Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio
Trip Start Sep 17, 2010
12Trip End Oct 03, 2010
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Where I stayed
The road turned out to be mostly rock, most of the way. It was like trying to drive on a river bottom and progress was agonizingly slow (it took another hour to get to the park), but I made it. As I was slowly jouncing my way along there was an old lady with a plastic bag of fruit, standing in the road at an intersection flagging me down
They have names. She wanted to go to San Miguel which, she said, was on the way to the park. I had no idea because these outposts don’t show up on any map I have. I had difficulty understanding her Spanish. That could have been because it’s harder to enunciate clearly when you have no teeth. Although I can’t remember the last time I picked up a hitchhiker I gave her a ride and dropped her off at the house she indicated.
When I arrived at the park the rain was still intermittent so I gambled on the chance for sunshine, paid the entry fee ($10 US – I still can’t get over the fact that the Costa Rican National Park System charges their entry fees in US dollars) and went for a hike that followed the Rio Celeste on the southeast flank of the volcano.
This is a relatively new park in the national park system and is famous for the color of the river Celeste. It really is that aquamarine color in the pictures. The color is created by the many minerals brought up by the volcano and dissolved in the water as it courses down the slopes of the volcano
Although I got rained on a lot, the sun did cooperate by coming out periodically so I could take some pictures. That blue of the water shows up a lot better when the sun’s on it. Although there was more to see, including geothermally active vents, hot springs, mudpots, etc., farther down the trail, it was late enough that I hiked back out so I could at least make it off the dirt road before dark.
I did make it out to a paved road before dark. By the time I got back to the Pan American Highway it was dark. Although this is the primary north-south artery in the country, it’s only a two-lane road. If there’s a problem in your lane you stop and wait. The people at the front of the line will work their way around the problem as they can and your turn will come. That happened twice on the way home tonight. The first time when I got to the source of the problem there was a trailer from an 18-wheeler parked in the northbound lane (no tractor to be seen) with a complete 18-wheeler (tractor and trailer) parked in front of it. I got around them and things went smoothly for about 5 kilometers when we came to another complete stop. We inched our way toward the front and when I got there I saw two 18-wheeler tractors (no trailers) stopped in the middle of the northbound lane. Who knows… it makes no sense to me, though I’m sure there’s a story.