Day 75: San José-Cartago-Parque Nacional Irazú-Orosi (1)
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To get there we had to take a bus to the city of Cartago, where we found out to our surprise that there is no onwards transportation to the most visited sight in the area. Apparently you are supposed to visit the Irazú as a day trip from San José. But we didn't want to do a day trip from San José, or at least, we didn't want to go back to San José - again! It had been a week since Arnaud arrived, and in that week we had spent 4 nights in San José.
So we chartered a taxi to drive us up to the volcano, and afterwards bring us to the town of Orosi, which according to our guidebook would be a better place to spend the night than Cartago (plus it was further south, which was the direction in which we were headed after all).
The Irazú is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. All the more special that you can drive straight up to it then, as unlike the Arenal, this one doesn't erupt so much lava, but rather lets out a hiss of steam every now and then.
High altitude, cold weather and hot steam are a perfect combination for condensation, so it should come to no ones surprise that the volcano is shrouded in clouds for most of the time. So up at the top there wasn't a whole lot to see. Every once in a while the fog lifted and we were able to peek into one of the four caters, two of which contain a lake with bright green sulphuric water.
The fog, the silence and the weird green crater lakes give the volcano a very eerie atmosphere. Even though there were quite a few people walking around, we barely saw them because of the fog.
We did an hour long walk along the several craters, while our taxi driver turned into a genuine tour guide pointing us to the sparse vegetation and the few high altitude birds around. Rather than giving him a tip we bought him lunch as a thank you. Not entirely sure if this was what he had in mind.