Oct 06, 2004
. We reached it just before sunset, and stepping out of the jungle, the volcano was looming above us in a perfectly clear sky. So we got to see the spectacular lava flowing from the red cone. Awesome!! (as I learned to say while living in the US.)
The night was tipped off with a visit to the local hot springs, with several pools varying in temperature from about 32-67 degrees Celcius. Some of the pools were built with cocktail bars in them, so you could enjoy an ice cold beer (just an example) from a tiled bar stool in the pool itself. Not a bad place to be watching another spectacular lava flow from a slightly more distant viewpoint.
The next morning, Gabriella headed off for San Jose while Marie and Martina took the shuttle to Playa Tamarindo. Uli and I had signed up for a trip to Los Chiles on the Nicaraguan border, for a wildlife viewing river trip in Caņo Negro. We did see some sloths, iguanas, caimans, three species of monkey (Howler, White Faced Capuchin and Spider) as well as a bunch of migratory and indigenous birds. We were however a bit disappointed, mainly due to the hordes of tourists, the set lunches and built-in souvenir shop stops. Nothing for us true adventure travelers, he he.
The small town of La Fortuna is the gateway to Lake Arenal as well as Volcano Arenal (1633 meters), one of the most active volcanos in the Western Hemisphere. The place is booming with tourists, most of them here to watch the spectacular lava flow down the mountain, from the lip of the volcano. That is if you are lucky with the weather, as it's often hidden in shrouds of mist and cloud. Gabriella, Marie, Martina (all from Sweden, who I have been traveling with since San Juan del Sur) and I came here from Monteverde by the famous Jeep-Boat-Jeep ride. While Uli (the German I first met in Xela and have been traveling with since Granada) opted for the much longer, but cheaper bus ride. On our first day the volcano didn't show it's face. The second day also looked all cloudy. Hmm, not good. When we all signed up for the volcano trip on our second night in town, we were told that the weather on the volcano change very quickly. True to their word, it was all clouds when we set off through the cloud forest for the 90 minutes hike up to the volcano viewpoint