Jack was thrilled to discover that the Singapore Formula 1 was carried on cable TV in our cabina. The commentary was in Spanish, of course, and while we didn’t have wifi I fired up a London VPN on my phone and dialed in the BBC 5 live commentary, streaming over cell. It amazes me how often we manage to watch the races no matter where we are.
The race was over by 8am local time and we walked across the street for our Tico breakfast. Once again Jack opted for Americano, which just meant he didn’t get gallo pinto or fried plantains. During breakfast we met Robin, a solo vacationer from Maryland, and invited her to join us on our planned touring for the day. The weather looked iffy so we opted to hike the Arenal Volcano first before the clouds move in and obscure the view.
It was about a three mile hike mostly through a pretty wooded area, then up the lava field to the overlook that gave us a view of the volcano on one side and the lake on the other.
I was pretty bummed that the volcano stopped its constant erupting just before we got to Costa Rica. I’m wondering what will become of all the cute little hotels and cabinas where tourists would come and sit outside at night watching the show. The show is over, at least for now. Chalk up another dormant volcano for the Schulzes. One of these days we’ll get to a live one.
From the volcano we drove back through town and stopped for lunch at a place offering $4 set lunches, just like in the Galapagos. We thought it would be a quick lunch but it took over an hour for the rice and beans and fish that Jack and Robin had, and for the patacones and beans that I had. No matter, Robin is good company and we enjoyed comparing notes on where to go and what to do.
By the time we finished eating the daily rain started but we drove to the LaFortuna waterfall anyway. As long as it wasn’t a deluge and we felt the footing was secure we decided to go for it. And we’re glad we did.
The hike back up was 550 steps, not quite three times the distance of the New River Gorge but less than half what we do on a StepTrek on the Pittsburgh Southside Slopes. We all made it with no problems, and enjoyed the view as much as we did going down.
We took Robin back to town and said a reluctant goodbye. We enjoyed sharing the experiences with another person and remembered how much fun it is when we have friends along.
As soon as we turned the car down the mountain our stress level rose again. We needed to be at the customs office when they opened at 8am, then get our rental car back to Quepos before we get charged for another day. While Jack negotiated the switchback road in the gathering dark, I tried to find us lodging for the night by searching the Internet on my phone. After a while I had to give up because the unpaved road made it impossible to read the tiny screen as we bounced along. We got hungrier and sleepier and eventually we rolled into Puntarenas without a plan. Jack pulled over so I could look for a hotel and we finally settled on the marginal Michael’s Surfside Motel. The price was right, we were pooped, and worried about our date at Customs. It was not a restful night.