The Roving Richards

A family on the move

Arenal

Sunday, June 29, 2008

After breakfast we decided we should go to the Arenal Observatory and check out the volcano as it wasn’t raining and the day seemed pretty clear. We drove to the Observatory, and to our surprise they said the path around to the base of the volcano was open–when we booked our tour for Cano Negro the woman had said that it was closed. We went first to the observation point. There were signs that said “please back in”, I guess so you can make a speedy getaway if the volcano should blow. We couldn’t really see much due to clouds around the volcano, but the kids enjoyed pretending to be scared. Then we drove down to the other parking lot (please back in) and went on the walk to the base of the volcano where the flow went in 1968 (and I guess where the little obliterated village used to be). We saw whiptailed lizards and lots of cool bugs, and then we got to the base and climbed up the lava rocks and got a great view of the volcano.  It even spit out a few rocks and a lot of smoke while were there for effect. On the way back the ranger passed us on an ATV and Charlotte misunderstand what I meant when I told her to hurry and get out of the way and fell down from running too fast. All scraped up, poor girl! We cleaned her up and went on to El Castillo, a little town further down the dirt road where the ranger said we could get a good lunch at the restaurant by the serpentarium. On the way there we stopped at the lookout where you go to view lava at night, and Mark took some more pictures. He sure did love that volcano! The restaurant at El Castillo was really good and had a great view of the valley and little swallows that were swooping all over the place. After lunch we went to the serpentarium and Genevieve got to hold a corn snake (happy kid). Then Mark got recruited to help carry the python, andGenevieve and Charlotte got to sit on it! That is one big snake. We also saw the frogs and again Genevieve got special permission to hold one. At the butterfly house the guide explained how the owl butterfly’s wings look like a snake on the top and an owl on the bottom. Wow, they really do, especially the snake. You can even see the detail in the “scales”. Wereturned to Los Lagos (check out the cool towel arrangement) and went for a dip in the pool.  It started to really rain, and we were so dripping wet by the time we flagged down a shuttle to return to our room that they put down plastic for us. For dinner we went into La Fortuna to Pizza Vagabondo. There was a big accident (it was really pouring) that had us stuck for about a half hour but we did make it to the restaurant and had some good pizza and pasta. And back to Los Lagos where we got to see the accident in the clearing stages.  A little Spanish tv, and off to bed.

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