Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

< Previous: Out of San Jose | Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue | Next: To Monteverde >

Observatory Lodge Arenal Volcano Observatory Lodge, La Fortuna, Costa Rica, Saturday, 18 January 2014 9:06pm

We spent the day around the Lodge today, starting with a guided nature walk in the morning featuring a waterfall, a couple hanging bridges, many different kinds of plants, and some animals (lots more birds, but sadly no monkeys). After the walk we had an extended period of sitting on our patio, looking in the direction of the volcano. Occasionally, the clouds would clear enough for us to see part of the slope, but for the most part it stayed hidden (we've still never glimpsed the summit). Luckily, our patio has a great view in the foreground, even without the volcano in the background. We saw lots of birds around the plants: hummingbirds and oropendula were the most plentiful, and another coati ambled by a few feet away and jumped when it realized we were sitting there. Apparently we're pretty startling.

In the afternoon, the clouds started to break and we did a hike down the Old Lava Flow Trail to a river. The foliage was gorgeous, and the steep slope was very muddy and slick after several days of drizzle (it may well be muddy and slick all of the time, as it is in a rain forest...). The river bed might have been a lava flow at one time. The sand was all black volcanic powder, and the rocks all seemed like pumice. Adrienne crossed it over a log, but couldn't find much of a continuation of the trail. On the way back, we saw a crested guan flying from tree to tree, and then a large great currasow (male) crossing the trail. We tried to stay still and get a picture, but it quickly walked behind a tree and then hid in the underbrush.