Volcano Arenal, Monte Verde
La Fortuna Travel Blog› entry 3 of 4 › view all entries
It's a long drive from Puerto Viejo to Arenal. We took the northern route and enjoyed scenery. The first of four police stops we experienced on this route. Tico's love blonds and I suspect they observed D's blond hair as we approached the checkpoint and they promptly waved us over and came to D's side of the car to 'chat'. Jaja, no problem, so after much discussion and laughing and smiling, we were on our way.
Lunch we took at a roadside stand with many Tico truck drivers. They would stare at D, then chatter amongst themselves not realizing that we speak spanish, me a little and D fluently. Jajaja, good for the ego I guess. The food was awesome and cheap. Before leaving we bought bags of Tico snacks.
La Fortuna is too commercial for our taste, but we wanted to see the volcano and experience the hot springs and zip lines. So we stayed at the hot springs (Tabacon Resort), for which we had the pleasure of overpaying, and surround by complaining gringoes (sigh). That said, we were determined to enjoy this experience, so we decided to eat late and enjoy the springs first. The best part was the tourist disappear from the hot springs around 6pm. I think they go look for food. This was good for us as we were arriving at that moment. The resort shuttle was us (in street clothes), and a bunch of tourists wearing these ridiculous pink or blue resort robes. Funny story, as we exit the shuttle one middle age lady realized she needed to go back and get her bathing suit.
Ok, my adrenaline levels were operating at too low a level so the next day we arranged for zip lines. Oh yeah baby! Three couples from our resort join us for this, and we leave the hotel for a tram to take us to the top of the mountain. I didn't realize, but this arrangment requires zero phyical conditioning.
So we met a nice couple from Houston on the zip lines, but they had been confined to the resort as they did not have a 4x4. So we all piled into my 4x4 and headed into town for dinner at Lava Lounges (jaja cheesy, maybe a little). After a nice dinner we headed for a disco full of Tico's. I'm over 1.9m and Rich is over 2m so as Rich headed for the bar, some Tico's nod to him and me and ask 'NBA??'.
The road to Monte Verde is good for the first half the way, but pavement yields to dirt and the pace slows considerably. Scenery...Amazing!!! We drove 4 hours to this beautiful lush rain forest, and toured a butterfly garden, humming bird garden, and of course did the cloud forest tour on hanging bridges. Sadly we didn't have time to wait for a spot on the zip lines. Another 3-4 hours driving we arrived on the Pacific coast at Tamrindo.