Water World Part 4—with bridges


driving mapOn Thursday we drove from Quepos to Arenal. Sue has a friend, Karl, who lives outside of a town called Tejona. It is around the other side Lake Arenal from Arenal National Park.  The four-hour drive was uneventful. As I mentioned before, the roads in Costa Rica are quite good, just small and winding. We met Karl and his partner, Guiselle, in Cañas for a drink and then headed to their house for a relaxing evening. Plug for Karl: He’s a great writer, editor, and translator, so if you need any the above, especially related to Costa Rica, check out his Facebook page.

Sue “drinking” from the waterfall

Friday we woke up and headed to the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park outside La Fortuna. It was only about 50km, but took us about an hour and 15 minutes. The road was very winding, steep, and in parts was only 1.5 cars wide—except for the bridges which are one-car wide.   However, when we reached the park it was great. The walk is 3.2km of cobblestone paved trails and costs $26 for non-Costa Ricans.  There are 15 bridges—six of them hanging—of various heights and lengths.  The longest was 97m and the highest 25m above ground. It was gorgeous. We saw and heard lots of wildlife and strolled across the bridges and the tops of the forest canopy plus  hiked down to a waterfall (and then back up to the trail). We had a grand time.

After the hanging bridges we continued to La Fortuna, the town near the Arenal Volcano. La Fortuna is the tourist town we had not missed. If you’re looking for tacky souvenirs (which I love) or overpriced chocolate, this is your town. We grabbed a quickish lunch, walked around the town a bit. About 5 km outside of town in front of Tabacon Hot Springs, there is public access to the river that feeds all the resort hot springs. We changed into our bathing suits and headed over.  The rushing water was relaxing and it didn’t feel completely touristy. The spring is about 2-3 feet deep and about 15 feet wide. We waded in and found a nice spot to sit and soak.

When we were all shriveled up and had our fill of soaking, we hopped back in the car and returned to Karl and Guiselle’s for another relaxing evening. They are great hosts!


This is not ‘Nam…There are rules.(*)

I was meditating on what we should do around the Arenal Volcano and my conclusion is that we should honor the gods and toss a virgin into the volcano. However, Sue informs me that this is against the rules.  I am very disappointed. (I hope no one is thinking of taking Steven seriously–ever.)

Instead we are going to have to look at Sue’s list of things that we are “allowed” to do.  (Did I mention how disappointed I am with the whole you can’t throw a virgin in the volcano thing?)

cavesSpelunking in the Venado Caves Apparently there are a series of caves somewhere near the volcano that are about 2 miles long.  The photos look cool and how could it not be fun when they require you to bring an extra set of clothes and knee pads! As you all remember from our summer trip out West, I do not like heights. We will see if caves bother me! (Steven has forgotten that we have been to Mammouth Caves.) Oh yeah, the website offers a “​​Experimented photographer” to follow you around and take photos/videos. My question is what sort of experiments were done on the photographer.  😉

Ziplining. As I mentioned above, I am still afraid of heights, so of course we are planning to go ziplining. There seem to be a few places that do it both in around Manuel Antonio and Arenal. Given the things that we are planning when we are near Manuel Antonio, I am thinking that this insanity will have to wait until we are near the volcano.

Hanging bridges. High (literally) on our list is going over some/all of the many hanging bridges that weave their way through the rain forest around the volcano. I saw a note on one called “The Waterfall Bridge” which is 60 meters high.  I am so glad that I have gotten over my fear of heights…

waterfallLa Fortuna Waterfall. There is a waterfall called La Fortuna. It is 200 feet tall and the hike is only about 15 minutes from the front gate. However, it is down 550 steps, so while the hike down is only 15 minutes, the hike up is by my calculations (factoring in our ages, physical condition, and level of internal grit) 22 minutes for Sue and between 6 to 8 days for me.

Hot Springs. I am not sure how this fits into the whole “I am scared of heights” motif that I have been weaving, but the idea of hiking a bunch and then lowering my old, fat sore muscles into a hot springs sounds like a keeper. One of the places offers various spa treatments including both Chocolate and  Volcanic mud wraps.  Seems like too good of an idea to turn down.

Fuck it Dude, let’s go bowling.

The very quotable Walter Sobchak

For those of you who don’t know the line above and title quote it is from the movie “The Big Lebowski”…many thanks to Walter Sobchak.