La Virgen to La Fortuna- Majestic Volcano

Trip Start Apr 28, 2009
Trip End Mar 26, 2010

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Heredia,
Saturday, August 29, 2009

After the water white rafting fiasco (lol) we drove on to La Virgen. La Virgen was more of a stopping off point, on the way to La Fortuna and the volcano, then an actual destination. I guess it once was a thriving community, albeit small, that survived on the tourism the river brought into town. Unfortunately they had a small earthquake in January and the river has since been filled with sand, leaving the town feeling a little abandoned and desolate. We stayed at a hostel that once was a thriving social meeting place that has definitely felt some pains due to recent events. All the river tours no longer operated and tourism had grinded to a halt. It was a little dreary and sad so we just stayed one night, got some sleep, did some laundry and hit the road again.

Refreshed from our night's sleep we drove through the hills taking in the farms and scenery. Once we arrived in La Fortuna we walked around town and did a little grocery shopping. We decided we should start looking for a place to camp for the night and I was glad I had a few options already scoped out. We diligently went from place to place looking for the ideal spot. Three hours later we were still looking! First we tried to locate a place on the map that wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Second we tried two places that said they had camping but you could not drive to the camping spot. Lastly we drove to a spot directly across from the Volcano National Park Entrance. It wasn’t the most ideal spot but we were pretty tired at that point and just wanted to stop to eat lunch. Traveling this way can be fun and excited, constantly changing, and you never know what to expect. Sometimes you find the perfect spot, sometimes you can’t find anything, and other times a little bit of searching reveals heaven. It was a little frustrating that we had to have one of those rough days while Devin’s Mom was here but on the same hand she got to experience the real deal. Of course Bev is wonderful and very easy going so I don’t think she held it against us too much!

There were three benefits to staying at this not-so-great camping spot. At night, once it got pitch black, we were able to walk over to a perfect viewing spot for the volcano. We could see, in short intervals, red hot lava rocks rolling down the side of the volcano. There wasn’t a lot but it was definitely interesting. Also, tour busses where stopping here to view the sight and we were able to go on our own… one of the perks of having your own car. The other benefit to the campsite was the amazing eruption sound the volcano made, that we heard all night long. It was a deep grumbling that was actually a little scary and very exciting. Lastly, we were directly across from the Volcano National Park so the next morning we woke up early and heading into the park for a nice walk around the base. We walked the few kilometers through the jungle and were awarded with great views of the majestic volcano. The biggest downfall was the bugs and the bathrooms. Poor Bev was eaten alive out there. It was very muddy and the bugs where very plentiful and I’m sorry to say Bev got the worst of it.

That afternoon we headed out to Rancho Margot, a self-sustainable organic farm I had read about. They allowed us to camp on their beautiful grounds, and after enjoying a few of their organic pizza’s we set up our home for the night. If you have a chance, and a little extra time, you should go online and check this ranch out. It’s really amazing what they have created. There are no wires coming into the ranch, the produce all their own power through hydro turbines, grow their own organic produce, fish from the river, produce there own hand soap, manufacturer all the furniture and much, much more. It is really fascinating; they really have it figured out.

After a peaceful night’s sleep, with no Volcano going off to wake me, I woke up at 5:30 AM joined the sunrise meditation and took one of their yoga classes. Their yoga center was on a covered platform over the river, peaceful and serene. As the jungle started to wake-up, chirping and fluttering to life, I had to remind myself that the sounds were real and not from a CD! Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure my life is real…

Today we head back to the beach, on the West coast this time, to layout and take in some more sun!
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