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La Fortuna, April 2007

catarata

Most of the Costa Rica trip we've spent with Chris and Ibellin and their great kids in La Fortuna, at the base of Arenal. Arenal is one of the world's most active volcanoes due to the eruption in 1968 and continuous lava flows since then. You can have a good steak dinner at a restaurant strategically located at a great viewing point, and watch lava pour down the side of the volcano at night.

Arenal and the amazing wildlife here provide the Ticos (Costa Ricans) with a great opportunity for ecotourism. Thanks to Chris' endeavors we have flown through the canopy along zip wires, ridden horses, swum in various pools at the base of different waterfalls, soaked in the hot springs, ripped through the brush on 4x4 and a whole lot more. We were even invited to bungy jump off a crane which is set up in Fortuna, a new attraction with a half dozen different rides including: "slingshot", just like it sounds; big swing; and more. Ibellin and Jason were brave enough to do some of the rides, as were Shirley and Memo.

To do and see next time:

  • More of the Caribbean coast
  • Climb Chirripo, from the top of which it is said that you can see the Pacific and the Caribbean

fortuna catarata

While visiting the Caribbean coast We managed to snag some turtle eggs on the beach. It's not like it sounds, we didn't sneak up behind while the turtle was laying... a vendor was walking around the beach with the just-cooked eggs. They boil water with very hot peppers (Panamenos, from Panama I guess), and then throw the eggs in for just a few minutes, not quite long enough to cook the egg. Then to eat them you roll the egg around in your hand a lot, tear a hole in the shell, and suck it out. The eggs get some of the hot pepper flavor, but most of the pepper ends up on your lips from the shell, and the combination is interesting and pretty good. In Costa Rica they say the eggs are an aphrodesiac, along with various alcoholic drinks, and some other foods I can't remember right now.

Favorites:

  • Oro Pendulum, a bird that weaves amazing hanging nests, makes an amazing warbling sort of sound, and has an odd symbiotic relationship with a black bird.
  • Canopy Tour, nothing quite like flying along a cable dozens of feet above the ground.
  • The Amazing Cristina and her brother, SuperMonkey
  • Body-surfing in the Caribbean
  • Soccer with Jason, the soon-to-be-star of Saprissa