El Dia Del Volcán: Turrialba
Turrialba Travel Blog› entry 43 of 72 › view all entries
February 10th, 2007 – by: Higton
... And so we began to descend back down the slope until... Diego had spotted a small turn off on the way up, so we swung into it and into "the real Costa Rica" according to The Man. It was a great ride. Basically, we went down a pitted dirt track for ten or so kilometres which provided views of the central valley, a breeze through the full gamut of Costa Rica crops and a meander through some semi-forest. The kids got out at one point and relocated into the bed of the pickup, which looked like fun. It was a great part of the day and something I would have missed going on an official tour.
Volcán Turrialba Lodge
We stopped for coffee and the Costa Rican version of cheese on toast (swap bread for tortilla) at the above lodge.
Into the clouds
As it was relatively late when we started to climb the volcano (about noon), the clouds were beginning to form. This made for some fabulous views as the volcano kept reappearing from behind the mist. Unlike Irazú, Turrialba has a winding dirt track road to the top with some serious inclines. Even the truck in low gear was struggling. Although it shouldn't be, it was with a little surprise that we kept passing buses parked on the road.
It was also a bit weird to find the summit teeming with people. The last time Diego was here, there were no barriers or national park presences anywhere, you could literally wander about anywhere to your heart's content. Now, there was a man with a clipboard and freshly painted signs all over the place. Barriers were in situ to stop people wandering about near steaming pits and a man with a loadhailer was on hand to shout at miscreants.
Inside and outside
That said, it is a really great, weird experience. The whole place smells of hell, with sulphurous deposits lying around all over the shop.
We also took a wander to the Mirador Caribé. or Caribbean view, which was white. The clouds had arrived with avengence and visibility was down to 200 metres on the outside of the crater. So we ambled down for 100 metres into an eerie, silent forest and just stood. Inside, there was a general hubbub of tourists and kids and chaps with walkie-talkies. Here, there was nothing, just still air and hummingbirds. Man, I love those quiet, personal times.
Thanks Diego and family - a great day all round.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!