Monteverde to Fortuna de San Carlos – Arenal Volcano.

partlycloudy.gifNice day. Around +20C and not that much wind.

I woke up at 6 am and then spent the next 2,5 hours online to update my blog and write e-mails. Then I spent a couple of hours in the hammock outside the hostel reading the new book I just bought. Or. well its not exactly new as I have read it before, but this time I acquired a copy in spanish to improve my skills. Oh How Nice to just relax in the hammock.

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At noon Barbara came back from the cloud forest and we met up with Tim, Christian and Bryan from the party at 3C yesterday. They were gonna give us a ride to Fortuna de San Carlos and the Arenal Volcano.

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We started off at 12:30pm and spent 3 hours driving in 20kms/hour on the bumpy, curvy, unpaved road from Monteverde to Tilaran. When arriving Tilaran the good road began and we could finally drive faster. We were a little insecure about the road and took the wrong road and ended up in a small village before getting back on the main road again. We had a stop to look at the view over the Arenal Lake with Arenal Volcano in the background.

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We also made a lunch stop around 3pm at the small village Nuevo Arenal before driving the last 2 hours in to Fortuna. When we reached the Arenal Lake dem, we made another stop to see if we could see the volcano errupt. There were some smaller sightings of rocks and moist and the toxic fumes, but no bigger erruptions to spot. The sad thing was that the whole mountain was covered in clouds.

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Arriving Fortuna we checked out 2 hostels but decided for Arenal backpackers resort that even had a swimmingpool. At only US 11$ for a dormroom, all 5 of us checked in together and about 7pm we decided to go to check out one of the many Hot springs in the area.

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We went to a resort called Baldi Hot springs that has 16 Hot Springs of various tempuratures surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. Facillities include 2 swim up bars, Spa services & resturant. It was FANTASTIC !!!

Where do you else find hot water swimmingpool with bars? The waters had temperatures from +70C (naturally noone was in that one) to +27C and is located about 5 km outside Fortuna downtown.

The entrance fee for tourists is US 25$ but as I tried to pay with my Banco Nacional debet card I realized that I am going to continue doing that. They asked me if I had my cedula (identification card) with me and I said “no, but I do have my passport”. Whereas the receptionist asked whether I lived in CR and since I concider myself living in this country due to my long stay I said yes and were charged locals fee of US 17$. WOOOOOHOOOO. This country is great.

We stayed in the pools for about 3 hours till closing time and during that time we heard the volcano having a huge Gas explosion. It was fantastic and went on for about 3-4 minutes. No lava to be seen on this side of the mountain though.

At the pools we also met 3 girls (Marcelle, Michigan and Kiwi), that had stayed at Pension Santa Elena in Monteverde the night before, and The Israeli, Kobe. We hung out with them and gave them a ride back to the pension as it turned out that they were our room neighbours.

At the pension we all were hungry and went out for a bite and some more drinks and at one of the bars there was live music. However the guys considering it practically was their last day in Costa Rica as they are leaving Monday for the US they wanted to party and decided to go to Fortunas only disco. They took a cab up there with Michigan and Kiwi.

Barbara, Michelle and I took a cab up to El Mirador de Arenal and stayed there for 1 hour watching one after another fantastic erruption from the Volcano. It was marvelous.. The sightings of red lava flowing down the hillside at midnight was so exiting and emotional that I am still breathtaken. God must like me.

He also made sure that the clouds ALMOST dissappeard completely from the moment during some of the explotions.

The cab driver waited with us.. (Anyway. Its not like it is expensive. US 20$ for an hours use. hehe.) He also explained a lot about the volcano to us. About its erruptions, best sighting season etc. And about stupid tourists getting to close so that they would be killed by toxic fumes more than a +1000C degrees hot. It burns up the lounges. But people still wanna walk in te national park that is very very close to the foot of the volcano. There are signs anywhere telling that this is a high risk volcanic area and that you enter under you own responsability.

At 2am the volcano was done showing off and calmed down for a moment where we went home to sleep. The guys came in about 10 minutes later and decided to get up at 4 in the morning to see the volcano in action. Must I add they did not make it hehe…

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