Check out our new wheels…they look like legs

by Brad on November 17, 2010

lake arenal and volcano arenal

A week of firsts, first of many I’m sure. I’m not really positive what day it is, so by week I mean a string of consecutive days.

Finding a place to live for the next six months on Saturday was huge. Our place is tiny, and I emphasize tiny, but it was such a relief to be able to pull our stuff out of the rental car and know where we’re going to be staying.

Trying to take advantage of our time left with the rental car (we rented it for a week), we spent the last three days driving around to visit nearby national parks and get a feel for this part of the country. Our first excursion was to Rincon de la Vieja National Park, named for the huge volcano in the center of the park. We went on a three-hour hike around the volcano. Three minutes into it, we were already stopping to watch the monkeys in the trees.

We climbed all over the volcano, walking by boiling mud and water pits, steam vents, a gorgeous waterfall that’s only around during the rainy season, and traversing a few rivers. More monkeys, big white ones. Some were curious enough to stop for a few minutes to stare down at us while we were staring back at them. We even got a view into their personal life when one started going to the bathroom. Honestly, it really is quite a site to watch a monkey pee from 50 feet up in the air, and then turn his butt toward you and squeeze out a few ______ [whatever you wanna call them]. That’s some serious distance, and I’m very glad this one wasn’t directly above us. Those things were solid and made a loud thump when they hit the ground.

Monkey in Rincon de las Viejas

Our first monkeys

shameless monkey

This is the shameless monkey

Near the end of our trail we were stunned to see a large iguana running down the side of a tree at full speed and come all the way onto the ground right next to us. He seemed at first to be intrigued by all of the butterflies flying around nearby, but then his head snapped around as he registered a beetle crawling across a stick just a few yards away. He trotted over to it, lowered his head, and snapped it up with his mouth – the crunching noise completely audible from where we were standing. Nature is alive and kicking here.

Iguana in Rincon de la Vieja

Killer iguana

swinging on the vine

What's a trip to the jungle without swinging on the vines?

mudpits in rincon de la vieja

Boiling Mud Pits

Yesterday’s journey was a trip to the amazing Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. I’ll post pictures of that one, but I’m sure none of them will do justice to this place. This volcano is what inspired all of those pictures of volcanoes that we used to draw when we were kids. You remember the type, a perfect cylinder of a mountain with red lava oozing out of the very top. That’s Arenal. To say it’s gorgeous doesn’t even come close to describing how amazing it is. On the northern side (the way we approached it) is bordered by Lake Arenal, a crystal blue lake surrounded by the green of the forest, a scene that you think must have come from somewhere in Switzerland. The only thing I can say about Arenal is, come see it. Wow.

After a long drive down the west coast then looping back onto the Pan-American Highway taking us toward home, it was time to take back the rental car and figure out our way on foot. Now we’re really living Costa Rica style. From the big town of Liberia we found that the bus back to El Coco was just about ready to leave. An hour bus ride, then a 10 minute walk from “downtown” Coco: now we are the people walking along a high speed two-lane no-shoulder highway playing chicken with oncoming traffic. We made it home in time to take a quick swim in the pool and make up a plate of our favorite local fare: rice, beans, salad, and fried eggs. Tan me up and call me a Tico.

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

volcano and lake arenal

A view of the volcano from Lake Arenal

{ 6 comments }

shirley klein November 20, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Are these postcard photos? Absolutely beautiful!! Hard to imagine hot–we are waiting for 2-4 feet of snow in the mountains. So happy for your new home!

Brad November 21, 2010 at 7:48 am

The day we went out to Arenal we didn’t have a camera battery so I had to take these pictures with my cell phone.

Kidding about the cell phone part, but we really didn’t have a camera that day so I went online and found pictures that were as close to viewpoints from places we stood. It really is a site to see.

Snow, huh? I’m worried about how to keep my dress shirt from getting soaked in sweat before we even make it to the church building today.

Leah Klein November 21, 2010 at 5:29 am

Tyler loved the pic of the mud pits. Fascinating.

Brad November 21, 2010 at 7:52 am

Tyler has good taste. Honestly, Kelli had to pull me away from these. I don’t know why but I was fascinated by them. It was so cool be standing in the middle of all these green treese and be staring at this huge pit of boiling grey mud. Tyler would love all the splatters and hissing they make.

Keith Chapman November 27, 2010 at 1:04 am

Your traveling companion from down under. Great site. I liked the purse. Love to hear from you Keith

Brad November 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Keith! Great to hear from you! Thanks for the note. I didn’t know Keving had told you about our site, otherwise I would have given a shout out to you since it was you afterall that told us about those special kangaroo pouches. (I was thinking you mentioned there were others made out of another part of the male’s…package. ??)
We miss you guys!

Comments on this entry are closed.



Previous post:

Next post: