Jeeps, boats, horses, oh my!

Trip Start Jan 14, 2007
Trip End Mar 05, 2007

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Sunday, March 4, 2007

Saturday morning, we left La Fortuna and headed to Monteverde. The most direct route is around the volcano by jeep and then across Lake Arenal by boat. We decided to add a little excitement and add horseback to the transportation mix. Once across the lake, we saddled up and headed out. The horses were beautiful and clearly well cared for. I haven't ridden a horse in at least 15 years, so it took some getting used to. But I really started to enjoy the experience, especially the few times we were able to gallop. My horse, "Caramelo" was very responsive. She wasn't terribly competitive however and often backed off when I tried to pass other horses. I, of course, was imagining I was at the Derby, coming down the final turn into the stretch. . . Caramelo didn't care to feed my fantasy.  Probably a good thing, I'm sure. The weather cleared up and offered beautiful views of the lake and occasionally the volcano. It was a much more entertaining method of travel than the bus, thats for sure.  We arrived in Monteverede in the early afternoon. The town is perched on a mountain ridge overlooking the Gulf of Nicoya and the Pacific. The views were stunning. That evening, we took a night hike and encountered some of the most interesting wildlife yet, particularly of the insect variety.  We saw several leaf-imitating katydids (green and brown varieties), nasty-looking tarantulas, tons of fireflys, a walking stick, cockroaches galore and a to-be-determine bug whose eyes glowed florescent green in the dark.  We also saw a grey fox, lots of sleeping birds (including several green toucans), a coati and several raccoons. These weren't such a big deal to Lol and I given their proclivity in Seattle, but the Germans and Dutch on the tour, had never seen one before and were intrigued. That night, we ran into Tristan, a great guy from Oregon and one of our friends from Granada and San Juan del Sur. We started the evening at a "sports bar" that played 80's music videos and the "E" Oscar recap show.  Go figure. Then to Los Amigos, where the Ticos (Costa Ricans) were dancing the night away. Given my lack of rhythm, esp. for salsa/merengue, Lol found a Tico more than happy to show her the steps. Admittedly, it's not a lot of fun to watch your girlfriend dance with someone infinitely more talented on his feet than you. Damn those latin men! I need to learn to dance. Sunday, we got up early for our final adventurous event of the trip - a zip line canopy tour. This is really better expressed in pictures and video (see above), but I will say that if you go to Monteverde, this is a must do. I'm not big on heights, believe me, but I could have spent the day on the zip line. What a rush!
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