Horses, Boat and Automobiles

Trip Start Sep 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 04, 2006

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Whats new?

Well checked out La Fortuna which was a long 5 hour ride north of San Jose. Costa Rica is a beautiful place but to be honest its nothing new that I haven´t seen before. The only thing is that the country overall is more developed. Roads are about the same though. Made my way to La Fortuna and within 15 minutes of checking into Gringo Petes, nice friendly hostel, I was shuttled away off with a group of others for a hike around Volcan Arenal. The hike was nice, even if we did stop for a couple of minutes everytime we saw or heard another bird ¨now here is another white puffed chest bird, and here is the cousin of the parrot, and here is ....¨ heaven for some but this was not what I signed up for, besides after the 15th bird you´d think that you´d move on but ¨here again is the white puffed chest bird¨. Anyhow, as it got dark we made it to the lookout point, which was still not on the volcano as tourists have died in 2000 when their was a landslide, and unfortunately the clouds were in the way of our view and we had to tough it out for an hour. The clouds swayed back and forth as if winds hadn´t quite made up their minds. It was spectacular when we clouds gave us a peak, and it was not lava pouring out but red hot boulders, the size of a minivans or buses, shooting out of the crater and tumbling down the side. You could hear it too!

We retired to the hot springs for some rest and relaxation at Baldi. This place was luxurious, cascading pools, pool side bars, buffet restaraunt. Bling! Bling! I almost felt out of place if it wasn´t for the odd backpacker out of their element.

The next day I was determined to take a horseback tour from La Fortuna to the waterfalls which was roughly a 3 hour round trip. However the only problem was that after the phone call to make the reservation the guide hasn´t shown up yet and the owner of the ranch was nowhere to be found..... time to go with plan B. My new friends from the hostel and I decided to head off to the crocodile farm and local swimming whole to cool off and jump off some rocks. This place was pleasurably. Locals young and old were laying around the rocks and guys were swinging off a rope that was tied to the tree and falling into the water, roughly 7 metres, one by one. Even saw a grandpa do it, although hesitant, he still managed the task with ease and grace! The Crocodile farm was nice, alot of makeshift fences with crocodiles ranging from a few months old to 42! We even held one in our hands. The operater of the place has been bitten numerous times and seemed unfazed by it as he stumbled around an enclousure to grab one for us to hold. Kinda felt bad after buying a wallet now made out of these guys, that lasted for the rest of the day.

Driven by my need to ride a horse I came up with the Idea to horseback ride from La Fortuna to Monteverde, 5 hours, and then get a connecting bus to San Jose. This I thought would´ve been perfect. I was disappointed that the trip was actually jeep-boat-horse-jeep and that the actually riding element was to last no more than 2 hours. Actually very thankful for that! As an hour on the horse at trot was enough to wear me out. The second hour was done in half the time as the horses got to a cantar and often to a gallop, hard work and could´ve seen it ending in a good way had it been for longer. The ride through the forest was pleasant enough with some lakeside views of Arenal Lake, the biggest human made lake in Latin America, if not the world.

Monteverde is a town in the cloud forests with zip line tours and alot of tourist accomodation and souvenir shops. That is all.

So finally arrived back into San Jose at 1930 having set out at 0700. A trip that could´ve taken 5 hours ended in a 12+ hour marathon. Depleted of all my enthusiasm I was glad to come back to hot showers, good bed, free movies and free internet. Doesn´t look like I´ll be going anywhere tonight or tomorrow for that matter.
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amber on

Sammy the seal has finally been set free!
good to see that sammy the seal has finally experienced life outside the backpack samson! just wait till we get to patagonia, he's gonna go WILD!
xoxo [11 days and counting...]

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