I wasn’t planning on writing again today, but today’s events were even better than yesterday, and while I’ve got free internet at the hotel, and my family are all early-to-bed people on holiday, I thought I’d write some more :)
A couple of things I forgot to mention yesterday were that they play lots of Salsa and Merengue music everywhere, and that every time I try to speak any Spanish, I think of Italian. It’s like I have a brain elf that goes through lots of doors in my head, trying to find the right one for a word translation, and occasionally opens the wrong door and sees a word in Italian, Dutch or Hebrew. Weird analogy, but it came to me this afternoon ;) My brother has been getting by fine, having travelled around Central and Southern America a few times. Hopefully it’ll kick in. Didn’t help that we flew over here with Dutch airlines, where I found myself speaking Dutch to the staff!
Anyway, back to Costa Rica – this morning we went to Sky Trek (www.skytrek.com), which has a cable car over the tree tops (for some nice views, and to get height for the next step: a series of unbelievable zip lines hundreds of feet over the trees. There were 7 in total, and the longest was 600ft above the tree canopy, and 750m long, reaching speeds of 45mph. While the thrill was amazing, I just couldn’t get over the breathtaking views, with rainforest waaaay below, and Lake Arenal in view… I got some video footage while going along. If anyone’s seen Medicine Man, or David Attenborough documentaries, this is similar, but with a huge injection of adrenaline and speed! Alton Towers’ Air, eat your heart out ;)
On the drive back from that, we stopped on the side of the road to see a few Howler Monkeys climbing and jumping through the trees. We knew they were Howlers from the driver, and then definitely when they started howling!
We stopped in the nearest “village”, La Fortuna, which seems to have popped up due to tourism, but has kept a nice village square, church, and two high streets. Quite a few dogs wandering around, and some interesting locals, made for some good cultural photos of non-wildlife.
Saw a pair of macaws in the grounds of a neighbouring hotel, one of which flew from the trees straight onto my brother’s arm. Some pretty butterflies in their garden, and vultures swirling overhead.
Back at the hotel, the clouds cleared over the peak of the volcano, and we could see puffs of smoke appearing down the sides. The puffs progressively appeared further and further down the side of the volcano, almost like ripples appearing when you skim a stone on a pond. I then realised that the puffs were caused by lumps of rock tumbling down the side of the volcano. As it got dark, we could see these rocks glowing red, and they’d appear now and then in varying amounts. I was taking some photos of these, and suddenly saw the whole top of the volcano erupted!!!!!
An unbelievably lucky sight to see!!! I managed a lucky photo, but the sight (and delayed sound) were unforgettable! My family were all inside and missed it, but came out after the loud rumble to see lava flowing down the side of the mountain.
I’m very VERY lucky to have seen a volcano erupt :) All the while, there were howlers howling in the distance, frogs croaking, crickets, a large spider on the leaves above my shoulder, and a pretty frog in the pond just in front of our rooms. Ah, jungle bliss :)