Thursday, October 17, 2013

Arenal - Day 3

We really wanted to head to the top of a volcano but Arenal is off-limits because it is still active (to a degree.  No eruptions or lava flow since 2010.)  Apparently, there were some hikers who travelled up at their own risk and a gas pocket exploded and they were killed by the fumes.  So we debated heading over to a different volcano but decided against the last minute road trip plans.

I'm a sucker for waterfalls and most people mention La Fortuna Waterfall in the Arenal area, so we went over there.  I found that it's a crapshoot what will be what people say things will be as far as the expected "adventure" to get to your intended location.  Some said it was a rough road, some said the hike was hard.  Well the road was no big deal (not paved but definitely driveable) and the hike wasn't a breeze but certainly not advanced.  For $8/person (I think), we took the 490 stone stairs down (which also meant 490 steps back up) and arrived at a sensational waterfall.
The steps.
Optical illusion.   

There was no one there when we arrived around 10 but by the time we left, there were about 20 people.  David went for a swim in the pool and we explored the area and riverbed a bit before heading out.  I felt like with this site, you could make as much or as little of it as you'd like.  In and out in an hour or pack a picnic and spend a few.  It was really a peaceful place worth stopping by.

Couldn't resist a yogi moment.  
We still had many daylight hours and decided to check out 1968 lava flow at the Arenal Volcano National Park.  It was super hot and I think I was just adventured out but I was underwhelmed with the hike.  I thought there would be more lava fields and interesting things along the way.  However, I did have the epiphany that volacnos are just the Earth's butt holes.

Heading back the way we came, we went into town for some casado/tipical plates; the traditional Costa Rican lunch plate. La Choza was recommended by the concierge and it's this huge open outdoor (but covered) space.  A common thing about being in Costa Rica during green season is that the places you go are generally empty.  This has its pros and cons during travel.  At first it makes you kind of skeptical but then its kind of awesome because you can always get a table and you get a lot of attention from your waiter. 

"Volcano Rice" from La Choza.
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing for one last time at the springs.  We found a great little spot, our very own lounge chairs, and for about 20 minutes it was perfect...until the torrential downpour.  Every day at around 5PM it rained but this time, it was different.  It was intense and for almost two hours.  We tried to wait it out under a little towel hut but after about 30 minutes, we ran for cover.  The Springs were overflowing and the towel lady told us she hasnt seen it overflow like this in about a year.  We went and got some banana smoothies at the bar and once it got back to a drizzle, we went back for more!  For round two, I found my favorite pool yet!  We were blissed out, read in the lobby, had a light dinner.  Since it gets dark so early, plus the time difference and not that much to do at night, I was happy to hit the hay a little on the early side.  

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