Location: Polas National Park, Termales Del Bosque

Our penultimate full day in Costa Rica kicked off with breakfast that our host families made. We all met up at the central field where we have gathered together in the mornings, and sadly we said goodbye to our host parents, whom we won’t see this trip again. Our host families have been housing us, feeding us, and most importantly, doing our laundry for about a week.

After our goodbyes, German, the bus driver, and giver of many laughs took us for a one and half hour drive to the Polas National Park. At the park, we took a short walk up to the central building where a souvenir shop stood as well as a museum and coffee shop. At the souvenir shop we pondered purchasing thirty-eight dollar sloth stuffed animals, but eventually decided to just buy hats and other accessories. After our brief pit stop we hiked up the trail to what would have been a beautiful sight, but the fog conspired against us, and the overlook was simply a fence with an abyss of white on the other side.

After hiking back in dismay, we arrived back at the center where we purchased snacks at the coffee shop. We got back on the bus after we finished eating and we drove for about a half an hour until we came to an open soccer field in the countryside. At the field, we ate the final lunches that our host families would pack for us and we played Frisbee and soccer. We spent an hour just eating, playing, and relaxing on that field, but eventually, it was time for us to get on our way, so we got back in the bus and continued our journey through Costa Rica. During this next three-hour leg of the bus ride, we saw many different pretty views of waterfalls and valleys, and we all slept.

After the excruciatingly long ride, we arrived at the hotel, Termales Del Bosque, where we would be spending our night. This hotel sat on top of natural hot springs, so after we settled into our rooms, were disappointed that all the $28 massages were booked, and changed into our bathing suits we walked the short path down to the hot springs. We stayed in the hot springs for about two hours, resting and soaking in the sulfurous waters the whole time. After the hot springs, we retired to our rooms and rinsed ourselves down for dinner.

At dinner, we had a whole buffet to choose from, and all the food was hot and delicious, except for the cold food, which was cold and delicious. During dinner, we relocated tables several times to avoid the flies that circled the lights in the restaurant. After dinner, we had cheesecake and a forum. After the forum, we played cards on the patio in front of our rooms, where we were ambushed by a frog-bearing Martin. The day had involved lots of excitement and even more driving, but overall it was enjoyable and relaxing. We have made so many great memories during our Costa Rica volunteer trip and we are sad that it’s coming to an end.