Sunday, November 6, 2022

Costa Rica | Part 2

Arenal Volcano, Alajuela Province, San Carlos, Costa Rica
On July 11 we left to Arenal. This was our longest travel day of the entire trip. On the way we stopped at Doka Coffee Plantation to learn about coffee and see how it was made. We even passed the Starbucks plantation. Since I was working there at the time, it was cool to see. The grounds of the plantation were beautiful, but I couldn't imagine making that my job and having to work in the heat. After the tour they allowed us to sample some concoction of sweet coffee and we were given time to look through the gift shop. I bought several bags of coffee to bring home.
After the tour, we all got back on the bus to continue on to our destination. We crept through the mountains in a huge bus, and at times I was terrified we were going to roll over the edge. The bus driver was amazing getting us through the winding mountain roads without any issues. We made one stop at a waterfall and were given time to take photos and purchase a coconut drink. J hated that I took a photo of who he now refers to as "coconut boy." I was fascinated with how well he chopped the coconuts though! At the stop we also got to see a white-nosed quatymundy. It's part of the raccoon family and so adorable. He walked very slowly which made it easy to take photos. 
Our third stop, when we arrived in Arenal, was for lunch. I loved the old signs near the restaurant and being able to see the mountains in the distance. We all had lunch and then walked across the street because there was a sloth in the tree. We had our first sloth sighting of the trip! I did snap a photo of it (a few photos down), but it's very hard to see.
Finally, we made it to Arenal Volcano National Park. WOW is all I can say. We were able to see and get photos of the volcano before it was covered by clouds. It was my first time ever seeing a volcano in person and all I could think was how it didn't seem real. I also wondered what it would be like to live there and not thinking twice about a volcano in your back yard.
We finally made it to our hotel. Some of us went out to get things like water and snacks. I took photos while we were out because one of my favorite things to photograph are homes and every day life in a new place. Our hotel had a pool and when we returned a lot of the kids went swimming. It was such a beautiful area.
Like I said, we jammed a lot of stuff into one trip, but the experiences were definitely worth it!

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