The Second Leg
Trip Start May 07, 2010
18Trip End May 16, 2010
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As you can see from the photos, we had awoke to a rather wet morning which only added to my enthusiasm. No matter... I patiently drove the winding road that wrapped around Lake Arenal on one-side and lush mountains on the other. Every few kilometers, I would stop someone at the side of the road, or stop at an establishment to ask for directions
Travel Tip: If you plan to drive here, you better brush up on your Spanish. Asking and more importantly following directions can be quite difficult unless you know a little bit of Spanish. Growing up in Los Angeles, I had enough in my back pocket to squeak by.
As we got closer to Santa Elena, the roads ceased to be paved, being substituted with dirt and gravel. Double yay! I kicked on the 4x4 mode and we chattered our teeth for another 1.5 hours on dirt. The weather did start to clear at this point and sooner than expected, we hobbled into Santa Elena at 1:30PM. As old and squeaky as the Battle Tank was, she delivered in spades!
Santa Elena is situated 20 minutes from the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, another top destination for Costa Rica. Climate here is much wetter than La Fortuna with birds performing more of the pollination as opposed to insects. Thus, one would expect more flowers. The town of Santa Elena is quite a bit smaller than La Fortuna with a downtown perimeter of about 10km
Having a brief look at the guidebook we checked out several hotels/hostels and eventually settled on Los Pension Santa Elena or Pension for short. Rowena felt that we were straying away from our budget roots just having paid US$60/night at the last hotel in La Fortuna so she had suggested we downgrade a bit. Rooms at the Pension were smaller and simpler, but at $30/night, it wasn't much of a downgrade and was a great bargain.
We got ourselves settled in and went about checking out the tiny town. In about 30 minutes, we had seen the entire downtown. LOL. For lunch, we headed to the Tree House. We (or more like me) wolfed down a veggie pizza and a couple of beers. We took a little snooze at the hotel then headed out to dinner. On our way back, we ran into Greg.
Greg is from North Carolina and manages/plays in a Hawaiian band. He's had a colorful past, having lived all over the world (most notably in the Philippines playing for the military, Hawaii for 12 years, traveled to Thailand, Burma, and other locations I fail to recall)
Greg: To celebrate this moment in time, I cracked opened a can of beer and downed it in your honor buddy whilst typing this blog entry!
More about Greg: http://www.hulacarolina.com