One of my favorite parts of the trip was going up to see Arenal Volcano. Part of it was the beauty of the setting and the charm of our tour guide. However a large part of it was the satisfaction I felt when we got to the viewing area. (As you can see from the picture).
If you've visited my other blog, Miscellany Shortcuts, (click the link for a review of some of the things I'm doing now to try and get healthy) you'll notice that once upon a time I mentioned trying to get into shape. Well, the husband and I did really well for a while. I thought it was going to be more than my usual obsessive, short-lived phases that I go through now and again. And I think it would have been if this summer hadn't been so crazy. We both fell off the wagon, and I pretty much reveled in it (as you can tell by the recipes on my other blog).
I think one of the reasons that I'm smiling in all the pictures on top of the volcano (instead of the inner grimace I felt) is because I was so proud that I made it. The beginning of the hike was deceptively easy:
|The hubby on the trek through the jungle|
|This is part of what we had to cross to get to the top|
A field of old lava flow (which while taking geology class, I just pictured as a frozen stream, but in reality is really jagged rocks) was the terrain to really reach the beautiful views. I was nervous, and I think my face showed that. But I kept trying and only stumbled once or twice.
While I have a firm belief in God, I'm not nearly as religious as I once was. But looking back, the experience makes me think of Matthew 7:14 "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
The path we took was hard, and I wasn't sure I would make it, but my stubbornness made me refuse to quit. But once at the top, the view was magnificent. If I had been alone, I probably would have teared up. Nature has a way of catching my breath and heart in odd moments (perhaps I read too much Walt Whitman and Wordsworth as an impressionable teenager). Here's a few of my favorite pictures of the view. Perhaps they can translate some of the beauty of the experience.
And just because I don't like to be too serious for too long, the 2012 angle: