We arose again to a lovely view of the Fortuna volcano out out front door. It is amazing to think we are staying at the base of a live volcano that last erupted in 1968.... Who knows when the next event will happen but we decided it was worth the risk.
We took a short trip from our hotel to the nearby rainforest to experience hanging bridges. We had a choice of 3 different routes and intensities but the 6 of us were up for the full challenge and set out on the longest one that would take us about 1 3/4 hours to complete. We weren't quite sure of what to expect but we wanted to experience it all and had visions of Harrison Ford in "Indiana Jones" running through our heads. We has to do a fair amount of hiking and climbing in elevation to get to all of the bridges and we were all wowed with the views. The bridges have mesh on the side and have a perferated floor so falling through is not something to worry about. The challenge is the swaying when the small group of people start walking across. You do have to hang on In order to keep your balance but we all managed successfully.
The views were breathtaking and we got to see and hear many troupes of howler monkeys, colorful birds, a hummingbird nest with an egg, marching leaf cutter ants and the allusive eyelash viper. It is very common in the rainforest and have been warned about where you place you hands, just to make sure you didnt touch one by accident. Our keen-eyed guide saw a brown one resting on a tree so we all got to get a great view of it while still keeping our distance. It is called the eyelash viper due to the protrusions it has above its eyes, thus the name.
Upon exiting the rainforest, we got to view a beautiful blue macaw that had landed in a tree near us. While we were watching it, it took flight and the returned to the same spot so it put on a great show for all of the excited tourists. After we boarded the busses, we got to witness a bunch of coatimundis (coatis for short) that were attempting to cross in front of us. They are a long-nosed carnivore that is a member of the raccoon family.
We packed up the bus and drove around Lake Arenal, which is a manmade lake, created to generate electricity.The 2 towns that were buried during this construction were relocated by the government to higher ground. We stopped for another great Costa RIcan lunch in Tilaran and at Jumbo's grocery store in Liberia to stock up on items we had tasted in days including a block of brown sugar, coffee, beverages, and wonderful Lazano sauce that we have grown to love on own our daily rations of rice and beans.
During our afternoon trip westward, we had the opportunity to experience that vast variety and changing vegetation. We are now heading to the region of Guanacaste which is located on the pacific coast for a 2 night stay on the beach.