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I Lift My Eyes Up, Up To The Mountains I pursue Him who first pursued me: the One who spread out the clouds as a curtain, who fashioned the earth by hand, the One who makes the clouds a chariot and walks on the wings of the wind. -Psalm 104

Dia dos: La Fortuna, Costa Rica

USA | Monday, 9 March 2009 | Views [541]

Monday, 9 March 2009

Up at 7 a.m.  Clouds hung over the town and volcano.  Visibility was limited. Rain came and rain went, interrupted only by a willowy mist.  My Mountain Gear Tsunami rain jacket quickly became my favorite piece of gear, my new best friend.  Second best friend?  My rain fly for my pack.

Headed to city centro for a quick breakfast.  Found Rain Forest Cafe just past the park in the center of the city and to the right (past the Super Cristian).  The coffee (cafe typico) was thick and rich, a consistency it gleaned from a double brewing.  My travel buddies told me the specialty coffee drinks would put Starbucks out of business.  My breakfast packed a formidable punch of protein.  Daysauno Americano:  scrambled eggs, avocado, bacon, toast, and fresh jam.  Breakfasts went for less than $5.  Nice.

Next stop, La Fortuna waterfall--and beyond.  Haggled with a cabbi to take us to the falls (in most of Costa Rica, you can either negotiate a price or ask to turn the meter on).  Not a bad idea to take cab from town to the falls, as it is uphill; you can walk back from falls to the town.  Charge of $9 to see the falls.  Hiked down a fairly steep, but easily manageable path that is kept up pretty well.  Reached falls.  The name delivered.  The water falls.  Landed in a rocky pool, billowed up into a frothy pillow.  I watched.  Wandered a few meters down stream to a swimming hole.  Already wet from the humidity and mist stalking one's every move, I waded in.  Started in an eddy.  Cool, refreshing.  Hit a current; it clasped me in its watery fingers.  Sharp, strong.  Pushed my way over to the far shore.  Followed a gentle path up around the far rock face to a hidden nook overlooking the water below.  Headed back.

Decide to hiked to Cerra Chato, a dormat volcano crater now filled by a lake colored an ominous green.  Lonely Planet said it's a strenuous, 5-6 hour hike.  Strenuous?  Possibly.  5-6 hour hike?  No.  We moved at a fairly constant pace, trekked throw a fricken monsoon, plodded down the trail as it turned into a river, and still pounded it out in under 4 hours.  Rain forest.  The name should have warned us.  Just wet, wet, wet.  Hiked through a cloud, which was accompanied by friendly bursts of rain.  Reached the rim.  Because of the clouds, no view.  The hike from the rim to the crater lake made the "strenuous" path just ascended appear tame.  Hiked/slid down the trail.  Hit the green lake while shrouded in mist:  quiet, serene, and just a little bit scary.  The wind and driving rain helped not at all.  The return trip.  Hoped to hit the trail connecting Cerra Chato and the Arenal Observatory, but in the driving rain couldn't see a thing and the trail was turning into cocktail of water and debris, a slick mudslide.  Decided on familiarity and headed down the conquored path.

Tags: cerra chato, la fortuna, rain forest, waterfalls


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