After a decent nights sleep, punctuated by a brief neighbourhood battle of the local dogs, I woke at 4.30am! The dawn chorus was the usual mix of birds and, as has been the case since we left San Jose, the ‘barking’ of the howler monkeys.
We got up and ready for breakfast at 7am. Our host was not around but had left one of her friends preparing our food which included biscuits (a sort of fried dough), fried plantain, fresh juice, scrambled eggs cheese and rice and beans! We also had coffee which was perhaps the best yet!
After breakfast we finished our packing and were picked up at 7.30am for the trip to La Fortuna. We said our goodbyes to Alexandra and loaded the bus. By now there was an extremely heavy rain shower. Once the bus joined the main road, the journey to La Fotuna (also known as Arenal) took about an hour. We travelled through areas flanked by farms, including these farms with huge fields of pineapple.
We arrived and left our bags at the reception of the hotel that we are staying in. We met our guide, Pablo, and the driver, Felix, to take us on a ‘hanging bridges’ walk. The journey from La Fortuna took about 20 minutes and once there we had a great view of the volcano, albeit that it was mostly shrouded in cloud and fog. The volcano has been ‘dormant’ since 2010, although was very active between 1968 and 2010, adding over 200m to its’ height.
The walk through the forest, and over the hanging bridges took about 2.5 hours and we saw some more wildlife, although sadly still no sloths! There were some close ups of snakes and lots of Motmot birds:
When we returned to the start our driver had prepared some water melon and pineapple for refreshments.. The pineapple was amazing – sweet and juicy – very unlike anything I’d ever eaten.
Once fed and watered we drove back to the volcano national park for a walk up through the lava flows created by the 1968 eruption. Our guide explained to us about how the crater had increased in size since 1968 and showed us some photos of the various stages of the mountains development. It now stands at over 1600m tall.
When we returned to the hotel, at about 4pm, we checked in and spent some time catching up with diaries etc. The hotel has a pool, although I don;t think that anyone in our party has yet to sample it!
After a shower Ed and I popped to the hotel bar and after just one round had exhausted their supply of the local beer, so we had to switch to something else!
We met up with the rest of the group for dinner and headed to Mango’s – a restaurant not far from the hotel.
We all had our food and a few drinks before heading back to the hotel for bed!
As an aide memoire for me…in the photo above, our fellow travellers are, from left to right:
- Angela – a Zimbabwean born South African accountant who has lived in London for almost 20 years.
- Cheryl – a South African who has lived in the UK for almost 20 years.
- Jessica – a Spanish traveller with perfect English.
- Amanda – our senior group member – from England
- Tom – a recruitment consultant from Stoke
- Anya – a German currently living in Switzerland
- Lu – a Chinese man living in Beijing
- Fran – our Costa Rican guide.
Another great day!