A wet day in La Fortuna

Trip Start Dec 17, 2007
Trip End Dec 27, 2007

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hello Everyone,

     On Day 6 of our journey, we made it to the city of La Fortuna, right adjacent to the infamous Volcano Arenal. Of the 3 most active volcanos in the world, this one ranks number three after Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii and Mt. Etna in Italy. The ride on the bus from San Jose was a interesting one. First, instead of paying at the bus station, we paid on board. Second, we stopped a short while and picked up a hoard of locals who are heading home to San Carlos for the weekend and the bus driver managed to fit another 20 plus people, standing room only. There was a young man who also boarded the bus selling things from cold sodas to plantin chips then he walked out.
     Once we arrived at La Fortuna, we met a bunch of venders trying to sell us hotel rooms and tours while we were retreiving our luggages. From what I read in the tour book, there are lots of scams in La Fortuna, so we basically ignored them. My dad and I walked around for the next 20 minutes looking for this Cabina Grijalba that I reserved but couldnīt find it. Since I didnīt pay any deposit, we just go ahead and checked into the closest hotel near the tour agency, hotel Arenal Jireh. As it turned out, this is probably the best decision the we made. Since the hotel is virtually empty, the hotel clerk gave us a room with balcony view of Volcano Arenal. Also breakfast is included, great deal !!!  After we settled into our room, we went to the tour agency to start our Volcano Arenal hike. As it turns out, we just hike near the volcano area without really climbing the volcano. Unfortunately, the entire afternoon was raining hard, we didnīt get to see too much of the volcano. The hike was in the rainforest. It would have been lots of fun and wild life if it wasnīt raining cats and dogs. My dad and I forgot to bring the rain gear so we were pretty soaked by the end of the hike. My mosquito net/hat is the only thing keeping me dry. The trail was also quite muddy and our shoes were covered with mud by the time we finished the hike. Next our tour guide took us to a cross bridge area to see the volcano, apparently only at night time the light of lava flowing from the volcano is most visible. But the thick cloudsand fog basically prevented us from seeing anything.
      Anyways, despite the rain, our second half of the trip to Baldi Hot Springs was well worth it. The resort heats the water by the volcanic heat and placed them in various pools complete with massage, whirlpool,waterfall and sauna. The pools come in different temperature from 100F to 110F. The hot pool was like boiling water. We stayed in the warm pools most of the time. Just as the sunsets, the rain comes in, and it is a mystical experience to be in the pool with waterfall and raining at the same time. My dad really like the waterfall and massage pool, which really helped him relax his back muscles. We ended up spending about 3 hours at the hot springs it was so relaxing and it puts us straight to sleep this night.
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