The Best So Far…….Part 3 Costa Rica!



The Best So Far…….Part 3 Costa Rica!




Costa Rica!

I loved it!!

I drove around a third of it…..  The scariest driving I’ve ever done!  That includes the times I don’t recall how I got home in life!

Why?



Well it was so mountainous!  And if you haven’t driven in the mountains in Central America you may not understand.  The best way I can say it, is that’s it’s sort of like a carnival ride and you don’t (because you can’t see that far) know what’s the next turn, dip or both at the same time!!  Crazy!!  My return visit, I won’t be driving unless I rent a car on the Caribbean coast.  Still gets my heart beating!

Only once have I ever been in the mountains and that was briefly in Colorado, and that was a bit on the scary side too as I recall.

All the scariness aside……this was a trip that held me in AWE!!!

L

ots of mountains, valley, hot water creeks, ruins, ‘volcanoes’, friendly people, and beauty.

The first night was in a very nice hotel on the outskirts of San Juan, I believe it was Santa Maria…….I think.  Anyway it was a very nice modern hotel across the way from a condo that also served as a mall.  And on the same side of the street as the hotel was a place called Bufalo Grill.  That’s where I got my introduction to ‘cabbage beer’.  I’m willing to try most anything, well except for the pepper beer that was at The Angry Pepper in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The bartend/waiter is Kevin.  Great guy!!  He’s on Costa Rica’s national Rugby team!  A great guy, I have him as a Faebook friend.  His team just won the Central America Championship!  Here’s Kevin.


Costa Rica, #1




Next is Mount Arenal!!  Breathtaking!  That’s a church in the foreground from the vantage point of La Fortuna just a brief drive to Arenal Volcano.

Better yet!  My room was right across the road from Arenal Volcano!

 This view is from my doorway at the Montana de Fuego Resort (Mountain of Fire).  5 days here……and it didn’t disappoint!     http://montana-de-fuego-resort-spa.negocio.site/



This is the first time I’ve every spent time at a ‘resort’…….and honestly, it was the most pleasant surprise.  How about a one hour massage topped off with a glass of Merlot!! And the benefit of a cute Costa Rican lady with her hands all over me!!  YES!!!

There’s hot springs there too along with a volcano mud bath.  The mud bath is self administered by applying the gook to your body and rinsing off with a ‘Cold’ shower…..I just used it on my face, neck, and arms and walked back to my cabin to take a warm shower……did I mention there was a Jacuzzi in the room?  There’s a store located across the street with a wide selection of adult beverages for after the resort bar is closed.



Here’s a quick view of the resort grounds  the bar.    The lobby (great people!)      On to the hot springs adjacent to the bar….  The swimming pool wades up to the bar….cool.  And the flora was beautiful!! 



Time for a hike…..here we come Mount Arenal!    Even though there were stops for resting and our guide providing information along the way we tired and couldn’t make it to our destination.  Legally no one can climb to the very top although there are overnighters that do it.  We probably made it up about 2/3 of the furthermost that is legally allowed. The guide pointed out 2 Toucan’s but I couldn’t get my camera ready quick enough.  Bummer.

Moving on but first……Will Smith was here!!  Yep the actor.  It was a dud of a movie starring him and his son….I’m not finding the picture of the prop left behind!!!


I did this!!!!!




Yes, I seem to do a lot, but this is a bit on the different side of life for me.  In case you don’t remember or haven’t heard me I’ve a ‘fear of heights’!  Everything is high here!!  But, this is a bit risky.  This is a hanging bridge.  There’s actually 6 of them that I negotiated.  It links a couple mountains together thru the rain forest!!  One heck of an experience!   It’s extremely humid here and about 4,000 feet above sea level.



Here’s a look: 

Not only is there these bridges, there’s also spiders…….large spiders!



This is one’s home!   There’s also some poisonous critters about.  Got a chance to see a poisonous frog and snake….   the red thing is the frog….he is tiny this us ultra magnified with the help of our tour guide.   There’s a tiny brown snake in the middle of the photo.

Coming down…….



  A church fiesta in Orosi.  It’s squashed between a few or should I say several mountains thus making it a valley.  There’s also coffee plantations here…..I just couldn’t find any and the locals I asked didn’t know where.  Understand that the locals stay within in a very limited area usually where they work and live.  Hardly ever venture any further…..no need to.



  From above….  





The oldest Catholic church in Costa Rica still in use.  The church, Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi, was built in 1743 during the time the country was a Colony.  

Oh, you see this road   well, I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to drive it…..I was wrong!    The narrow bridges were tough moments for me.

I’m not finished…..

This is the reason for traveling that bridge and road    Las Ruinas de Ujarras.  The ruins of one of the ‘oldest’ churches in Costa Rica  Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Limpia Concepción.  Click here for more information.



  Looking back, it was worth the drive.

My fear of heights gets another exhausting challenge shortly……but first just a few shots from the Sanatorium that I’ve previously written about. http://wp.me/p7kwGH-tr


To the top!!!!



Here is the brew of the land…..



Now!  To the top of Irazu Volcano!!  

And I made a friend while I was there…     I did it!!!  



Can’t forget to post some of the lovely flowers from the mountains surrounding Orosi 

There was much more to this visit but this is the highlights……the things that won’t leave me and that are drawing me back.



There was only one minor downside and that was there was no financial benefit on exchange rate or on value of U.S. dollar, it was the same as buying in the U.S.

Peace, love, and beaches,

John





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