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a month+ & a NEW YEAR (ARENAL)

I think if I ever need to pick one place to live for the rest of my life, it would either be the Arenal area or Monteverde. This is one of the many reasons I chose Arenal to spend the last days of the year and the beginning of 2022. I needed a place to chill, be far from the crowds, be with friends, reflect on the old year and start the new.

After a little moochdocking in San José I headed up to Arenal Volcano, there’s just something about this area, the roads surrounding the lake and the view of that cone-shaped volcano, shifting as you drive, from green lush forest to harsh ash gray rocky slopes. There’s no highway, just mountain roads, small towns and winding roads that take you into the town of La Fortuna. The weather, a little eclectic, between cloud forest, drizzles, rainbows and blue skies – shifting say, every 10 minutes?

We wanted to pick a spot away from people, and by “we” I mean me and my friends. With dogs and so many people desperate to leave town for the new year’s weekend, we decided to head out to one of my secret spots in the area of Castillo in Arenal. A private property I have rented before where we have a bathroom all to ourselves, hot water (yes!) and a majestic view of the volcano and the lake.

I spent a couple of nights there on my own, I really do appreciate the balance of camping solo and meeting up with friends. I get to share “camp” days with people that are important to me but at the same time I have my alone time to read, catch up with my blogging, work and those little moments to myself that have become so important for my mental health.

New Year’s Eve was fun, very characteristic of the area, it literally rained on and off by the minute. Meaning, it would rain for 2 minutes then stop for 15 to 20, then rain again for 5 minutes then stop – and this pretty much went on for the rest of the night. So we snuggled up under our awnings, had a Netflix night and rang the New Year under the stars with hugs and champagne.

And then it’s back to alone time… planning to stay here in the area for some days. After 40 years of living in Costa Rica I never get tired of volcano views, I think like most things in life we all take things for granted. Being able to spend my next work week chilling and living next to one of the most stunning cone-shaped volcanos in the world makes me so incredibly blessed. And here’s where I’ll be, starting a new year with new plans, new dreams and new hopes.

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