Weekend fun!

Weekend August14th-15th
Journal by Susan and Valinda

Off on a vacation weekend to Arenal. We made the “Jeep-boat-jeep” trip to Arenal, the site of the most active volcano in Costa Rica. What an experience! We traveled the extremely bumpy, pot-hole road in a mini-van with fabulous views of coffee farms and lush mountainous farmland.

The second leg of the journey was across Lake Arenal, the largest man-made lake in Costa Rica. It was created from a dam built after the disastrous eruption of the volcano in 1968. Pat and I were then transported to our hotel, La Pradera del Arenal, which had lush gardens and an inviting pool and Jacuzzi. After taking a power nap, we ventured out for a hike to Arenal with a personal guide named Yeode (Jody). While trekking through the lava fields with gorgeous views of the volcano and surrounding countryside, we encountered parrots, howler monkeys, and a bird called a yellow-tailed something-or-other! We heard several eruptions with one visual lava slide. Our guide had us wait until after dark to view a bright eruption after dark which never came, but we knew he was just buying time for our transportation to our next destination.

Andy and Valinda stayed on the other side of La Fortuna. Both the reception desk and the dining room were outside under a deep porch roof, and hardly anyone there spoke English. The owners put fruit out for the parrots, and Valinda saw a blue parakeet and a large yellow bird while she waited for Andy to get ready for lunch. They went into La Fortuna and ate at a neighborhood soda called Soda del Rio. Andy and Valinda also hiked around the volcano and saw some new wildlife, including a pair of toucans. They ended up at a different viewpoint, but saw much of what we saw – smoke from the volcano, lightning, a rainbow, and a brilliant sunset, all within about 30 minutes.

What a weekend!

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