First stop on our itinerary – Arenal Volcano.
We packed up the car Thanksgiving morning and headed for the hills. Our drive there was not without a few hiccups. Two bridges had recently collapsed causing traffic to be re-routed. This proved to be more difficult than you might imagine.
Roadways in Costa Rica are not like they are in the states. Some roads aren’t even paved. The signs put up to indicate the bridges were out were simply posters attached to a traffic cone labeled “no pase.”
Luckily a motorist saw us confused and stopped to explain the situation and provide some guidance for getting around.
In our re-route we encountered one of the down bridges. I’d never seen anything like it before. The bridge collapsed into a river while a truck was crossing. The broken bridge and the truck had fallen into the river. While it was not a long drop down it’s still haunting. To know that maybe these bridges can’t hold the weight that travels across – and nothing was being done to fix it. Locals just standing a the riverside looking at the mess.
But we had to continue on. Eventually making it safe and sound to our hotel in La Fortuna, one of the towns at the base of the volcano.
Once we arrived we decided to book a hiking and hot springs tour. The group picked us up from our hotel and we headed to the Arenal National park. Because we were visiting during rainy season just as we got there the sky opened up and it started to rain. But, the hike would go on.
We got to see some really cool foliage like citronella leaves (think mosquito repellent), the leaves sloths like to eat, rainbow trees and learned the history of the volcano and it’s eruptions. With the rain it made photo taking nearly impossible, even on my go pro. I don’t have many photos from this and the ones I do have are not very visible through the rain.
I am not going to lie. Hiking in the rain for over 2 hours was not fun. I was drenched and just generally uncomfortable. Being that it was Thanksgiving I tried to think what it was that I could be thankful for in this situation? How can I be thankful for anything in this situation? Let’s face it I was miserable…
But how lucky I am that when it is raining I have a home to take shelter in, to keep dry, to keep warm. So it was a lesson in humility – that I take my home, a place to live, for granted so often.
In retrospect, I am really glad we took that hike in the rain. We pushed ourselves, we were uncomfortable the whole time but we did it and are better for it.
The rain-forest is an incredible place and offers so much to learn. I hope so experience it again one day soon.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” -Marcel Proust
Here’s a few photos of the greenery I took the next day: