HIKE'S UNEXPECTED REWARD

Trip Start Dec 14, 2011
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10
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Trip End Jan 05, 2012


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Where I stayed
Hotel El Silencio del Campo La Fortuna
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Alajuela,
Friday, December 23, 2011

We are in the midst of a tropical rainstorm. It is about 8 AM and I am sitting in the breakfast room of the Hotel el Silencio del Campo just four kilometers from the small town of La Fortuna, Costa Rica and immediately under the belching Arenal Volcano. It actually has been raining pretty much all night long---and raining hard. Must be why they call it a rainforest.

From the Costa Rica airport yesterday, we took the scenic route to our destination: La Fortuna. We drove between the two active volcanoes; Poas and Barva on narrow, winding, steep roads, which considerably added to our drive time and made us appreciate our four-wheel drive SUV. We drove up to the Poas Volcano, and much like the Masaya Volcano, were able to drive (most of the way) up to the crater and look in. The only problem was, it was cloudy and you could only smell the fumaroles, not see them.

It was unfortunate that during our drive from the small town of Vara Blanca, which is on the road to the crater of the Poas volcano, to San Miguel, it became so foggy I couldn't see the car hood, let alone the dramatic vistas I am sure we were driving through. This road is billed as one of Costa Rica's great scenic drives, so we were a little disappointed we couldn't see more. Nonetheless, enough of the drive was clear enough we could see just how beautiful Costa Rica is.

Last night we met thirty-year old Bryan, a Costa Rican man who farms yucca, papaya, pineapple and maybe a few other things on a ten-acre farm just outside La Fortuna. He invited us to a family barbecue tonight at his farm, where we would meet his wife, parents and sister. I have to call him soon to confirm he really meant to invite two strangers to his family gathering; and to make sure his wife, who we have never met, knows---and approves.

Time to go exploring.

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It is now around 5:30 PM and I have come to the dining room at the Hotel El Silencio Del Campo to have a beer while I wait for Linda. It is raining again. It has rained off and on all day, but fortunately when Linda and I went for a drive from about 10:30 this morning until 2:00 it was dry and relatively clear; rarely clear enough, though, to see Arenal Volcano in its entirety.

However, just a few minutes ago as I was walking to the Hotel's dining room for my beer, I suddenly got a glimpse of the mountain so I turned and ran back to our hotel cabana to get my camera. Getting a clear camera shot turned out to be difficult. The clouds moving through and the onset of darkness competed to make getting a good photo a challenge. The one I got turned out rather dramatic, though.

I called Bryan today to decline his offer to come to his house tonight to join him, his wife and other family members for a holiday barbeque. He was gracious enough to not sound relieved, but I am sure that he was. Frankly, I would love to have gone to his barbeque, seen his farm and met his family, but it just wasn't right. Members of his family were driving in from various places and they probably don’t see each other that much; I am sure they would all prefer to have time together, alone, without me there asking his wife about her love life.

At 2:00 PM Linda had two hours of massage and facial appointments, so I went for a hike. I went to the La Fortuna waterfall and hiked down to its bottom. The waterfall itself is a 200 foot drop, but the hike down is greater, I am guessing maybe another 100 feet. The hike was a rock staircase, which wound down the hill giving you occasional views of the falls as you descended. The stairs were uneven and awkward at times, but much better than I expected, and since it rained most of the time, it was good to have a somewhat safe surface.

I had a cute little dog accompany me down the hill. I wasn’t the only one, but there were very few others making the hike today, so the dog was good company. I was rewarded for my hike to the pool at the base of the falls with a lovely view of the falls; oh, and there were some, uh, people swimming in the water, too.

On the way back up, I made exercise of it by jogging much of it. I assume it is similar to a 40-story building. I was wet all the way through, and it wasn’t just from the rain.

On the grounds of this hotel there is a green parrot that has been trained to say some words, probably in Spanish. It is 30 feet away from me repeating something over and over; pretty damned cute. The parrot’s name is Lorita.


My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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