Packed to the Brim Adventure Day - The Morning
Trip Start May 07, 2010
18Trip End May 16, 2010
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Where I stayed
Hotel Las Colinas Boutique
Details of our adventures started off with a kayak ride down the Rio Penas Blancas. Our guide, Pedro, and driver Giovanni picked us up at the hotel lobby at 7AM. Inside the Canoa Adventures shuttle van were our tour buddies, Freddie and Stephan
Pedro, with his experience of the area and his familiarity of the local wild life often pointed out things that one would otherwise not see or simply ignore. Recall that to survive in this environment, most animals have developed effective camouflage... unless of course, the animal intentionally advertises its presence which usually means they possess a poisonous defense systems (i.e., dart frogs, etc.).
Freddie and Stephan were locals (Ticos). Freddie working in La Fortuna as part of its urban development, and Stephan being involved in the IT field. These guys gave us some intimate, local info regarding La Fortuna (recommended restaurants and bars), and provided an additional splash of color on our trip. At first, Freddie and Stephan had some trouble navigating their inflatable kayak often spinning in circles as they drifted down the river. At the end, however, they pretty much had a smooth system in place.
As for me and Rowena? Look at the pictures and see for yourselves
At the time we navigated this river, it was towards the end of the dry season and transitioning into the wet or green season. Hence, the river itself was rather shallow. The banks of the river, 25 meters on each side is considered government property; outside of that range is private property mostly owned by farmers. For the most part, the banks are well preserved though there are parts where erosion has taken a hold. In those areas, Pedro and a team of people have participated in a program to plant trees to preserve the banks.
At about 11AM, we had completed our journey down the river and had sculpted, sweet fruit waiting for us, courtesy of our driver, Giovanni. Having filled up, we stopped by a restaurant known for "caring" for wild iguanas. The restaurant provided them fruit (their normal diet being a combination of fruit and greens) and they leisurely hung around the establishment. One friendly guy actually approached us, so we started petting the guy. Apprehensive at first, Rowena did eventually touch the iguana. Those spikes on its head are actually soft believe it or not.
When we got back to La Fortuna, Rowena and I decided to check out La Choza De Laurel. This restaurant had been recommended by Freddie and served typical Costa Rican food. We walked back to the hotel at about 3PM and waiting for us at the lobby was our next shuttle to take us to our Volcan Arenal late afternoon hike. Non-stop action for sure.