Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal – December 8

“Long as I remember the rain been comin’ down
Clouds of mystery pourin’ confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages tryin’ to find the sun.
And I wonder still I wonder who’ll stop the rain.”
—Credence Clearwater Revival

Our 3-day stay in La Fortuna didn’t start well. We pulled into a small parking lot. The front bumper got caught on a low wall. When I backed up it was pulled down and out. Long story short, we had it repaired at a body shop in less than a day for $145. Remember that the next time you take your car to a body shop for a minor repair.

On our list of things to do in La Fortuna was recharge Chris’ cell phone. We found out that recharging a phone that uses the Kolbi carrier (owned by the national electric company) is not so easy.

At one of the places we stopped we encountered Koren, an English-speaking Tico (Costa Rican) who volunteered to drive us to a nearby mercado and translate for us. He turned out to be a tour guide who had spent years in the US, mostly in California. And he spoke Greek! We ended up spending most of the next three days with him.

We left La Fortuna earlier this am for Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal. Unlike national parks in the U.S. that charge admission by the car, the parks in Costa Rica charge by the person. And foreigners pay double what the Ticos do. When we got to the gate and were told admission was $15/person I almost asked if that included lunch.

After parking we walked the dirt road for a couple of kms before turning back. Then the rain started. It rained most of the afternoon. This time of the year is supposed to be the dry season.

Chris asked the gate guard if we could park overnight. After checking with his boss the answer was, “No problema.”

We arranged a tour of Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge.  We stopped at La Casona del Rio Fortuna on the way for breakfast.  La Casona was the home of a former president of Costa Rica.  Now it’s a restaurant and cultural center.  The breakfast was great with an unobstructed view of two volcanos. The staff puts out food for birds.

The Passerini’s and Golden-hooded Tanagers were life birds.

We toured Caño Negro by boat.

We toured a cacao plantation and factory.