at 8pm. It was raining and the guide said that was the best time to see the lava flow because the rain dissipates the clouds. I could not believe the volcano when we got there. We were 1.5 to 2 miles away from the volcans but the lava was flowing down it in 5 separate rivers of lava. It was amazing. The pictures arent great because of the darkness. I was the only one of the 10 tourists who even got a picture of any sort that showed the lava flow.

COSTA RICA, Monteverde Butterfly Garden

If you look closely at the owl butterfly you will notice when it is upright its wing looks like a snake. The guide said that the wing only recently adapted to looking like a snake when the bird predators became more aware that it was not actually an owl.

Thursday June 6th

COSTA RICA, Canopy Zipline Tour

Thursday June 5th

The zipline tour lasted about 2 hrs and that is the most fun that I have had since I entered Costa Rica. That alone is reason enough to come here. I am not sure how high we were sometimes but a couple of times it had to be 200 ft. above the ground . It is hard to calculate because you are going tree to tree but when you go over the valley below who knows. Hopefully the pictures will give some idea. It wasn´t scary, just exciting. You control the brakes by your hand but if you slow down too much it is a long way to pull yourself to the other end. Sometimes they tell you no braking all the way to the end.

After the canopy and suspension bridge tour I went to the Butterfly Garden which is billed as the 3rd largest in the world.

COSTA RICA, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Wednesday June 4, 2008

I just got back from hiking in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. I did not get there until 12:00 and was scared that it would start raining because it usually does every afternoon here. But the sun was shining and the weather was great. The trails are well paved and most of the time you are just immersed in the jungle. There was one place where you could see out over the mountains and valleys in the surrounding areas which was spectacular. Will upload pictures when the internet is faster. The entire hike only lasted about 2 hrs. I finished just in time to catch the 2pm ¨chicken¨bus from the Reserve to Santa Elena which is only about 3 miles but very steep and bad. A ¨chicken¨ bus is former U.S school bus which is now being used to transport people in Central and South America. Nice to know that I am riding on a bus that is no longer considered safe in the U.S. lol Unfortunately for us the bus had a flat just 3 minutes into our trip and 16 people climbed into a minivan. I was the last one to get in and secured my seat on the floor, which is not a good thing on a bumpy road.

Tomorrow at 8 am I go on the canopy zip line tour. Will update hopefully after the tour.

Note: I rode 4 local buses on Monday and I was the only ¨gringo¨on the bus. I see lots of minivans with tourists go by but I thought at least some backpackers would be riding the local buses. I guess that Costa Rica has gotten so touristy that people come prepared to spend $40 a person to ride in the air conditioned minivan without having to stop every 5 minutes. Personally , I enjoy paying $2, stopping every 5 minutes (maybe not so much) and seeing all the locals interact. To me that is as much a part of the experience as seeing the beach or rainforest or volcanoes.