January 31st, 2014
Our stay in La Fortuna was all about the Arenal Volcano. After a morning playing in the pools and chasing butterflies we walked a few miles straight uphill from the Resort. We saw only a few people, who were either surprised or concerned. M’eh. I carry water, powerbars, tp and sunscreen everywhere, and i speak passable espanol. All were put to good use.
We met the trail builders on the way back down, shuttling up with an atv and tow ropes. They had a connection that allowed them to build and ride on the Resort property, the trail went almost down to our room, not exactly hidden but hard to see if you weren’t looking. Yo quiero sus bicicletas. The secret MTBr handshake took over from there. voy a Moab, diez veces. An SLR, a dropbox account and a little blonde girl wearing an mtb jersey go even further towards not being treated like tourons. ¡pura vida! Thanks guys for letting us walk down your trail.
i stood under this tree and watched green parakeets whip by, and back again. Glances were lucky moments, amidst the constant buzzing i pictured far more birds than the few i actually spotted. Look closely and you can find it in the pic below.
I was so stoked from our hikes, I ganked wifi in the hotel lobby to find something even better for manana. And i did. -2k up in about 2 miles along the smaller adjacent Cerro Chato volcano. 10 min from the hotel, entry fee but no need for a guide! It wasn’t that long, but the pitch and dense rainforest made it far beyond what we could do with the kids. Beckie graciously let me have the morning to myself. It was the highlight of my trip.
i charged up for 2 hrs, seeing little perspective, knowing by my effort and gps i was making progress, but not really believing. The profile is like hiking The Canyon, but harder in a different way. Instead of bone-jarring endless steps and furnace-conditions in the Inner Gorge or ice at the top, this was slicky sticky every stride up, slippy slidey on every footplant, everything soppy and grabby. The jungle was adhesive. The rain came steadily through the glutinous mist. Not hard, each raindrop hit multiple objects as it dripped down, a baseline of clamor inside a blanket of otherwise quiet.
Our last morning we set out to find a spot we saw a few day earlier, full of parked cars and steam and bathers walking along the narrow 2-lane highway into the jungle.